Nielsen to Track HDTV Homes

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Nielsen will begin tracking the number of HDTV homes nationally and for Local People Meter markets starting in November.

Thursday¡¦s announcement came one day after the company said it will begin reporting the penetration of digital-video recorders nationally and in local markets, as well as digital-cable penetration locally.

The ratings firm is currently working with its clients to develop a standard definition of an HDTV home.

The service is considering two definitions: ƒnHD Capable Home, a home that is equipped with an HDTV and HD tuner capable of receiving signals in HD; and ƒnHD Receivable Home, a home that is equipped with an HDTV and HD tuner and receives at least one exclusively HD network or station.

Nielsen plans to discuss the two definitions with its clients and will most likely use one or both of them when it begins reporting HDTV universe estimates in the fall.

HDTV falls under the classification of a ¡§media-related¡ö universe estimate, similar to wired cable. These estimates are similar in that they all use data from Nielsen¡¦s national and local samples that use an area-probability-sample design. These universe estimates are updated four times a year and are available on Nielsen¡¦s client Web sites.

Prior to reporting HDTV-universe estimates, Nielsen will provide clients with sample composition information from the National People Meter Sample and LPM markets in August.

Next January, the internal classification process of HDTV homes will be completed, enabling Nielsen to also report HDTV-universe estimates in all area-probability Set Meter Markets by the February survey. Nielsen continues to explore options for reporting HDTV Universe Estimates in Telephone Frame Meter and diary-only markets.

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