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Little Viewer Interest in HDTV

The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing announced
Tuesday that its latest Pulse consumer-research study has found that 28 percent
of respondents said they were 'very' or 'somewhat' likely to buy a wide-screen
high-definiation television set if the retail price drops to $1,800 in the next
three years.

But even with a $300 pricetag, CTAM found that 23 percent of consumers were
'not at all likely' to buy HDTV equipment in that time frame.

The Pulse study is based on telephone interviews with 1,017 consumers,
including 396 in analog cable homes, 189 in digital-cable homes and 254 in
direct-broadcast satellite homes.

In addition, CTAM said that awareness of HDTV among adult consumers has
jumped to 80 percent now, versus 68 percent last June, and that 53 percent of
those aware said they have seen it displayed (most of those, 74 percent, in a
retail setting).

Among multichannel customers, digital-cable subscribers have the highest
unaided awareness of HDTV (at 79 percent).

Still, there's considerable ignorance about HDTV. CTAM,
for instance, found that 42 percent of adults didn't know the difference between
digital TV and HDTV (and 15 percent said they're the same thing) and that 43
percent were unsure how to get an HD signal into their home (the latter down
from 50 percent last year).