With results sure to send a shiver down the spine of the high-def industry, a new survey conducted by Best Buy suggests that the vast majority of consumers are confused about HD.
The retailer recently conducted a telephone poll of 1,012 adults across the continental United States, and the findings are sobering: nine out of ten consumers are confused about high definition, and 40 percent of people who already own an HDTV also confess to being in the dark about high-definition.
Shockingly, four in ten of those surveyed could not even identify an HDTV as necessary to enjoy high-def content.
Yet perhaps most troubling for the manufacturers, studios and retailers hoping to sell the public on Blu-ray and/or HD DVD, more than half of respondents stated that their entire high-def home theater budget only allowed for spending on an HDTV, thinking "that would be enough to be high-def."
44 percent of respondents did not know they needed HD programming, such as a Blu-ray or HD DVD player and discs, while 62 percent did not know they needed a full audio set-up to reproduce multi-channel surround sound.
Not so coincidentally, the release of these survey results accompanies a new Best Buy marketing campaign designed to help consumers sort through the muddle. The retailer's AskABlueShirt.com website is at the heart of the campaign, offering an HD glossary, a “What is HD Done Right” feature, and Q&A for those planning to buy or setting up an HD-equipped home theater. The retailer has even set up a free HD hotline for customers at 888-237-8289 (888-Best-Buy).
"As more and more people invest in new high-definition televisions and expand their home theaters, Best Buy wants to ensure our customers fully appreciate what’s needed to get the most from their purchases," said Mike Vitelli, SVP and GM for Best Buy Home Solutions. "We want to serve as a trusted resource to our customers... so they can have a truly outstanding HD experience in their home."