17% of US Households Have High Def Capable Set - Mainly Upscale Households

17% of US Households Have High Def Capable Set - Mainly Upscale Households

New consumer research from Leichtman Research Group found that the one in six households in the United States now have at least one high definition-capable TV (HDTV), an increase from about one out of every fourteen households just two years ago.

LRG's latest research, based on a survey of 1,300 households throughout the United States, revealed:

  • The mean annual household income of HDTV households is 42% above average
  • 26% of households with annual incomes of over $50,000 have an HDTV compared to 7% of households with annual incomes below $50,000
  • 26% of HDTV owners have more than one HDTV - up from 11% last year
  • 29% of HDTV owners are likely to get another HDTV in the next year - up from 18% last year
  • Only one-third of adults have heard of the digital TV transition, scheduled for February 17, 2009

Millions of HDTV sets have been sold in the US in the past year, says the report, and more homes than ever are actually watching HD programming. Yet even with the price of HD sets decreasing, the report concludes that growth of HD is being driven by those who can most afford to buy one, which in an increasing number of instances, includes households with more than one HDTV set. With just two and a half years to go before the digital TV transition takes place, two-thirds of Americans remain unaware of the pending analog cut-off, helping to explain why this deadline has had little impact on the purchase of HD and digital TVs to date.

Weith 26% of HDTV owners having more than one set, up from 11% last year, Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst of the Leichtman Research Group, says "What is developing is an HD divide. If I'm a marketer, I realize I'm not just selling to new customers. I'm selling to a lot of existing customers."

HDTV Ownership

Annual HH Income

Have an HDTV

Under $30,000


$30,000 - $50,000


$50,000 - $75,000


$75,000 - $100,000


Over $100,000


Source: LRGResearch, December 2006

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