HDTV Industry Ignoring Uneducated Consumers

The HDTV industry has glossed over the potential for technically uneducated customers to become alarmed when their TVs stop working after February 17, 2009. This concern was expressed on Monday by HDTV Magazine.

The U.S. Government has defined a hard cutoff date for the broadcast of over-the-air analog TV of February 17, 2009. All TV sets that depend on over-the-air NTSC signals will cease to function the next day. But the government and industry havenit expressed adequate concern for potential irate phone calls from Americans who wonit understand what is happening or the technical issues involved. However, a few thoughtful people in the industry are taking the situation more seriously.

The fact that 30% of HDTV owners are not connected to HDTV content is also considered a failure of the HDTV industry. The article observed, "That is different from the days when early adopters of Color TV did everything they could to get high performance out of their systems and show those glorious TV pictures to as many as possible, as often as possible."

In response to these failures, a consumer education program is being developed by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). However, the public has become so jaded by special interest groups exploiting consumers that the message must be supported by all the stakeholders according to Dale Cripps, the magazine founder. And there may need to be a "unifier," or a Czar charged with the responsibility to minimize the pain in all sectors.

The Society of Moton Picture Engineers has noted that, historically, increases in communication have brought an increase in business volume. There is great concern that the lack of consumer education about HDTV will retard this growth.