No Interest in DTV Coupons

Come on, people. What are you waiting for? According to a study by DisplaySearch, less than 6% of the people who have requested the coupons the government is supplying have actually redeemed them. That means millions of folks will be left in the dark when the analog switch is pulled in February, 2009.

The study reports that 23% of respondents have at least one TV in the house receiving over-the-air broadcasts, and almost 40% of those receive over-the-air programming exclusively. That means more than 25 million TVs will need a solution for the digital TV transition — a large gap between those who have taken action and those who still need to.

What are they waiting for?

Logo_en_2 Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch’s Director of North America TV Market Research, noted, “While more than half of the consumers surveyed felt that the issues surrounding the end of analog broadcasting have been adequately communicated, it’s surprising to see such a small percentage of the converter box coupons redeemed to date. This could be attributed to a lack of urgency on the part of consumers given that the analog cutoff date is still almost five months away, or they may be waiting to see if large price declines materialize for digital TVs during the holiday season. However, if a large number of consumers wait until the last minute, there could be problems satisfying the surge in demand for converter boxes all at once — ultimately leaving some in the dark.”

Go get your coupon, use it before it expires, and get ready. The switch is happening, you might as well be prepared for it. —Leslie Shapiro