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HDTV awareness hits 99% but only 11% will buy

Consumer survey shows UK high definition picture

HD ready 1080p logo

Most consumers are aware of high-definition TV but only a few actually plan to buy an HD television in 2009, figures published today suggest.

In the survey by Buckingham Research, 85% of the 695 respondents said they were aware of HD TV, while a further 14% said they were aware but did not understand it. Only 1% said they didn’t know anything about it.

HDTV not a priority purchase in 2009

When asked which products consumers considered a priority purchase for 2009, only 11% highlighted HDTV as a probable buy.

Of those who are aware of HDTV:

  • 53% do not have it and do not intend to take out a subscription
  • 13% do have it and will keep their existing subscription
  • 6% do not currently have it but intend to take out a subscription
  • 1% will be cancelling their existing subscription
  • 27% are unsure

The research also found:

  • 48% of respondents said it made watching TV even more enjoyable
  • 35% felt it was not worth the money
  • 45% said that there were not enough HD channels at the current time

HDTV held back by consumers’ tight budgets and lack of HD content 

Paul Nola, managing director at Buckingham Research, said: ‘HDTV has come to the fore over the last few years and awareness levels are now at their highest. The real challenge lies in getting consumers to trial the service, as a large proportion are converted once they have experienced it. 

‘However a combination of consumers’ tight budgets and a perceived lack of content is hampering its chances of crossing into the mainstream this year. Service providers and manufacturers need to focus on demonstrating the value offered by HDTV to its viewers if they are to capitalise on this potential market.’

Which? has expert guides to HDTV

Which? tech expert Al Warman added: ‘Any consumers who are unsure about how to view HDTV and confused by the difference between digital TV and high-definition TV should read our expert advice guides. 

‘Start off by reading HDTV explained, and our TV jargon buster, before using the Which? interactive TV connection wizard to make sure your LCD or plasma TV is set up correctly to view HD broadcasts and Blu-ray discs.

‘And don’t forget that Which? has independent, impartial reviews of almost 200 LCD and plasma TVs so you can find a Best Buy HD flatscreen.’ 

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