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.