NYT cites 'Fast Adoption' of HD

Last Sunday's edition (May 23) of The New York Times featured a generally glowing assessment of the advent of HD in the United States and in doing so, profiled an early HD adopter in the market with the second highest HD home penetration in America—KHOU-TV in Houston (DMA 10).

The highest HD home penetration belongs to Washington, D.C. (DMA 9), the NYT said.

Under a headline claiming "Crystal-Clear, Maybe Mesmerizing," the paper said fully half the United States (51.7 percent) is now watching television in HD, calling it "the fastest adoption of TV technology since the VCR hit store shelves in the 1980s."

And in a sort of progress report on HD's relatively rapid adoption, the paper targeted KHOU-TV's news team for helping lead the transition in the Southwest.

Also, the publication cited a stat that's garnered little attention within and outside the industry lately: "HD lures viewers to TV for longer periods of time." According to Nielsen, it said, HD households watch about 3 percent more primetime programming than their SD counterparts. (While most weeks contain a maximum of 22 primetime hours, we're not sure if that slight bump in viewing also includes watching primetime content on DVR within Nielsen's allotted ratings timeframe.)

The NYT concludes that "the sudden growth in [HD] viewing has happened with little fuss for consumers, who simply swapped out their TV sets and set-top boxes. But behind the scenes, HD is nothing short of a revolutionary upgrade for the television business, involving hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in new cameras, studios and control rooms. It has even changed the way local anchors apply their makeup…"

According to KHOU-TV co-anchor Sherry Williams, "High-def is like being under a magnifying glass lit up by a flashlight."