HiddenWires: Many consumers are still unable to get to grips with high-definition TV. Even the difference between analog or digital TV is not understood by a third of all German households. These are the findings of a GfK consumer survey on TV viewing conducted in seven European countries.
HDTV (High Definition TV) is being branded as the TV of the future. The higher resolution offers better picture quality and richer detail, promising more enjoyment watching TV than with the standard PAL used up to now. However, its development faces a dilemma. Above all, the public service broadcasters are hesitant to offer HDTV content, since they believe that such programs would currently reach a small minority of households only. Consequently, consumers also see little reason to buy HDTV equipment.
In order to take a closer look at this situation and collect objective figures on the actual state of affairs, GfK carried out a representative study over the summer months this year. GfK companies interviewed 1,000 people by telephone in each of the seven major European countries included in the survey.
The findings convey a clear message. They show that many consumers are not familiar with the latest buzzwords in consumer electronics, such as HD ready or the new DVD successor format, Blu-Ray. When asked whether they own a TV set which is HD ready, 22% of the German households surveyed were unable to answer the question. Also, many consumers do not seem to be aware that a special set-top box is needed to receive HDTV. Similarly, the issue of TV reception, that is the way the TV picks up the signal, is a subject about which one in ten households knew little or nothing. Overall, a third of those asked did not know whether they received their TV signal via an analog or digital connection.