Consumer education remains the most important—and underserved—segment of the looming ’09 digital TV transition, said panelists Mon at CEA’s Washington summit. Amid playful barbs between NCTA pres/CEO Kyle McSlarrow and CEA chief Gary Shapiro (particularly over CableCARD legislation), Assoc of Public TV Stations pres/CEO John Lawson said assn polling shows that 60% of over-the-air households (approx 22mln) have "no clue" about the impending transition. And panelists said even awareness doesn’t necessarily translate to understanding, creating a sticky situation with less than 2 years until the transition date. "The message can’t just be ‘you’re TV will go dark’," said Lawson. "The key is to exploit the benefits and advantages." One consumer benefit: further proliferation of HD programming, which McSlarrow called the "point of the spear." But NAB evp Marcellus Alexander said the best benefit is freed-up bandwidth for 1st responders. Whatever the case, panelists said education remains paramount. "We all recognize that a pretty massive PSA campaign has to be part of the mix," said McSlarrow. Alexander said grassroots outreach—especially to non-tech savvy Americans such as retired persons—is also important.

The Daily

Subscribe

Mediacom Shows Off 10G Smart Home in Iowa

Folks got a first look at what a future with 10G could look like last week at Mediacom’s 10G Smart Home in Ames, Iowa.

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up