APTS Survey Says: Government DTV Transition Not on Right Track

Association of Public Television Stations: 77% of Respondents Don’t Know Reason for Switch

Fewer than one in five people in a recent poll (18.7%) said they think the federal government is "on the right track" with the DTV transition.

That may be an education problem, since 77% of the survey respondents who were aware of the transition said they did not know the reason why the federal government ordered the transition (for the record, its stated goals are to improve the TV picture and make more efficient use of spectrum).

Those findings are according to a poll of 1,153 over-the-air-only households commissioned by the Association of Public Television Stations.

The APTS was touting the fact that 43% of those households said they would buy a DTV-to-analog converter box or a new DTV set, with only 12% saying they would switch to cable or satellite.

But that is still 12% more audience than multichannel-video providers have now and, with one-quarter of the group saying they didn't know what they would do, there are even more potential subscribers in that pool of analog-only households.

Somewhat curiously, 19% said they would do nothing -- which means their sets would go dark Feb. 18, 2009, as far as full-power TV-station reception -- although a fraction of that group, 17.6%, said they meant that they might postpone action until closer to the transition.