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Study: Disconnect Between HDTV Owners, HD Services

24 Nov, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Only 66% of HDTV owners are subscribing to any type of high-definition programming, a large gap that’s relatively unchanged from 2008, according to a consumer survey from Frank N. Magid Associates.

More than a third of all American households report owning at least one HDTV, and that number could actually be closer to 43%, as some consumers may be unaware that their new plasma or LCD is high-def, the report suggests.

Cable and satellite operators are missing out on getting high-def service to at least 14 million HDTV households, Magid estimates, though a third of respondents said they did not want to pay for HD programming.

“The disparity between HDTV ownership and service adoption reveals challenges for programmers,” said Maryann Baldwin, VP of Magid Media Futures. “Some consumers were driven to purchase HDTVs under the erroneous assumption that they would be prepared for the digital transition, and didn't buy an HDTV set for the value of the programming in the first place.”

Study authors suggest that marketing problems for HDTVs persists, with 13% of respondents saying that have not heard of high-def.

Sixteen percent of respondents said they may sign up for satellite HD service in the next six months, while 22% said they may sign up for cable HD offerings during the same period of time.

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