Sorry, but I’m willing to bet this piece of research is completely wrong. I’d want to see the actual questionnaire, but here’s what I’ll assume until then:
Many, many, many people have no idea whether or not they have HDTV. Two main reasons:
- There is a serious lack of understanding among non-techie respondents about the terms “digital,” “high definition,” and “HDTV.” I’ll bet $20 that at least 20% of the population thinks they have HDTV because they bought a $40 conversion box for the digital transition.
- Because for years now, everything from network dramas to local newscasts has been opening with an onscreen logo that says something like “in HD where available,” or “presented in HD,” just like they used to do the exact same thing for stereo … only now they’ve also gone and incorporated it right into their station logos.
That’s right. Viewers with old 4×3 standard definition TV sets are constantly shown on-screen graphics that, in combination with the fact they bought conversion boxes, has them convinced they’re watching HDTV:
“Of course I have HDTV! It says HDTV right there on the screen!”
It’s difficult to research a topic when respondent confusion is this widespread. It’s not completely impossible, but it’s really, really hard. I can think of a couple of ways to try to do it, but they’re so cumbersome (as in, “look behind your TV and tell me the model number”) that they’re just not going to work.
Oh, and let’s not forget that there’s also God-only-knows how many people — this would include many of our parents, I’ll wager — who have HDTV sets but are watching standard definition broadcasts on them.