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Sports events a driving factor behind HDTV sales  (Source: Vizio)
High-definition console owners makeup 18 percent of HDTV purchases

Most gamers tend to be early adopters of technology. Those who own an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 know full well that a high-definition television is required in order to appreciate the visuals of the latest games to their fullest.

It should surprise few then to learn that of all consumers who purchased an HDTV in the past year, 18 percent of those were gamers buying the set just to connect either an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

As reported in findings from research firm Frank N. Magid Associates, 25 percent of U.S. households or 28 million now have at least one HDTV set, that up from a penetration of 20 percent in September 2007. 5.5 million homes introduced HDTV during the holiday and Super Bowl season. 3 million homes added  a second HDTV during the same period.

"Consumers who become accustomed to the sleek and contemporary appearance of their first HD set are now looking to bring that benefit into other rooms in their home," says Maryann Baldwin VP of Magid Media Futures.

While a growing number of homes may have televisions capable of displaying at least a 720p picture, some are still feeding their HDTVs standard definition signals. "However owning an HDTV set and actually viewing HD are still two very different pursuits for many," added Baldwin.

70 percent of HDTV owners have some form of access to high-definition content, while the remaining 30 percent cite costs and a limited number of channels available in high definition as reasons for not making the jump.

Three in ten households intends to purchase a new television, many of those HD capable, within the next year. Nearly a quarter of those who do not own an HDTV currently expressed that they feel it is important to be able to watch the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in high-definition.

Magid said that it conducted this online research among 1,235 consumers nationally representative of the U.S. online population, age 21 and over.

"Now that the early majority has joined the ranks of the HD adopters, the demographic makeup of the HD population is looking more like the overall U.S. TV viewing universe," says Jill Rosengard Hill, Magrid VP and managing director.

Product price and mass market adoption of HDTVs are inversely related. Thanks to value-oriented brands such as Vizio, which has overtaken traditional electronics giants such as Sony and Samsung in sales, consumers are finding the jump into high-definition more affordable than expected.





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