HDTV still a “rich man’s” game

Four percent of Americans have HDTV sets and that number will grow as higher-income buyers are encouraged to adopt the technology by falling set prices, according to new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group in Durham, N.H.

Who has an HDTV? A new study says higher-income Americans will soon be shopping for HDTV sets such as Panasonic's 42" HDTV plasma TV. (Pictured)

The research, entitled “HDTV: Awareness, Interest and Intent to Purchase,” also revealed that those who currently own HDTV sets have an average household income that’s 73 percent above average and that those who are most likely to buy an HDTV set in the next 12 months have income that’s 54 percent above average.

Leichtman Research Group conducted the research via telephone. The group contacted 1,250 randomly selected U.S. households where cable television is available.

According to the survey, of those earning more than $75,000 annually 89 percent have heard of HDTV, 12 percent have an HD-capable set and 13 percent are “very familiar with HDTV” but don’t have an HD set. Eleven percent are getting and have investigated an HDTV set in the past six months and seven percent expect to spend more that $1,000 on a new TV set in the coming year.

Of those survey respondents earning less than $75,000, 69 percent had heard of HDTV, two percent have an HD-capable set, six percent are very familiar with HDTV, four percent have looked into getting an HDTV set in the past six months and three percent expect to pay more than $1,000 for a TV in the next year.

Other findings include:

  • Nine percent of DBS subscribers in areas with cable TV say they own an HD-capable set, compared to four percent of cable subscribers
  • Thirteen percent of DBS subscribers say they are very familiar with HDTV, compared to eight percent of cable subscribers
  • Forty-three percent of those who have an HDTV set, or are very interested in getting an HDTV set in the next year, would be very likely to spend $9.95/month for an HD programming package
  • Twenty-six percent of consumers who plan to purchase a TV set in the next year expect to spend more than $1,000

By the end of 2007, the group forecasts 33 million U.S. households will be HDTV capable.

For more information, please visit www.LeichtmanResearch.com.

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