A DTV consensus emerged from an Independent Show panel of cable marketers: keep the message simple, and tout cable as the best alternative to a converter box. While some 90% of the public is "aware" of the transition, it’s not clear citizens know much about it, said Armstrong vp, cable marketing David Wittman. Some analog cable subs think they’ll get digital cable for free, an ongoing CTAM study shows, said Scott Terrill, a marketing vp at, Suddenlink’s parent. That confusion is why Wittman advocates running educational seminars with customers, particularly the elderly, having operators give speeches to local groups and reaching out to local press. Cable might also find an opportunity via supply and demand. ATMC vp Pat Olsen noted retailers in her NC footprint have slim stocks of converter boxes. And Sunflower Broadband manager Andrea Pritchard had advice gleaned from the experience of her system’s all-digital transition June 2: start your communications effort as early as possible and make use of your Web site for FAQs.

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