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More than three-quarters of US households have an HDTV set – up 14 per cent from last year – according to a study by Nielsen. What’s more is that nearly 40 per cent of those homes have multiple HD sets. The figure is likely to continue to trend upwards as bulky standard definition sets are swapped out for sleeker and more technologically-sophisticated models.
Not all HD is equal, though. In May 2012, 61 per cent of all prime viewing was done on an HD set, but that does not necessarily denote actual HD viewing was happening. “True” HD, using an HD set top box or tuner in a home that receives HD channels and actually tuned to an HD signal, is the only way to experience legitimate HD. During that same month, 29 per cent of English-language broadcast prime viewing and 25 per cent of cable prime viewing was “True HD.” The gap between HD potential and true HD viewing leaves a wide berth for consumers to bridge.
The study also noted that among cable networks, as expected, sports and entertainment genres are more likely to be viewed in HD as compared to news and kids programming.