Nielsen: 33% of TV Homes Have an HD Set

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As of February 2009, 33.3% of U.S. TV homes had at least one HD set, up from 19.3% in February 2008, according to Nielsen’s National People Meter panel.

“Not since color TV was introduced more than 50 years ago has a new TV technology been so rapidly adopted,” Steve McGowan, Nielsen’s SVP of client research initiatives, writes in a blog post. “And despite the recession, Americans seem willing to continue to spend their hard-earned money on this new technology.”

But somewhat fewer homes — 28.8% of all U.S. TV homes — 2009 received HD programming in February. Other research has shown an even bigger disconnect: 22 million (56%) of an estimated 39 million HDTV households actually receive HD programming, according to an In-Stat report in January.

The average U.S. TV household had 2.6 sets (2.0 standard-def sets; 0.5 HD). Among homes with HDTVs, the average was 3.0 sets (1.4 HD; 1.6 SD TVs), according to Nielsen.

Other findings:

* HD penetration was greatest among Asian homes (41.8%) followed by white (34.3%), Hispanic (32.0%) and African-American homes (25.9%)

* 62.7% of all HD sets in the U.S. were located in common areas

* More than 75% of all tuning on HD sets happened in living rooms or other common areas

* A higher percentage of HD sets (30.6%) were attached to video game consoles than were SD sets (19.9%)

The PDF of Nielsen’s HDTV report is available here.

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