The 80's Were the Decade Of The Cable Guy

Categories: TV Ratings Reference

Written By

July 26th, 2009

cableguy

In another in a series of nuggets from the latest Nielsen Television Audience Report is this chart that shows all sorts of TV related adoption trends (click for a larger copy).

TV HH data

Some things that jumped out at me:

  • The 80's really were the decade of the cable guy, few people were wired in 1980, by 1990 more than half the population was. The 90's weren't so bad either, but the 21st century has belonged to the satellite guys.
  • The VCR adoption curve is impressive, but I think the DVD player was even faster. This limited chart is all I've got for DVD adoption prior to 2006.
  • It surprises me that video game console penetration has stagnated in the last few years and that apparently almost all new sales have been replacements.

Here are all the Nielsen notes:

Growth of Television Ownership & Trends in Television Ownership (page 3, 4)
Percent of Television Household statistics are based on The Nielsen Company Estimates.  All universe estimates are based on prior
July, projected to January, except where noted below.
Broadcast Only:  Households that only have the capability to receive TV reception “over the air.”  These households have neither
Cable nor ADS.
Wired Cable:  Households with one or more television sets that receive TV programming through a hard wired cable hook-up.
Estimates for 1970-75, February-March.
Cable Plus ADS:  Households with one or more television sets that receive TV programming through a hard wired cable hook-up or
an Alternate Delivery system.
Cable Plus ADS with Pay: Homes with wired cable and/or homes with ADS plus any pay channels for which the service provider
normally charges an extra premium.
Total ADS:  Households that receive TV reception from an Alternate Delivery system.  ADS Households that also have cable are in-
cluded.
ADS is comprised of the following four types of systems:
1) DBS (Direct Broadcast Satellite): A satellite service whose signal is delivered directly to a viewer’s home via the use of the
viewer’s own earth station dish.  DBS is different from traditional satellite systems because subscribers use a smaller more
versatile dish to receive programming at higher frequencies (KU-Band).  DBS includes systems referred to as DSS.
2) Large Satellite Dish:  Households receive their TV signal through a large satellite dish, usually 4 feet or more in diameter.
3) SMATV (Satellite Master Antenna Television): SMATV usually serves a housing complex or hotel.  The TV signals are
received via satellite and over the air broadcast stations and distributed to the units by coaxial cable.
4) MMDS (Multi-channel Multi-point Distribution Systems): Households use a specialized antenna and converter combination
to receive TV signals.  This technology is a carrier service for short distance line of sight transmission of TV programming to
selected locations.
Digital Cable:  Household with one or more television sets that receive TV programming through a digital cable set-top box.
DBS:  Direct Broadcast Satellite is a service whose signal is delivered directly to a viewer’s home via the use of the viewer’s own earth
station dish.  DBS is different from traditional satellite systems because subscribers use a smaller more versatile dish to receive pro-
gramming at higher frequencies (KU-Band).  DBS includes systems referred to as DSS.
DVR:  Households that have at least one television set with a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) attached.  A DVR is a consumer device
which records video programming from a television set.
HD Receivable:  A home that is equipped with an HD television and HD tuner and receives at least one HD network or station (based
on estimates from November 2007).
HD Capable:  A home that is equipped with an HD television and HD tuner capable of displaying HD content (based on estimates from
November 2007).
HD Display Capable:  A home that is equipped with an HD television that is capable of displaying HD content (based on estimates
from February 2008).
Multi-Set:  Households with two or more operable television sets.
DVD:  Households that have at least one TV set with a DVD player attached.
Video Games: Includes homes that have at least one TV set with a videogame console attached.  Online and handheld videogames
are not included.
VCR:  Households that have at least one television set with a VCR attached.  Prior to 2002, based on prior May.
Remote Control:  Discontinued to be reported as of 2008 estimates; see previous TVA for historical statistics.
Color Television:  Discontinued to be reported as of 2008 estimates; see previous TVA for historical statistics.

 
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