Digital Switchover Awareness Up 16% This Year

Sep 15, 2008  •  Post A Comment

U.S. consumer awareness of February’s switchover to all-digital TV broadcasting has risen about 16% this year, thanks to the federal program that gives out coupons to buy digital converter set-top boxes and public service announcements, the Consumer Electronics Association said today.
About 86% of those surveyed by the trade group are aware of the Feb. 17 switchover, up from 74% in January, CEA said in a statement. About two-thirds of over-the-air TV watchers have either acquired converter boxes or plan to do so within the year, CEA said.
Much of the increase is from a program started this year by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration that gives out $40 coupons that can be redeemed at converter-selling retailers. As of last week, the NTIA had committed more than $750 million to the program and had sent out more than 25 million coupons to about 14 million households, according to its Web site.
U.S. consumers will request another 14 million coupons within the next few months, which the CEA called “well within the available number of coupons remaining” in the federal program. Retailers sell the converter boxes for about $60.


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