HDTV Sets Overrun the Nation

 Just over one-third of U.S. TV households--around 40 million--have at least one high-definition television set, according to numbers from Leichtman Research Group, an outfit in Durham, N.H. The ratio has doubled compared to two years ago, the firm said. It expects it to double again in the next four years.

The growth was attributed to consumer adoption and the “dwindling supply of lower-end non-HDTV sets being sold.” Leichtman said more than one-fifth of U.S. households bought a TV in the last year, and of those, 43 percent spent more than $1,000.

Purchase drivers included set replacement (38 percent); picture quality (22 percent); HD program quality (7 percent).

Other numbers of moderate interest but rather obvious implication:
-- 44 percent of households making more than $50,000 have an HDTV, compared with 20 percent of those making less than $50,000.
-- 33 percent of HDTV owners have more than one HD set, and 25 percent of those plan on getting another one in the next year.
-- 9 percent subscribed to cable or satellite when they bought an HDTV.
-- 42 percent said they were told how to receive HD programming when they bought their sets.
-- 58 percent of HDTV owners are watching hi-def shows on cable or satellite.

The survey tapped 1,302 households, with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent.