Does This Sound Right?

PriceGrabber.com has released the results of an online survey that have me scratching my head. They polled 1,915 “online consumers” in September, and of those who do not already own an HDTV, nearly 75% plan to buy one in the next 12 months. I don’t know about you, but this number seems very high to me, if you think it applies to the general public.

57% of the respondants already have an HDTV, so that leaves 43% in the “don’t have an HDTV” pool, or about 824. That’s a pretty small sample, even if it were carefully selected. The PriceGrabber press release does not explain how the respondents were chose, but if it was from those who were visiting the company Web site, chances are good that they’re looking for a bargain in consumer electronics. People who aren’t in the market for an HDTV probably aren’t going to PriceGrabber as much as those who are. And while the economy wasn’t good in September, the poll was before the current meltdown. With people trying to figure out how to make mortgage payments, they’re not as likely to be in the market for an HDTV right now.

The “57% with HDTVs” number does match up with other national surveys, and we do have the digital broadcast transition coming up in a few months, so perhaps this many people at least think they might get an HDTV in the next 12 months, but I’m inclined to think that this is a very optimistic number.