More than 39 million US households have an HDTV set – and the figure keeps on rising.

Yet a sizeable proportion – 43 per cent or 17 million – either don’t have or don’t watch HD content.

A report from In-Stat has highlighted a "significant gap" between HDTV ownership and HD programming usage among US households.

It shows that the number of US HDTV households – defined as households having both an installed HD-capable TV set and also receiving and watching HD programming – increased by almost 40 per cent in 2008.

However, Mike Paxton, an In-Stat analyst, said the growth rate could have been much larger.

"In the US, there are more than 39 million households with an installed HDTV set," he said.

"However, only 22 million of those are HDTV households, meaning that 17 million US households with an installed HDTV set are not watching HD programming."

The In-Stat report comes as the number of households with an installed high-definition television continues to grow worldwide.

However, this installed base of households is decidedly biased to two countries: the US and Japan.

And while there are many in the US not taking full advantage of their HDTV sets, the US has 61 per cent of the global total of 36 million HDTV households.

Recent research by In-Stat also found the following:

  • On a global basis, HDTV service remains limited to a relatively small number of countries, primarily the US and Japan.
  • At year-end 2008, there were over 36 million HDTV households worldwide, up from 29 million at year-end 2007.
  • Even though the number of European HDTV households is rising, it will be 2011 before the number of HDTV households in that region reaches the 10 million mark.
  • Cable and satellite TV service providers provide HD programming to almost 80% of all HDTV households. Telco TV service providers and terrestrial broadcast TV service providers provide service to the remaining HDTV households.

Subscribe to our Newsletter