More than one-third of U.S. homes now have HDTV

Thirty-four percent of U.S. households have at least one HDTV set, according to a new survey from Leichtman Research Group (LRG). That’s about 40 million U.S. households and double the percentage of households that had at least one HD set in 2006.

LRG estimates that about 58 percent of all HD households are now watching HD programming from a multichannel video provider — up from 53 percent last year. However, about 18 percent of individuals with an HDTV continue think that they are watching HD programming, but are not.

The findings are based on a survey of 1302 households throughout the country, and are part of a new LRG study, “HDTV 2008: Consumer Awareness, Interest and Ownership.” It’s LRG’s sixth annual study on the topic.

The Leichtman study found that the growth of HDTV sets has been driven by ongoing consumer purchasing of TV sets coupled with a dwindling supply of lower-end non-HDTV sets being sold. Overall, 22 percent of all households purchased a new TV set in the past 12 months, with 43 percent of this group spending more than $1000 on a new TV.

Among other findings in the report:

  • Combined, 38 percent of HD owners say that replacing an old/broken set or wanting to buy a new TV set was the most important reason for getting their HDTV, compared with 22 percent citing picture quality, and 7 percent the quality of HD programming or the number of HD channels.
  • 44 percent with annual household incomes over $50,000 have an HDTV compared with 20 percent with annual household incomes under $50,000.
  • 33 percent of HDTV owners have more than one HDTV set, and 25 percent are likely to get another HDTV set in the next year.
  • 9 percent of HD owners say that they switched multichannel video providers when they purchased their HDTV.
  • 42 percent of HDTV owners say that they were told how to receive HD programming when they purchased their set.

Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, said that while more people than ever before have HDTV sets, educating consumers on HD programming remains an issue.