Anyone who thinks consumers understand high-definition television should consider a recent survey by Leichtman Research Group.
It concluded that close to one-half of the 24 million households with HDTVs don't actually watch high-definition programs because they haven't obtained the necessary hardware from their cable, phone or satellite operators.
And about one half of those viewers - about six million - don't even realize they're not watching HDTV. Bruce Leichtman, the market research firm's president, figures the confusion is partly because the consumers spend so much money on the set they can't believe they're not getting what they paid for. "This is cognitive dissonance," he says.
HDTV, and maybe digital television in general, is not your father's television (to borrow a phrase). It is more appropriate to think of HDTV as Computer-TV. It certainly seems more computer than television in the old sense I think. And we all know there are still a lot of computer-challenged friends and relatives among us. I really hope the industry continues to educate and to make HDTV more user-friendly.