LRG: 1/3 of U.S. households have at least 1 HDTV

Thu, 11/13/2008 - 7:10am
Traci Patterson

About one-third (34 percent) of U.S. households have at least one high-definition television (HDTV), which is nearly double the number of households that had HDTV sets two years ago.

The research comes from Leichtman Research Group (LRG), which found that the growth of HDTV sets was largely driven by on-going consumer purchasing of TV sets coupled with a dwindling supply of lower-end non-HDTV sets being sold.

“About 40 million US households now have at least one HDTV set, and LRG forecasts that this number will double over the next four years,” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for LRG. “While more people than ever before have HDTV sets, educating consumers on HD programming remains an issue.”

Other LRG research findings include:

  • Combined, 38 percent of HD owners say that replacing an old or broken set or wanting to buy a new TV set was the most important reason for getting their HDTV – compared with 22 percent citing picture quality, and 7 percent the quality of HD programming or the number of HD channels.
  • 44 percent of respondents with annual household incomes higher than $50,000 have an HDTV, compared with 20 percent with annual household incomes lower than $50,000.
  • 33 percent of HDTV owners have more than one HDTV set, and 25 percent are likely to get another HDTV set in the next year.
  • 9 percent of HD owners say that they switched multichannel video providers when they purchased their HDTV.
  • 42 percent of HDTV owners say that they were told how to receive HD programming when they purchased their set.
  • LRG estimates that about 58 percent of all HD households are now watching HD programming from a multichannel video provider – up from 53 percent last year. However, about 18 percent of individuals with an HDTV continue to think that they are watching HD programming, but are not.

In a different report by DisplaySearch, it was found that TV shipments in North America from manufacturers to retailers grew 6 percent, sequentially, in the third quarter, and grew 12 percent year-over-year, despite the struggling economy.

LCD and plasma TV shipments were the strongest, rising 21 percent and 20 percent year-over-year, respectively, with rear projection TVs declining more than 50 percent year-over-year.

The overall North American TV market growth in Q3 2008 was stronger than expected given the extremely strong growth of the previous quarter, and it seems to indicate that retailers maintained strong purchasing levels during the first couple of months during the quarter, before the retail demand difficulties emerged during the latter weeks of September, DisplaySearch said.

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