HDTV penetration exceeding 23%


With the Holiday electronics-buying season approaching, Nielsen reported that, as of 11/30, the penetration of high definition television (HDTV) reached 23.3% of all U.S. television households.   When Nielsen began tracking HDTV status in its People Meter samples in July of 2007, only 10% of homes had HDTV and this percentage has increased in each subsequent month (see Table 1).

Among the 18 largest local markets, Washington, D.C. has the highest HDTV penetration, with 31.1% of homes receiving high definition.  Boston and New York follow with penetrations of 30.5% and 30.2%, respectively.  Detroit has the lowest HDTV penetration: 20.9% of homes (see Table 2).

Nielsen also looked at the types of programming that are most popular in households that are receive HDTV signals, comparing that to households without HDTV capability.  Sporting events have the highest index of viewing in HDTV households, with HDTV receivable and capable homes watching 54% more sports than households that are not HDTV capable (see Table 3).

Other genres that are popular with HDTV households include political programming (25% more popular) and awards shows (10% more popular).

Nielsen’s HDTV estimates are available nationally and for all 56 metered markets.  The estimates are based on Nielsen Field staff review of all equipment to identify TV sets that are capable of receiving and displaying high definition pictures, as well as those that are actually receiving those signals.