More on Nielsen’s Surprising HD Viewer Numbers…

The Nielsen Company surprised a lot of industry observers last week when it issued its first big batch of quarterly ratings of HD viewers in several markets (HD Notebook, Oct. 31, 2007).

Among other things, the rating firm’s figures were noticeably lower than estimates put up by the Consumer Electronics Association, which have been widely quoted for months in both mainstream and trade media.

According to Nielsen, the highest percentages of “HD Receivable” dwellings (those homes actually viewing at least one HD channel) were in New York (17.5 percent) and Los Angeles (17.1 percent), the nation’s top two DMAs. Additional Nielsen numbers for other major/large markets in chronological order (based on highest percentage of HD Receivable homes) include:

  • Washington (Hagerstown, Md.) 16.8%
  • Boston (Manchester, N.H.) 16.2%
  • Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) 15.6%
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth 15%
  • Philadelphia 14.9%
  • Chicago 14%
  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose 13.3%
  • Houston 13.2%
  • Atlanta 12.5%
  • Seattle-Tacoma 12.2%
  • Detroit 11%

As for “HD Capable” homes, all the DMAs noted above again scored no higher percentage than the teens, except for Los Angeles (20.4 percent).

Meanwhile, the CEA told HD Notebook it was sticking with its own higher figures, which still include:


2007 – 32% (as of July 2007)
2008 – 36%
2009 – 47%


2007 – 44%