The predictions for HDTV are red hot. All of a sudden, it seems the technology is blossoming everywhere. Finally, after years of procrastination by over-the-air broadcasters, HDTV is getting its boost from cable and satellite operators.
Forrester Research predicts the number of HDTV households will double this year, hitting six million by New Years Eve. Those numbers are expected to double again to 12 million by the end of 2005.
Lower prices for HDTV sets and more high-definition programming on cable and satellite channels are obviously driving the trend. Even so, most of the American television viewer population is still unaware of the new technology.
According to a recent study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), American consumers are “overwhelmingly unaware” of existing HDTV content. A full 71 percent of those surveyed said they were not very familiar or not at all familiar with HDTV programming.
Among potential HDTV purchasers, almost 30 percent of those surveyed cited lack of HDTV content as an inhibitor to purchasing an HDTV set.
An even larger percentage of consumers surveyed lack basic information about how to receive the full benefits of HD programming: 74 percent were unaware that they need a set-top box to view HD programming; and 54 percent weren’t aware that owning HDTV hardware would enable them to view programs in HD only if the programs are broadcast in HD.