Americans Buy HDTVs For Gaming, Movies

    June 26, 2007

Around 16 million high-definition televisions (HDTV) will sell in 2007 predicts the Consumer Electronics Association, bringing the total number of HDTVs sold in the U.S. to 52.5 million.

Thirty percent of U.S. households have an HDTV and the number is expected to increase to 36 percent by the end of this year. Among HDTV households, close to a third own more than one high-definition set, illustrating the healthiness of the market.

The CEA study, "HDTV: You Have the Set, But Do You Have the Content?" found that 44 percent of HDTV owners have HD programming. The main reasons for not receiving the programming were that it was too expensive or consumers were not interested.

The main reason consumers are buying HDTVs is not to watch television, but to enhance their movie and gaming experience. The most common device connected to an HDTV not receiving HD programming is a DVD player. Almost 40 percent of these households also connect surround sound and video game systems to their HDTV.

"Consumers are satisfied overall with HDTV," said CEA Director of Research Joe Bates. "But our studies indicate continued education is necessary to ensure consumers truly understand how to receive the full HD experience."

Out of those who receive HD programming 66 percent comes from a cable company. Of the remaining households receiving HD programming, 27 percent are satellite, 8 percent are over the air, 3 percent are fiber optic service and 3 percent from the Internet. This profile reflects the U.S. television reception profile, that reveals that HD content is not resulting in a migration to anyone television-programming provider.

"As we have seen for years, consumers still demand more HD content," continued Bates. "Currently, more than 50 percent of HD households show some interest in upgrading their HD subscription package to include more HD channels."