Digital transition good for pay TV, HDTV

Study: Switchover affects technology in one-fourth of homes

The transition to digital television, now just days away, compelled many households to switch to a pay television service and/or invest in a new HDTV set to get ready.

According to new research from Knowledge Networks released Thursday, 5% of households or 5.7 million homes, signed up for a cable or satellite TV service, 8% bought a digital or HDTV set and 18% said they bought a digital converter.

In total, the DTV transition has directly affected media technology in one out of four U.S. TV households during the past year.

The technology changes have already led to changes in viewing behavior, the study found. One-third of those with HDTV reception always check their HD channels first when channel surfing or checking for a program. Those with HDTV reception are also more selective about what they watch and more likely to plan viewing in advance.

Since Knowledge Networks began tracking reaction to the digital transition in 2006, the number of sets per home relying on regular broadcast reception has decreased by two-thirds, dropping from an average of 1.32 sets to 0.48.

Results of the study (2009 Ownership and Trend Report) were based on telephone interviews with 2,498 households between February and April.
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