Survey: HD Now in Third of U.S. Homes

About one-third of all American TV households (34 percent) currently own at least one HD set, although the problem persists that a lot of people think they are watching HD quality when they are not, according to Leichtman Research Group. Still, the new penetration figures represent about twice as many HD households in the nation as two years ago.

More than one-fifth of all homes (22 percent) bought their first HD sets within the past year—with an estimated 43 percent of this group spending more than $1,000 for the purchase.

The survey of about 1,300 households also indicates that 18 percent of all HD homes erroneously believe they are watching HD programming. In fact, only 58 percent of HD households questioned in the study actually subscribe to HD programming packages (up slightly from a year ago).

"That 18 percent buy their new sets but are not told [at point-of-purchase] that they need to do anything different in order to watch actual HD programming," Leichtman told HD Notebook. "They're excited with the new purchase and that 16-by-9 picture and they don't question whether it looks right or not—partly because they have just spent a lot of money on that new set and they don't want to be disappointed."