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Nearly 70% of U.S. Homes Have HDTVs: Leichtman Research

The number of HDTV in U.S. households continues to rise, hitting 69%, according to new consumer research from Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LRG), up from 17% in 2006.

 That means 52% of U.S. homes have adopted it in the last five years.

The survey also found that a growing number homes have multiple HD sets, with 48% of HDTV households having more than one HDTV. Overall, about one-third of all U.S. households now have multiple HDTV sets -- up from about one-sixth of all households two years ago, and 4% five years ago.

Yet about 45% of TV sets in HD households, and close to 60% of all TV sets in the US, are not HDTVs, which means a great deal of viewing still occurs in standard-definition.

"In just the past five years, over half of all US households have adopted HDTV, bringing the total to nearly 70% of all households having at least one HDTV set" said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. "While lower prices have helped to expand the base of HD households, and those who have multiple HDTV sets, still close to 60% of all TV sets in US households are not HDTVs -- this provides ample opportunity for the sale of more HDTV sets going forward."

The findings are based on a survey of 1,302 households throughout the United States for the new LRG study, "HDTV and 3D TV 2011." It is the ninth annual iteration of the HD study.

The survey also found relatively robust demand for new HD sets, despite poor economic conditions. About 21% of all households purchased a new TV set in the past 12 months, and 19% of all households plan to purchase a new TV set in the next 12 months.

But the survey found sluggish growth in 3D sets. Less than 3% of all U.S. households currently have an HDTV set that is 3D-capable -- and 45% of this group do not watch any content in 3D.

In terms of demand for 3D sets, nearly 80% of adults in the U.S. have heard of 3D TV. But of those who have heard of 3D TV, only 5% are very interested in getting a 3D TV.

In other findings, the report notes that higher income groups are much more likely to have HD sets, prices for HD sets continue to drop and that the amount of HD programming continues to increase.

About 85% of those with annual household incomes over $75,000 have an HDTV compared to only 47% for those households with incomes below $30,000. About two thirds (67%) of homes with incomes of $30,000-$75,000 had HD sets.

Mean reported spending on an HDTV sets was about $940, a drop of about 23% from two years ago, and about half the cost five years ago.

Respondents who get their HD programing from a cable, satellite or telco provider reported a significant increase in the number of HD channels, with the mean number of HD channels hitting 75. That is up from 28 five years ago and about 53 channels two years.