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Study Shows Low Awareness Of Ultra HDTV

Durham, N.H. — Although 77 percent of all U.S. households now have at least one HDTV set, and 46 percent have more than one, only 30 percent of U.S. adults have heard of the newer Ultra HD TV technology and only one-third of them have ever seen one.

The findings were part of a Leichtman Research Group study released late last week, indicating the consumer electronics industry has its work cut out in bringing the public up to Ultra HD speed.

Of the 10 percent of people who have seen an Ultra HDTV, 28 percent are “very interested” in buying one  and 15 percent of all who have heard of it are “very interested” in getting it, the study found.

Similar to another recent CEA consumer study on Ultra HDTV awareness, the findings suggest the need to get consumers into stores to see an Ultra HD demonstration.

On a positive note, 77 percent of homes now have at least one HDTV and 46 percent have more than one, where just five years ago, 34 percent of U.S. homes reported having an HDTV and 11 percent had more than one.

That indicates that when consumers catch on to new high-resolution TV technology, they do so quickly. But complicating matters for TV retailers and manufacturers is that a tremendous number of sets were sold into homes in that short five-year span, indicating that the HDTV replacement cycle may not be as urgent as some other studies have suggested.

About 72 percent of TV sets used in HD households are HDTVs. Including non-HDTV households, 59 percent of all television sets used in U.S. households are HDTVs — up from 34 percent in 2010, 18 percent in 2008, and 3 percent in 2004.

The findings were based on a survey of 1,231 U.S. households.

Other related findings include:

  • Eight-eight percent with annual household incomes more than $50,000 have an HDTV, compared with 68 percent with household incomes less than $50,000.
  • Among those getting HD programming from a cable, satellite or telco provider, the perceived mean number of channels of HD programming is 82, up from 42 five years ago.
  • Fourteen percent of households have a smart TV set that is connected to the Internet, including 3 percent of households that have more than one connected smart TV. Connected Smart TVs account for about 7 percent of all television sets used in U.S. households.
  • Twenty-two percent of all households purchased a TV set in the past 12 months — an annual level that has been fairly consistent for the past decade.

“At the same time that consumers are acquiring an increasing number of devices that allow them to watch video anywhere and anytime, television sets in the home are getting bigger and better,” noted Bruce Leichtman, Leichtman Research Group president and principal analyst. “Nearly 60 percent of TV sets used in U.S. households are now HD sets, up from less than 20 percent just five years ago.”