Viewers Watch HDTV Adoption Grow

Fueled by greater awareness, reduced pricing, and increased content availability, the Yankee Group predicts 59.3 million U.S. homes will have high-definition televisions (HDTV) [define] by the end of 2008.

While roughly 10 percent of U.S. households currently claim to have high-definition televisions, another 20 percent intend to purchase the units.

Consumer awareness has steadily increased two percentage points per year since 2002, according to a pair of research firms. Ipsos-Insight found that 74 percent of the 1,000 U.S. survey respondents in 2002 were familiar with the high-resolution TVs, rising to 76 percent in the firm’s October 2003 poll. Yankee Group measured awareness at 78 percent in its recent 2004 report.

Further encouraging news comes from the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), which placed awareness at a high of 87 percent in its 2004 study of more than 1,000 participants – up from 80 percent in 2003.

The Yankee Group found that the average retail price for HDTVs has declined 20 percent annually, and 54 percent of the respondents to the 2004 CTAM survey said they would buy a high-definition or digital television set if they thought it was reasonably priced and affordable to them.

Nearly half (45 percent) of the respondents in the previous year’s CTAM survey said they would be very likely to buy a HDTV set priced at $300.

Consumers are already indicating preferences in the types of programming they like to watch in high-definition quality. CTAM found that 48 percent of men and 35 percent of women chose sporting events as the best high-definition content, followed by theatrical movies for men and police/western action adventure programs for women.

Lyra Research, Inc. found that movies were rated the most important programs to view in high definition for both men and women, and commercials were the least important.

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