HDTV purchases up, HD viewing down

Manufacturers have helped convince consumers to purchase high-definition TVs, but actual viewership of HD content has left content makers and content producers confused about the changing market.

Research group Nielsen indicates more than half of US homes have at least one HDTV, although overall viewership of HD content remains significantly lower.

Sports programming remains the highest percentage of HD content being viewed on the networks, with 21% of TV homes watching HD sports. About 28% of people between 18 and 34 years of age watch HD sports and just 2 percent of viewers between 35 and 64 watch sports in HD.

HDTV purchases up, HD viewing down

HD sporting events on ESPN and other channels helped HD viewership gain new attention, but selling the technology has been increasingly difficult. Fifteen percent of all HD-ready households watched news in HD, with the 35-64 demographic representing 20 percent of the demographic watching HD news.

HD market penetration is expected to increase over the next few years, especially as HD channels are more widely substituted for SD channels. Another consideration will be when today’s adolescent and teenage populations begin switching from SD to HDTVs — something analysts expect to accelerate in the future.

I watch as much content as I could in HD, but that’s only because I spend a large amount of time sitting at a desk next to a TV. After recently switching from Comcast to AT&T, the addition of HDNet will help increase the amount of HD content I watch.

I watch a large amount of sports and news content in HD — and have plenty of access to HD content already — if only companies stopped adding useless channels as a perk, and instead tried lowering prices a few dollars every month.