Post I.T. - Washington Post Technology Blog Frank Ahrens Sara Goo Sam Diaz Mike Musgrove Alan Sipress Yuki Noguchi Post I.T.
Tech Podcast
The Bloggers
Subscribe to this Blog

Who's Watching HD?

Many of you may not realize that having a high-definition TV set doesn't mean you're watching High-Def TV.You need an HD antenna (or an HD receiver from your cable or satellite company) to pick up that crystal clear picture.

The Consumer Electronics Association reports 28 million U.S. homes with HD sets. But it's unclear how many are actually watching HD programming. According to, Nielsen will start tracking the number of High-Definition homes this November, with the first set of data becoming avalable in January. Just as advertisers want to know the viewing habits (and demographics) of digital video recorder customers who are fast-forwarding through commercials (or rewinding to watch again), they also want to know who is watching HD.

By Sam Diaz  |  April 27, 2007; 11:37 AM ET  | Category:  Sam Diaz
Previous: A Global Blackberry | Next: Neighborhood Blogging

Add Post I.T. to Your Site
Stay on top of the latest Post I.T. news! This easy-to-use widget is simple to add to your own Web site and will update every time there's a new installment of Post I.T.
Get This Widget >>


Please email us to report offensive comments.

As a part of getting the HD set, we upgraded the cable to get the HD receiver, and all the HD channels. Some are 'better' than others - the inHDnet channels are amazing; some of the sports events and DiscoveryHD

Posted by: Anonymous | April 27, 2007 12:16 PM

Who gets HD and watches SD? I'd say that I'm watching HD 85% of the time. Doesn't matter if I've seen something on regular Discovery 8000 times, if it's on in HD, I'm there!

Though the content of network programming still stinks, the expensive TV didn't fix that.

Posted by: Kim | April 27, 2007 2:44 PM

Comcast has seen fit to get rid of a couple HDNET channels and replace them with HDTNT and the like. I do like the addition of the HD Discovery channel.

As for not having HD, why spend $1500-$5000 and up on a TV that only runs in 480p or possibly 720 stretched? I only have 10 or so channels in HD (less when the local channels aren't showing HD shows) but it's money well spent.

Posted by: Sterling Park | April 27, 2007 3:17 PM

"Many of you may not realize that having a high-definition TV set doesn't mean you're watching High-Def TV"

Yeah, cause we're just that stupid. Speaking of which...

"You need an HD antenna"

No, you do NOT need an "HD antenna". Rabbit ears will work just as well as an expensive "HD antenna" (assuming you can get a decent signal to begin with the rabbit ears).

The Post's tech columns/blogs (which were never that techy to begin with) are really going downhill...

Posted by: Ged | April 27, 2007 4:49 PM

Since baseball cameramen home in on the pitcher's left nostril before each pitch, I don't relish the idea of watching baseball games on HD and counting nose hairs. As HD becomes more and more prevalent, the "impressionistic" beauty of TV will diminish and we'll be forced to watch perfectly painted faces on actresses and short-bearded macho dudes. Not good.

Posted by: flute | April 28, 2007 9:22 AM

first i check the 19 or so HD channels(including OTA networks) offered by my cable co. "Brighthouse". so far i've been pretty satisfied w/ the channels i get. recently i got the addition of HD movies on demand, very cool though i've not checked them out. pretty much if i want to see something in SD i watch on on a different TV w/ out an HD cable box. i love the concerts, many of the movies & series they offer. Planet Earth was just stunning in HD. i want more!!!

p.s. i've only watched about 3 sports events in the 2 years i've had my HDTV...... didn't do sports before, didn't spend that money to watch sports.

Posted by: dk jones | May 1, 2007 8:03 AM

For those that are skeptical... you'd be surprised by how many people DO buy an HD tv, take it home, plug it right in where the old TV was, and think they're watching "HD"- but they aren't, because they don't have an HD signal (whether from a cable box, satellite, or over-the-air HD antenna/tuner setup.)

And Ged, the point of saying you need an "HD antenna" isn't to sell the overpriced antennas; the point (that the author made, badly) is that you need to get an antenna to pull in an HD *signal*.

Go in some time and talk with someone who knows their stuff at a higher end A/V store, or even a Best Buy or something. Find yourself an installer. You'd be shocked by how many people ARE "stupid" enough that they aren't really watching HD.

(And it's not stupidity; it's ignorance. There's a difference; perfectly smart people can be ignorant. It took some explaining on my part to get my dad checked out on his HD setup.)

Posted by: Blue Eyed Buddhist | May 1, 2007 2:57 PM

BEB: Yeah, if the author had just said "antenna" rather than "HD antenna" then I wouldn't have gotten my hackles up. I suppose you are correct that it is ignorance rather than stupidty that would allow someone to just plug their analog cable into their high priced HDTV and think they are now watching in HD, though I have to say I do question the intelligence of someone who would spend that much money on a Hi Def TV, but not bother to inform themselves on just what "Hi Def" is...

Posted by: Ged | May 1, 2007 4:21 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2010 The Washington Post Company