Dec 15, 2008

Business - HDTV penetration exceeds 23 per cent in the US: Nielsen

MUMBAI: With the Holiday electronics-buying season approaching, US media research company Nielsen has reported that, as of 30 November, the penetration of high definition television (HDTV) reached 23.3 per cent of all US television households.

When Nielsen began tracking HDTV status in its People Meter samples in July of 2007, only 10 per cent of homes had HDTV and this percentage has increased in each subsequent month.

Nielsen senior VP client research initiatives Steve McGowan said, "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. With nearly a quarter of homes equipped with high definition televisions, the demand for high definition content will only increase."

Among the 18 largest local markets, Washington, D.C. has the highest HDTV penetration, with 31.1 per cent of homes receiving high definition. Boston and New York follow with penetrations of 30.5 per cent and 30.2 per cent, respectively. Detroit has the lowest HDTV penetration: 20.9 per cent of homes.

Nielsen also looked at the types of programming that are most popular in households that receive HDTV signals, comparing that to households without HDTV capability. Sporting events have the highest index of viewing in HDTV households, with HDTV receivable and capable homes watching 54 per cent more sports than households that are not HDTV capable.

Other genres that are popular with HDTV households include political programming (25 per cent more popular) and awards shows (10 per cent more popular).

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