Dick Smith today released results from a survey which has found that 60 per cent of consumer electronics shoppers currently own a digital set top box or television, making them well equipped to receive the new HD digital television channels to be rolled out later this year. 
Of those respondents that don’t already have the equipment, approximately 82 per cent said they were likely or highly likely to purchase a HD digital compatible television or set top box to access the new channels.
Only nine per cent of the shoppers indicated that they were unlikely to purchase new equipment.
Dick Smith polled more than 4000 consumers and two thirds of existing Pay TV subscribers (60 per cent) had no plans to cancel their subscription when more free HD digital TV channels became available. Only five per cent of respondents indicated they would definitely cancel their service.
“Consumers are clearly seeing the expansion of the HD digital television offering as an opportunity. Awareness is high and the majority of consumers are already set to receive the additional content,” said Rodney Balech, visual buyer for Dick Smith.
Those consumers still looking to purchase a HD digital TV or set top box will rely heavily on retailers and the web to source the expert advice they require to make educated purchasing decisions. Results from the survey indicate that the three channels consumers will use as their main source of information will be the internet, retailers and friends.
"From a retailers’ perspective, the switch to Digital TV is very exciting and it will be important to be aware of the changes in technology in order to provide customers with the advice they need to make educated purchasing decisions,” said Balech.
"Shoppers will need information about all digital formats so that they can ask the right questions when they’re looking at upgrading their home entertainment systems.”
Dick Smith has seen an increase in sales of set top boxes since the commencement of the government’s digital TV advertising campaign and the launch of ONE, Ten’s dedicated HD sports channel.
While more than 80 per cent of survey respondents were aware of plans to expand the HD Digital TV offering, only 38 per cent knew that digital radio is also launching in Australia in the coming months.