April 15, 2007
HD Television Sets in 28 Percent of Homes, Primarily in Living Room

According to the newest information made available by the Consumer Electronics Association, the number of households in the United States which have at least one television set that is high definition is 28 percent, which would equal 35 million HD sets in the country.

Among those 35 million sets, more than half have at least 40-inch screens, and 86 percent of the HD owners were listed as "highly satisfied" with their set.

The study was taken from 2,090 adults back in December.

In addition to these numbers, James Hibberd with TelevisionWeek listed that "consumers paid an average of $1,347 for an HD set."

What interested me even more, however, was the data that he released in regard to user behaviors surrounding TV viewing. For instance, his study reveals that wall-mounting is not very popular for HD sets, even though they heavily publicized. The figures he cites is that 33 percent of those surveyed keep their TVs in entertainment centers and 37 percent in TV stands.

In this study, cable had a slight edge over satellite, 40 percent versus 34 percent, while HD users cited analog cable for 18 percent of their service, antenna for 10 percent and Internet and fiber-optic at 4 percent apiece, actually quite high. Of course, that early adopters with HD sets would also be using Internet or fiber optic might not be that surprising.

The key here is that HD sets have not reached the "tipping point" yet, but a quarter of all Americans--what this study indicates--is fascinating.

I fall among the 8 percent who have a high-definition television in their bedroom (this study said master bedroom, but apartments for graduate students in Cambridge usually do not have room for there to be a bedroom designated as "master.) Apparently, 76 percent of owners have their TV sets in the living room, which is no real surprise. What I'm not so clear on, however, is where the other 16 percent put their TV sets. Kitchen? Bathroom? Closet?

And what do people do with their TV? Only 6 percent use them when accessing the Internet, while 12 percent use them for digital photos and 35 percent for music (37 percent for video games). Of course, the pervasive uses are for TV and DVD.

These types of behavioral questions regarding not just how many households have HD but rather how and where those households use them is intriguing. Understanding how technologies become incorporated in people's lives seem awfully pertinent as to how HD televisions will function, and understanding where users are embracing HD, and where they are not, is intriguing as well.

Part of the reason some types of content are not used on HD screens is not because of a lack of consumer interest but rather availability, or else because of industry indecision about the final format for certain products (i.e. the format war for high-definition DVDs). The statistics the CEA provides here are intriguing for emphasizing both that the high-definition television has not yet hit the tipping point and also not just how many but HOW these sets are being incorporated into users' lives.


On October 4, 2007 at 9:35 AM, sue otto said:

does anyone know how many HD tv sets are in the LA market


That's a good question, Sue, but I don't have any data on local geographic locadtion and penetration of HD sets.