[opendtv] PR: Survey Indicates Canadians Slow to Adopt HD-Television Technology

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 3 May 2005 08:23:34 -0400

Survey Indicates Canadians Slow to Adopt HD-Television Technology

May 3, 2005 12:00am
Source: Canada Newswire Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

  Attention News Editors

  TORONTO, May 2 /CNW/ - A national survey commissioned by Astral 
Media's The Movie Network and conducted by Ipsos-Reid suggests that 
only 14% of Canadians currently have an HD-ready television set. 
Interestingly, of those who have HD television sets, only two in five 
(40%) have the HD set-top box necessary to receive true HD picture 
quality. As a result, only 6% of Canadians are actually viewing 
programming in high definition.

  Probing further, The Movie Network HD Survey shows that among those 
Canadians who have an HD-ready television set, but not the HD set-top 
box, 41% indicate that they don't have a box because there is not 
enough HD content currently available from broadcasters to make it 
worth their while. Surprisingly, 16% reported that they didn't know 
they even needed an HD set- top box to watch HD broadcast 
programming, suggesting that some viewers believe they are viewing 
HD, when in fact they are not. One in five (19%) claim they do not 
have an HD set-top box because they are satisfied watching only DVDs 
on their HD television sets. This may be tied to the fact that 
although DVDs cannot currently be viewed in true HD, HD-ready 
television sets do up-convert letterbox DVDs into wide-screen images 
which consumers find acceptable.

  High Definition Television, or HDTV, delivers brilliant, 
high-resolution images in a wide-screen format that is up to five 
times clearer than standard- definition televisions. HDTV also 
provides CD-quality audio and rivals the picture quality, wide-screen 
format and surround-sound experience of a movie theatre.

  While the survey and recent reports would indicate that HD 
technology is still in the early stages of adoption in Canada, one in 
five Canadians who do not currently have an HD-ready television do 
indicate that they plan to buy one, with almost half (46%) planning 
to purchase an HD-ready TV within the next year.

  As such, broadcasters such as The Movie Network are making HD a 
priority. The Movie Network is meeting the expressed demand for more 
content by launching The Movie Network HD (TMN HD) on May 2, 2005. 
TMN HD is a High- Definition channel available free of charge to 
subscribers of The Movie Network and will offer a 24-hour schedule of 
HD content.

  "The results of this survey confirm that a significant proportion of 
Canadians are demanding a critical mass of HD content before they are 
willing to commit to the technology," says Domenic Vivolo, Senior 
Vice President, Marketing & Sales, Astral Television Networks. "As a 
leader in broadcast technology, The Movie Network is pacing itself 
ahead of the market to provide viewers who are currently HD equipped, 
as well as those who will be making the move to HD in the coming 
months, with a channel that will have the highest amount of HD 
content of any Canadian movie service in eastern Canada. This content 
will obviously include movies which research(x) has indicated is what 
consumers are looking for most in HD."

  With hundreds of titles of HD content, The Movie Network HD line-up 
will include programming from HBO and Showtime in addition to The 
Movie Network's own original Canadian drama series and Hollywood 
blockbuster movies from the major studios. Programming will include 
popular series such as Fat Actress and Deadwood and recent movies 
such as Elf, White Chicks, Dogville and Kill Bill Vol. 2, all in an 
uncut and commercial-free environment. The network has also made a 
commitment to delivering all its original Canadian series in HD which 
includes the premiere of Terminal City, Stuntdawgs and Slings & 
Arrows, season 2.

  "Content is king in the world of HD," says Michael McEwen, President 
of Canadian Digital Television (CDTV). "Increased content will be 
essential to increasing the adoption rate for high definition in 
Canada. As with any technology, application and content are required 
to justify the expenditure in the minds of consumers. The launch of 
networks dedicated to high-definition content, such as The Movie 
Network HD, will demonstrate to those in the industry that this is a 
technology to be invested in, and will make inroads with a consumer 
population who is still taking a 'wait and see' approach when it 
comes to HD."

  Other survey results include:  ----------------------------  - 48% 
of Ontario respondents indicate that there is "not sufficient HD 
content currently available" as the reason for not having an HD 
set-top box.  - Men (24%) without an HD-ready TV are more likely than 
women (14%) to  buy an HD-ready TV set.  - Among those Canadians who 
plan to buy an HD-ready television, 10% say  that they will buy it in 
the next three months; 6% plan to buy in  three to six months; 30% 
will buy in six months to a year; and, a  total of 53% will buy in a 
year or more from now.  - The main reasons that Canadians who do not 
currently have an HD  television set are disinterested in buying an 
HD-ready TV set are:  - Cost - 36% of Canadians are not planning to 
buy an HD-ready TV  set because of the cost of the television sets; 
and,  - Awareness - 15% still don't know enough about HD.  - 
Interestingly, 42% of women, as opposed to 27% of men, are not 
planning to buy an HD-ready TV set because of cost, while 12% of men 
compared to 4% of women say it's because there is not enough content 
currently available. Indicating that men are more likely than women 
to need assurances of greater content to adopt HD and women are more 
likely than men to need a less-expensive product offering.

  (x) Lyra Research released US survey results in July 2004 which 
reported that both men and women chose movies as "most important" in 
terms of what they wanted to watch in HD. Men rated sporting events a 
close second, while women rated drama TV series marginally higher 
than sports. The Consumer Electronics Association also released a 
survey in October 2003 that found similar results.

  About the Survey


  The Movie Network HD Survey was conducted by Ipsos-Reid between 
April 19 and April 21, 2005. A representative randomly selected 
sample of 1000 adult Canadians of 18 years of age or older was 
interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are 
considered accurate to within (+/-) 3.1 percentage points, 19 times 
out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian 
population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within 
regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population: Those 
without an HD-ready television set (n=856, (+/-) 3.4%); those with an 
HD-ready television set (n=144, (+/-) 8.2%); those without an HD set 
top box (n=79, (+/-) 11.0%); those planning to buy an HD ready TV set 
(n=158, (+/-) 7.8%); and those not planning to buy an HD ready TV set 
(n=691, (+/-) 3.7%). These data were weighted to ensure the sample's 
regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian 
population according to the 2001 Census data. Please visit 
www.ipsos.ca for full tabular results.

  The Movie Network is an Astral Media network available in eastern 
Canada. With premiere access to blockbuster movies, 
critically-acclaimed HBO and Showtime series, and first-rate Canadian 
programming, this pay-television service presents Canadians with some 
of the best television entertainment available. The Movie Network 
service includes five 24-hour multiplex channels - M, MMore, MExcess, 
MFun! and MFest - which deliver diverse and entertaining programs in 
an uncut and commercial-free television environment. The Movie 
Network also offers The Movie Network HD, a dedicated high-definition 
channel providing hundreds of titles in HD; and The Movie Network 
OnDemand, a Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service, available in 
select areas across eastern Canada. For more information, please 
visit www.themovienetwork.ca.

  Astral Media is one of Canada's leading media companies, active in 
specialty, pay and pay-per-view television, radio and outdoor 
advertising. Astral Media's solid and dynamic presence in the 
country's major markets rests on its commitment to offer a unique 
combination of high-quality, targeted media for all its audiences. 

Media contact: Roopa Shah, Astral Television Networks, (416) 
956-8584, rshah@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; Deborah Wilson, Astral Television 
Networks, (416) 956-8558, deborah.wilson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

<<Canada Newswire English -- 05/03/05>>

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