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France: HD Sales Jump by 70 Percent

Here’s something the French and Americans have in common (among other things, no doubt): A third of both nations’ households are technically equipped to view HD channels. Here’s something both countries don’t: Nearly half of all French homes have 16:9 screens, albeit not all of them are HD-capable.

Currently more than 9 million French households are equipped with DTV sets capable of viewing HD, according to a new study from GfK/Médiamétrie. In all, France has slightly more than 26 million TV households (which represent more than 98 percent of all French dwellings, which is also close to the American percentage).

The study found that in the past 12 months, more than 3.8 million French households have bought HD sets — representing a growth of 70 percent. (The study apparently did not gauge how many HD-ready French homes are actually viewing HD.)

But not all 16:9 widescreen sets are HD (especially in Europe), and the wider flat-screen models (both SD and HD) are now in an estimated 12.6 million French households. That represents nearly half (48 percent) of all French TV dwellings with 16:9 panels.

Still, despite similar percentages in some categories, there are more than four times as many TV households in the U.S. as in France.