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Confusion Persists Despite Soaring Ownership

Dec 2, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The number of homes in the United States with high-definition televisions has doubled in the past two years to 25%, according to new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group.
“One in every five homes buys a new TV set each year, so now they are pretty much forced to buy an HD set because that is what is available and that is what is driving the evolution,” said Bruce Leichtman, president of Leichtman Research Group.
Mr. Leichtman predicted more than 85 million U.S. households will have at least one hi-def set by the end of 2012.
Despite that robust growth, many consumers are still confused about whether they are actually receiving programming in hi-def from the cable or satellite operator or via over-the-air broadcast.
The study found that more than 75% of hi-def TV owners think they are watching programming in hi-def, but Mr. Leichtman estimates only 57% actually are. That means viewers in about 20% of homes with hi-def sets believe they are watching hi-def programming when they are not.
That problem may arise at the point of purchase. In the study, only 41% of hi-def set owners said they were told how to receive hi-def programming—either from a cable or satellite provider or via over-the-air broadcast—when they purchased their sets.
However, consumer awareness is evolving over time, Mr. Leichtman said. “We cannot assume it will be solved by snapping your fingers. It’s an evolutionary phase as people get these new sets,” he said.
Consumers also are confused about hi-def DVD players. More than 20% of all adults believe their home has a hi-def DVD player. However, that’s impossible because that figure would be greater than the number of hi-def DVD players sold to date.
“We should not assume consumers really understand everything that is going on. As we look at the whole evolution, we need to understand this is not a smooth one. It has its bumps along the way and we need to understand them if we want to alleviate them,” Mr. Leichtman said.
The report also found that the mean annual income of HD households is 27% above average. In homes that watch hi-def programming, the average reported amount of viewing time spent watching programs on hi-def channels is 45%.
HD Report

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