[ press Release ]


Menlo Park, NJ; June 4, 2009: New research from Knowledge Networks shows that the transition to digital television has directly impacted media technology in one out of four (26%) U.S. TV households during the past year, as people invest in new TV sets and/or services to prepare for the June 12th changeover.

The data comes from the Spring 2009 Ownership and Trend Report produced as part of KN's The Home Technology Monitor™. The report offers the most comprehensive overview of ownership of dozens of media-related devices and services, from DVRs to mobile Internet access; it also draws on KN's extensive historical data to provide trending.

Knowledge Networks has been tracking reaction to the digital transition since 2006; the new data, collected from February to April this year, shows that, among TV households:

  • 18% said they had bought a digital converter to adapt a standard definition set to receive digital signals;
  • 8% bought a digital or HDTV set specifically in preparation for the transition; and
  • 5% started a new subscription to a pay television service such as cable or satellite TV, also specifically in anticipation of the switch to digital

(There is some overlap among the above groups; the net value is 26%.)

"The digital transition is bringing more channels – sometimes dozens more – into nearly one-quarter of U.S. TV households, vastly expanding the numbers of programs and advertisements they can be exposed to," said David Tice, Vice President and Group Account Director at Knowledge Networks and director of The Home Technology Monitor™. "And our research has shown that having high-definition TV (HDTV) reception changes viewing behavior, prompting many people to check HD channels first when they sit down to watch TV. The result is that the digital transition as a whole seems destined to alter long-standing TV behaviors in many U.S. homes."

An upcoming Knowledge Networks report, How People Use® HDTV 2009, will show that one-third of those with high-definition TV reception always check their HD channels first when channel surfing or checking for a program. The report will also indicate that those with HDTV reception are more selective about what they watch and more likely to plan viewing in advance. KN will be releasing the new HDTV report in July.

Awareness of the transition has increased to 91 percent of all TV homes, up from 85% in 2008 and 45% in 2007. All subgroups – whether by householder age, race, ethnicity, or reception type – report awareness over 90%. 

Among the 18% of TV homes that bought a digital converter, most (80%) utilized the government coupon program. In homes that still have only broadcast reception, three times as many (53%) report they bought a digital converter in the past year, and 93% of those used the coupon program.

The number of sets per home relying on regular broadcast reception averaged 0.48 in the new survey; this is almost two-thirds less compared with our Spring 2006 survey, when the average was 1.32. Between their awareness of the transition and evidence of adaptation to this new broadcast standard, it is clear Americans have received the message about the transition loud and clear.

Sample size for the 2009 Ownership and Trend Report is 2,498 TV households interviewed using a representative RDD telephone sample. The study was fielded from February 20 to April 11, 2009, with a margin of error of +/- 2% for questions asked of the total sample.

Knowledge Networks specializes in solving complex, high-impact problems, providing extraordinary quality and service to leaders in government, academia, and business. We work closely with clients to create sound public policies, accurate social science research, healthy consumer-brand connections, and effective marketing and advertising. We have established respected practices in government & academic studies, media, marketing, and advertising. KN excels in study design, analytics, and custom panel creation; we deliver affordable, statistically valid online research through KnowledgePanel® – the only available probability selected, nationally representative Internet panel.

For more information, contact:

David Stanton
908 497-8040

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