Nielsen Finds Small Minority Of Viewers Watching True HD


Credit: Lee Jordan

Given the major hurdles media companies and consumers went through last year to get ready for the conversation to high-def signals, you would have thought that most people would at least be enjoying it by this point. But a study being released later this morning by Nielsen suggests that although 56 percent of U.S. households have HD TV, only finds a slim number of users actually taking advantage of it.

Only 13 percent of total day viewing on cable and 19 percent of viewing on broadcast television is “true HD” viewing, the audience measurement company said. That means, despite the billions of dollars that was spent buying HD sets, more than 80 percent of television viewing is still a standard definition experience. Nielsen cites:

— 44 percent of homes either do not have an HD set or an HD service.
— Because most HD homes have at least one non-HD TV set, about one-third of programming is viewed on a standard set.
— And even on HD sets, about 20 percent of viewing is through non-HD feeds.
— There also might be an ethnic or racial component. The rate of adoption of HD TV showed that roughly two-thirds of Asian households are set up to watch HD TV, compared to about half of African American homes.

Please join us today, Monday, Nov. 8th, in Los Angeles at our paidContent Entertainment: The Battle for the Digital Home, as Nielsen’s Cheryl Idell will discuss the evolution of the viewer.



ALSO…Enhanced Features my cable provider touts like “Start Over” is only available on the standard definition version of a channel.

AND television shows that are in HD during primetime are still in SD when available “on demand”.

My comments are not about knocking my cable provider, though Time Warner Cable does does suck, but to point out that for many of us HD TV owners we are limited in ” taking advantage of” our shining, new toy.


Here is my issue.
I just bought my 1st HD television and…
1. Many of the channels I typically watch don’t broadcast in HD…yet
2. I am /was a big Tivo user and I am not willing pay an additional $300 to get an HD TIVO.
So no Tivo has really cramped my viewing habits.

I would prefer to watch only or mostly in HD but I am constantly amazed by how many programs, even on an HD channel, are not HD.

So consequently I watch a lot of streamed content on my television.

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