Gaps Remain among HD ‘Homes’ and HD ‘Viewers’

More good news and not-so-good news on the HD front.

The good news is that several million more households in America became HD homes in 2008.

But the trend of a sizeable chunk of HD set owners not actually watching HD channels (whether they realize it or not) continues at a rather unsettling pace.

The number of mostly American and Japanese “HD households”—categorized as both possessing HD sets capable of viewing HD content via antenna, cable, DBS or fiber optics, as well as actually watching HD channels—jumped by nearly 40 percent in 2008, according to In-Stat, an analyst based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

But the real growth rate could have been considerably larger, it said. Although there are now more than 39 million households globally with “properly installed” HD screens, only about 56 percent (22 million) are considered HD households. Thus, as many as 17 million dwellings with HD sets are not watching HD programming. (The stats apparently assume no Blu-ray viewing, either.)

In-Stat said significant penetrations of HD currently are still found in only a handful of nations, notably Japan and America.

Read all of HD Notebookhere.