Number of HD households grows, but service still only available in a few countries

The number of households watching HDTV programming continues to rise rapidly, according to market research firm In-Stat.

Households with HDTV service, which are defined as homes with an HDTV set that receive and watch HD programming, are projected to grow from 15 million in mid-2006 to 20.3 million at the end of 2006.

The impressive household growth is tempered by the fact that it is occurring in only a few countries, the firm said. On a more positive note, several new countries introduced HDTV service this year.

Recent In-Stat research finds:

  • As of mid-2006, the United States and Japan accounted for 91 percent of all worldwide HDTV households. Other countries with significant numbers of HDTV households include Canada, Australia and South Korea.
  • The number of worldwide HDTV households is expected to spike during the next few years as new markets for HD services, particularly in Europe, open up.
  • By the end of 2009, HDTV households will exceed 55 million.
  • In the United States, there is still a “disconnect” between HD services and the penetration of HDTV sets. Currently, one-third of U.S. households with HD-capable TV sets are actually using them to watch HD programming.

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