Ramblings & ephemera

HDTV’s widely adopted by American households

From Alex Mindlin’s “Room to Grow as Homes Add HD TVs” (The New York Times: 21 November 2010):

High-definition televisions have entered American homes with startling speed; 56 percent of households now have at least some HD channels and an HD set, according to Nielsen. Among consumer technologies, that speed of adoption is rivaled only by the VCR.

But the average television viewer is still unlikely to watch television in high definition. One reason is that people watch some standard channels on their HD sets. But a more important reason for the low HD viewing rate is that most homes have several televisions, of which the HD set is only one.

“What we’re seeing,” [Pat McDonough, a senior television analyst at Nielsen] said, “is that people want a second high-definition set pretty quickly, once they get used to watching it.”

Indeed, in households with a single HD set, family members diverge from normal American viewing patterns; rather than migrating to their rooms at night to watch TV on separate sets, they cluster in the living room around the HD set.

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