German interest in HDTV tempered with confusion

German consumers are interested in high-definition TV, but many uncertainties remain regarding the technical requirements for receiving HD services, according to a new report from TNS Convergence Monitor.

The survey, conducted with around 1,500 German consumers aged between 14 and 64 years old, found that while 73% of respondees report being familiar with the term HDTV, only 20% have actively informed themselves regarding the new technology. Furthermore, while 33% of households were found to have acquired a flat-screen TV (up from 21% by the end of 2008), only 7% of viewers are willing to pay extra for channels in HD quality.

“The reason HDTV has so far not developed as a propeller for the sale of new devices and content in HD is mainly due to the limited information available to consumers regarding the requirements and advantages of this technology,” said Wolfgang Werres, Managing Director of TNS Infratest MediaResearch and member of the TNS Convergence Group. “Many believe that with the purchase of an LCD or plasma television set they will be able to experience the improved picture quality of HDTV – without knowing that so far hardly any television programmes are screened in HD quality or that an HD receiver is necessary for reception.”