HDTV Has Become Simply TV

HDTV penetration in US households is climbing so steadily that it’s apparently no longer deemed necessary to mention the high-def part.

According to Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV Market Research for DisplaySearch, “HDTV has simply become TV, with nearly every consumer either owning or understanding the benefits of HDTV and desiring to become an owner”.

He went on to say: “As HDTVs becomes mainstream, the TV supply continues to benefit and prosper. The outlook for growth is still very positive, but it is critical that the industry continues to focus on refinement.”

Speaking after DisplaySearch’s recent HDTV Conference, Gagnon noted that the transition to HDTV was well underway and many households were now watching their favorite programs in HD.

Content and distribution were expanding the selection of HD programming, further encouraging the adoption of HDTVs.

However, before anyone gets complacent, Gagnon pointed out that there was still a substantial number of homes without HDTVs – or other rooms in the homes of HDTV owners that could be upgraded – leaving a substantial market opportunity.

HD downloads were among other topics covered at the two-day conference.

Delegates were told the dreams of the industry about HD via broadband for connected TVs would remain dreams, until the infrastructure is improved.

It was pointed out, though, that there were increasing demands from consumers for new connected applications and these were evolving rapidly.

The overall adoption of digital downloads is also growing but remains fairly low in comparison to other methods of consuming video, the conference heard.

The number of devices that can play back digital downloads is increasing, with game consoles, standalone set-tops, and BD players now part of the mix.

However, DisplaySearch’s Paul Erickson said that a primary limitation to HD downloads was broadband – both penetration and speed.

He said it would be some time before digital downloads catch on as mainstream consumers shift their disc-based consumption behavior gradually.

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