While the digital broadcast signals reach just over 100 million American households, according to Decisionmark, consumers are often unclear about the benefits and availability of digital andhigh-definition television (HDTV). With today’s launch of CheckHD.com, consumers can easily find straightforward, accurate answers to these fundamental questions: What is digital TV?, Can I getdigital TV?, and What do I need to get digital TV?, helping the industry move more Americans closer to purchasing a digital television.
This announcement comes on the heels of a separate announcement today by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell regarding a major FCC consumer education campaign. “A successful transition to the world of high-quality, digital television requires a combination of efforts from both industry and the government. Websites like this one, and the FCC’s own site, will help consumers learn more about the content and availability of digital programming,” Chairman Powell said.
A number of other organizations ranging from broadcast networks and associations to the consumer electronics companies are in full support of CheckHD.com. (See attached list of Quotes from Supporting Industry Leaders.)
The site is loaded with clear DTV information, including a comprehensive guide for DTV and HDTV channels and programming broadcast to a consumer’s exact location, which only Decisionmark patented technology can provide. “Once consumers realize the vast amount of HD and DTV programming available to them in over-the-air broadcasts, cable and satellite, they’ll be more likely to invest in the new technology,” said Jack Perry, President and CEO of Decisionmark. “Part of the struggle up to this point has been getting consumers to a place where they can find out if and when the digital and HD content is available to them. CheckHD does that,” he added.
CheckHD provides a one-of-a-kind, interactive, printable Buyer’s Guide that consumers can take to their local retailers, a great research tool in the DTV shopping process. The Buyer’s Guide comes complete with customized information on the channels received, products of interest, local retail locations and antenna recommendations. Once in hand, the Buyer’s Guide serves as a concise set of answers that the retailer and consumer can review together, answers they wouldn’t find in any other single resource.
Completing the site is a guide to HDTV provided by the Consumer Electronics Association. The section also includes high-definition and digital TV Frequently Asked Questions, along with terms and definitions. These information resources together allow a consumer at any stage of the digital TV conversion process, from just interested to wanting to buy a set, to access the information they need.
Mr. Perry says the intent of CheckHD is to help accelerate the digital transition. “Our goal for CheckHD is simple. It’s time to go digital, and CheckHD is going to make sure that the 105 million American households do it right.”
CheckHD Quotes from Industry Leaders
Capitol Broadcasting Co., Inc.
“CheckHD is what broadcasters have been waiting for to reduce viewer confusion about digital TV. Leave it to Decisionmark to pull off the impossible task of bringing cross-industry leaders to the table for the good of the American viewer,” stated John L. Greene, V.P. Special Projects, Capitol Broadcasting Co., Inc.
“Check HD holds promise for reducing significantly viewer confusion about high-definition and digital TV,” stated Martin D. Franks, Executive Vice President, CBS. “Check HD should help accelerate the growing momentum among consumers to become a part of the transition to digital television.”
Consumer Electronics Association
“Consumer education has been one of the highest hurdles to clear in the HDTV transition,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “CheckHD incorporates the efforts and materials of many into one consumer-friendly site that will help push the country to the DTV transition finish line.”
The Fox Television Network
“This year is a big year for FOX HD programming. The timing is perfect for us to have CheckHD for our viewers’ many DTV questions,” said Ed Wilson, President of The Fox Television Network. “CheckHD addresses the HD and digital TV channel and programming availability issues in a superior manner,” he added.
National Association of Broadcasters
“Broadcasters have pioneered the transition to digital and high definition television,” stated NAB President and CEO Edward O. Fritts. “Collectively, stations have spent billions upgrading to the next generation of TV. The challenge now is to overcome consumer confusion, and we endorse creative initiatives like CheckHD.com aimed at educating Americans on the benefits of this technology.”
“NBC and Telemundo are delighted to be engaging with CheckHD to help our viewers learn more about digital television,” stated Bill LeBeau, Senior Regulatory Counsel, NBC.
Pegasus Broadcast Television
“Pegasus gives its full support to CheckHD.com because we are committed to making the digital transition a success in our markets. It is obvious to Pegasus that this tool will help convert more viewers into digital viewers with its amazingly complete DTV answers,” stated Mark Pagon, Chairman and CEO, Pegasus Broadcast Television.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
“The promotion of free over-the-air HDTV is very important to Sinclair, and that’s why we are on-board with CheckHD.com.” commented Del Parks, VP of Engineering Operations at Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. “CheckHD helps take the viewer from the couch to the PC and on to the retailer,” added Parks.
“It’s great to see CheckHD.com helping dispel consumer confusion regarding digital and HD broadcast TV reception,” said Robert Howell, Director, Signal Distribution/Off-Air Antennas for Winegard Company. “We’re pleased that our new SquareShooter(TM) digital antenna is a part of the CheckHD solution, as will our newest HD antennas to be released at CES 2005,” he added.