Nielsen HD Survey Parrots Mark Cuban

Categories: New TV Technology

Written By

October 4th, 2007

HDTV

Nielsen conducted a survey which essentially boiled down to this:  people who have HDTV's and have bothered to get some HD content, LOVE the way it looks.  What bothers them is that there isn't enough content available in HD.  We've heard this song before and even hummed a few bars of it ourselves.

While I personally agree with the sentiment, things are getting better.  I was ecstatic to find out Comcast had added TBS' HD channel to the package and I was able to watch the MLB divisional playoffs in crystal clear HD.  

More interestingly to me was this: Nielsen only surveyed people who were actually getting HD Content and the problem is, most people with HDTV's are not.  Why not survey the greater than 50% who don't and ask, "Hey, you just spent a fat wad of cash on an HDTV, why aren't you subscribing to some content!?"  It could be that the perception is there is not enough content available -- or it could be that the whole thing is just way too confusing to people.  Either way, it would be good to know.

But of the 511 people they surveyed who are receiving HD, as expected only a small percentage of them (~6%) are getting it via "Over the Air" broadcast (rabbit ears, for you young ones).  Cable as we expected is way out in front with 60% of the responses coming from people who subscribe to a cable HD package and 31% via a satellite provider.

Maybe next time Nielsen will have opined on what might get the more than 50% of HDTV owners who are getting NO HD content to actually subscribe to some. Since those who do subscribe say they enjoy the content more and watch more as a result.  It was painful watching the Cubs lose in the playoffs again, but it sure did look good!  Not surprisingly, as in my house, sports is the most-watched genre in HD.

Here's the release from Nielsen (be patient, their site isn't known for blazing speed).  If your patience is waning try this: HD Content Lacking.

 
  • http://yahoo.com Eva G.

    I love flat LCD and Plasma screens, but HDTV is overated! However, it is so wrong for people who buy an HDTV, to not have HD content, because the screen's quality seriously sucks without it. Furthermore, if the shows are using HD cameras, and broadcasting in HD, why do the consumers have to pay twice for the HD experience?

  • http://yahoo.com Eva G.

    I love flat LCD and Plasma screens, but HDTV is overated! However, it is so wrong for people who buy an HDTV, to not have HD content, because the screen’s quality seriously sucks without it. Furthermore, if the shows are using HD cameras, and broadcasting in HD, why do the consumers have to pay twice for the HD experience?

  • Robert Seidman

    Technically if you live somewhere where you get good reception via antenna, you can receive the HD signals from the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, etc) over the air. I don't see there being a high crossover between people buying a plasma screen and having rabbit ears or an antenna on their roof. With cable, it may be a little more expensive for the cable companies to carry the HD channels and you need a new set top box that's different from normal digital cable.

    With satellite you not only pay once for the tv, and then twice for the content, you pay 3 times for a set-top box, and 4 times for a special antenna on your roof. I suspect that's why twice as many people get their HD via Cable in the Nielsen survey.

    Though I am and have been an HD fan boy for going on 5 years now, I'm with you that it's sort of overrated and on top of it it's way too complex and expensive still. It does improve the viewing experience though especially for sports and movies — and you can't get ESPN HD via rabbit ears.

    It's not gonna make a bad show any better, but it will at least look better.

  • Robert Seidman

    Technically if you live somewhere where you get good reception via antenna, you can receive the HD signals from the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, etc) over the air. I don’t see there being a high crossover between people buying a plasma screen and having rabbit ears or an antenna on their roof. With cable, it may be a little more expensive for the cable companies to carry the HD channels and you need a new set top box that’s different from normal digital cable.

    With satellite you not only pay once for the tv, and then twice for the content, you pay 3 times for a set-top box, and 4 times for a special antenna on your roof. I suspect that’s why twice as many people get their HD via Cable in the Nielsen survey.

    Though I am and have been an HD fan boy for going on 5 years now, I’m with you that it’s sort of overrated and on top of it it’s way too complex and expensive still. It does improve the viewing experience though especially for sports and movies — and you can’t get ESPN HD via rabbit ears.

    It’s not gonna make a bad show any better, but it will at least look better.

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