Consumers subscribing to DTV myths


A new study from the Consumers Union shows that 93% of consumers are aware of the upcoming DTV transition. But a substantial number of those who need to take action of one kind or another are unaware of that fact, and many who need not do anything at all think they have to act.

"With the digital television transition just four months away, millions of consumers remain confused about how to prepare for it and are vulnerable to wasting money on unneeded or unwanted equipment," said CU’s Joel Kelsey. "The federal government, broadcasters and cable companies have a responsibility to make sure consumers are educated about the most cost effective way to make this transition, and that simply isn’t happening."

CU says 17% of all households have at least one analog TV that will lose service, and 13% will be left totally in the dark. Among this group, 32% remain unaware that they need to take action, and 28% will be completely left behind. And 60% who need to take action have yet to do so.

Misconceptions are rampant among those who are in decent shape already, according to CU. 41% believe all television sets will require a converter box; 29% believe everybody will need a digital set; 25% believe they must subscribe to an MVPD service; and 9% believe that all analog sets must be junked.

RBR/TVBR observation: It’s amazing that erroneous beliefs such as these are apparently being fabricated out of whole cloth. Where would they even come from? But there is no excuse for allowing them to retain any currency.