Sad stat: Comcast says 33% of HDTV owners don’t watch HD content

December 16, 2008 by  

HDTV still has a ways to go to really generate the ripples it wants to, but it may not all be consumer ignorance.

Seeking no doubt to generate incremental revenue from high-definition content, Comcast, one of the largest cable companies in the US, said that despite a 50% increase in HDTV ownership over the past year, 33% of HDTV owners do not watch HD programming at all or subscribe to HDTV services from them.

The Philadelphia-based cable operator, citing research from Frank N. Magid Associates and Leichtman Research Group, said that more than 25% of HDTV homes have more than one TV set connected to HD service, which is a good stat. But the 33% number is quite disturbing. Why would you buy an HD set and not use HD in any capacity? Kinda loses its point.

Time Warner Cable in a recent quarterly report said premium HD viewing had declined due to the economy. Comcast charges extra monthly for HDTV channels (they’re included in higher channel packages as well) and extra for HDTV capable boxes, so for Comcast it may be related to the same reason.

Comcast, which has more than 1,000 programs available in HD, said top-rated HD content (48% viewed by men; 31% by women) continues to be spearheaded by action movies, sports and music concerts, which isn’t surprising, as they show off the higher detail more effectively than other programming.

Hopefully, once the economy recovers, this number will swing in a better direction.

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