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Study: HDTV reaching mainstream, but consumer ed problems persist

Sun, 11/21/2004 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Signaling that high-definition television is creeping into the mainstream, U.S. homes with an HD-capable set nearly doubled in the past year to 7 percent at the end of the third quarter, according to new data from Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG).

LRG also found that HDTV adoption continues to skew toward higher-income consumers, with the mean household income of HDTV owners at $80,000 per year, down from $95,000 last year.

Despite those trends, HDTV continues to struggle in the consumer education department. Most consumers with HD-capable sets are not watching HD programming, but they still think they are.

Just how many? Although 65 percent of HDTV owners say they are receiving a hi-def signal from cable or DBS, LRG's survey of 1,300 U.S. homes show that the true figure is about half that.

Still, the message about the eye-popping attributes of HDTV is getting out. According to LRG, 86 percent of U.S. adults have heard of HD, up from 74 percent last year.

LRG is forecasting that 10 million U.S. homes will have an HDTV by year-end, and grow to 45 million by 2008.

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