Landmark: US HDTV market penetration approaches 25%

December 12, 2008 by  

Almost 25% of all U.S. households (23.3 percent) own and use a high-definition TV set as of Nov. 30, the Nielsen Group reported Thursday, which is truly a landmark amount, and much higher than many would expect.

Nielsen’s numbers are based on a field staff review that identified TV sets capable of receiving and displaying high-definition pictures, as well as those that are actually receiving those signals.

HDTV adoption in the U.S. has more than doubled (which is astounding) since July 2007, when Nielsen began tracking HDTV status. At that time, only 10 percent of U.S. homes had access to or had adopted high-definition TV in their household. Many predicted it would be a long, hard road for the adoption process of HD to really take hold.

Washington, D.C., has 31 percent of homes with HD, and it has the highest HDTV penetration of Nielsen’s 18 large local TV markets. Boston and New York follow, with HDTV penetrations of more than 30 percent, respectively.  Detroit has the lowest HDTV penetration: only about 21 percent of homes. Los Angeles is fairly low on the list with only 28%.

Sports have the highest index of viewing in HDTV households, with HDTV receivable homes watching 54 percent more sports than households that don’t have HDTV. Political programming and awards shows are also popular with HDTV households. Politics aren’t exactly pulse-pounding affairs, so that stat is strange, but, to each their own.

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