According to figures from the Nielsen Company 13.7% of TV households in the United States are equipped with an HD television set and HD tuner capable of receiving signals in HD, while 11.3% are equipped with an HD television and HD tuner and receive at least one HD network or station.
Los Angeles has the highest penetration of HD-capable homes, or 20.4%, and New York has the highest penetration of HD-receivable homes, 17.5%. Of 112,800,000 total TV households, 15,500,000 are HD capable and 12,730,000 are HD receivable.
In the United States HD programming is available via DTH platforms DirecTV and DISH Network, via cable systems and via DTT.
An earlier Nielsen survey found that HD set owners are much more satisfied with the picture quality of HD television than they are with the amount or selection of HD programming. Discovery HD is perceived as having the best picture.
According to Nielsen Media Research’s 2007 High Definition Survey, 85% of HD owners gave a 4 or 5 rating (with 5 meaning “excellent” and 1 meaning “poor”) for picture quality but only 39% provided the same rating for programming selection.
Women were slightly more positive about HD picture quality than men. There was no difference among cable vs. satellite subscribers. Respondents, in general, were less happy with the actual number of HD channels they receive, as fewer than 40% were somewhat or very satisfied with the amount or selection of HD programming. Women and older respondents—ages 50-plus—were most positive, while those with an HD-DVR unit were least satisfied with the HD channel selection.
Sports and movies are the categories most frequently watched in HD with only 12% of respondents indicating that they never watch movies in HD at home. Music and reality shows are the least frequently watched HD content. ESPN HD was the most popular sports channel, Discovery HD was the most watched channel for documentaries and HBO HD was the most watched channel for movies.