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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 28, 2009

In-Sat Report: Significant Gap Between HDTV and HD Usage Among US Households

By Jessica Kostek, TMCnet Channel Editor

Here in the States, the Super Bowl, which is this Sunday, is being counted down by many Americans. No doubt that some of them went out and spent their savings for that new HDTV they have been dreaming about but never had a good enough reason to get it. The Super Bowl might work in this case, they think.
However, the number of households with an installed high-definition television (HDTV) continues to grow worldwide being more heavily biased in not only the US but also in Japan. But further within the US market, there is a significant gap between HDTV ownership and households utilizing HD programming according to reports by In-Stat.
The research, "Worldwide HDTV Households: 36 Million and Growing" covers the worldwide market for high definition television services.
It provides an analysis of:

- The availability of HDTV services around the world
- Market and industry drivers for HDTV services
- How the development of different HD business models is impacting the market for HDTV services
- Results of a 2008 US consumer survey about HDTV ownership and services
- A look back at the historical growth of HDTV services
- A breakdown of HDTV households by geographic region and by transmission platform (cable, satellite, terrestrial, telco/IPTV)

Recent research by In-Stat (News - Alert) also found the following:

- On a global basis, HDTV service remains limited to a relatively small number of countries, primarily the US and Japan
- At year-end 2008, there were over 36 million HDTV households worldwide, up from 29 million at year-end 2007
- Even though the number of European HDTV households is rising, it will be 2011 before the number of HDTV households in that region reaches the 10 million mark
- Cable and satellite TV service providers provide HD programming to almost 80 percent of all - HDTV households. Telco TV service providers and terrestrial broadcast TV service providers provide service to the remaining HDTV households

The research also contains a forecast for worldwide HDTV households through 2012.
According to In-Sat’s research, the number of US HDTV households, defined as households having both an installed HD-capable TV set and also receiving and watching HD programming, increased by almost 40 percent in 2008. However, the growth rate could well have been much larger.
"In the US, there are more than 39 million households with an installed HDTV set," according to Mike Paxton, an In-Stat analyst. "However, only 22 million of those are HDTV households, meaning that 17 million US households with an installed HDTV set are not watching HD programming."

Jessica Kostek is a channel editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Jessica’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek