Nearly one-quarter of U.S. TV households own HDTVs

According to figures released this week from Nielsen, the city with the highest percentage of HD households is the nation’s capital, while the city with the lowest is Detroit

As of the end of November, 23.3 percent of all U.S. TV households owned HDTVs, up more than 13 percent from July 2007, according to Nielsen.

Among the 18 largest local markets, Washington, D.C., has the highest HDTV penetration, with 31.1 percent of homes receiving HD. Boston and New York follow with penetrations of 30.5 percent and 30.2 percent, respectively. Detroit has the lowest HDTV penetration with 20.9 percent of homes, Nielsen said.

Nielsen also looked at the types of programming that are most popular in households that receive HDTV signals, comparing that to households without HDTV capability. Sporting events have the highest index of viewing in HDTV households, with HDTV receivable and capable homes watching 54 percent more sports than households that are not HDTV capable.

Other genres that are popular with HDTV households include political programming and awards shows.

The estimates are based on Nielsen field staff review of all equipment to identify TV sets that are capable of receiving and displaying HD pictures as well as those that are actually receiving those signals.

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