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HD Penetration Increasing, But HD Viewing Lags

Dec 18, 2008  •  Post A Comment

While HDTV ownership is on the rise, a gap still exists between those who own the equipment and owners who utilize high-definition programming, cable content provider Comcast said Monday.
Citing reports from Leichtman Research Group and Frank N. Magid Associates, Comcast said nearly one-third of Americans who own a high-definition television don’t watch HD programming on it.
Meanwhile, HDTV ownership has grown nearly 50% over the past year.
“Holiday HDTV shoppers, remember … HDTVs aren’t HD unless you get HD service,” said Derek Harrar, Comcast’s senior vice president and general manager of video services.
Growth continues for HDTVs into American households, with Nielsen Media Research reporting last week that nearly one-fourth (23.3%) of U.S. households own an HD set.
“The accelerated penetration of HDTV can be attributed to a number of factors, including the lower prices for high-definition television equipment, the increased availability of high-definition programming and purchases of new television sets in anticipation of the digital transition set for February of 2009,” said Steve McGowan, Nielsen’s senior vice president of client research initiatives.
“With nearly a quarter of homes equipped with high-definition televisions, the demand for high-definition content will only increase,” he added. The company began tracking HDTV integration in July 2007, when it reported that 10% of the country had HD sets.
Nielsen’s estimates are low in comparison with November results released by Leichtman Research Group, which put HDTV penetration at 34% of all U.S. households.

37 Comments

  1. Some of those viewers may be watching HD programming on their televisions — they’re just using the built in tuner to receive either unencrypted clear QAM feeds of their locals via cable or connecting an antenna for OTA HD. Others may be using a Blu Ray player or other device for viewing prerecorded or downloaded content in HD on their TVs.
    There are ways to receive HD programming that don’t involve shelling out money on a monthly basis to a cable or satellite company.

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