Confusion in US about HDTV despite purchase barriers falling

MUMBAI: The gap between the cost of a high-definition television (HDTV) and the amount US consumers are willing to pay is closing. The finding is contained in a study by Dove Consulting.

30 per cent of non-HDTV owners indicated they are willing to pay up to $700 for an HDTV. 20 per cent are willing to pay $1,000. While this news may be promising for future sales, consumers are unclear about the products, programming, and benefits of HDTV. 47 per cent of consumers surveyed do not know if programming is available in their area.

Furthermore, the variety of HDTV equipment remains confusing to consumers. 23 per cent were unsure whether they had an , even though definitions and descriptions of equipment were provided. Overall, only 17 per cent of consumers reported having a good understanding of the equipment, while nearly forty 40 per cent lacked knowledge or understanding. Over half of the consumers surveyed learned about programming access through advertisements

32 per cent got the information through their cable company representative and 11 per cent from retail store representatives. When asked to describe the type of person who would be interested in HDTV, very few consumers indicated that it is "someone like me." As expected, once consumers have seen programming in high-definition, they want to see a lot more of it.

Dove's Consumer Broadband practice MD Bob Davis added, "Think about it: the research shows that there is 87 per cent awareness. Over 80 per cent of the consumers are prepared to pay for content. And with very high satisfaction levels among current users, we have one of the best primed market opportunities we've seen in quite a while."

The Dove HDTV Survey -- Fall 2003 was administered via email. 1,556 complete surveys were received over a nine day period. Boston based Dove Consulting specialises in strategy and organisational effectiveness. Dove has been advising clients in the consumer broadband industry for ten years. The company has stated that it has worked with a variety of cable operators, cable networks, equipment manufacturers, and other broadband service providers on strategy, organisation design and new product development.

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