Which? survey reveals HDTV impactThree quarters of Which? members own an HDTV

26 May 2010

Over three quarters of Which? members own an HDTV. But over a quarter don't watch any HD content.

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Which? surveyed over 10,000 of its online panel to measure the uptake of high definition TV. 

77% already own an HDTV

In May 2010 Which? asked 10,361 of its members whether they owned a flat-panel HDTV. Just over half said they owned an HD-ready TV, with a further 27% saying they had a higher resolution Full HD TV. Only one in five Which? members don't own an HDTV of some description. 

The figures reveal the huge popularity of slim-line flat-panel HDTVs, which only went on sale a few years ago. HD-ready models first became available in 2005 and Full HD 'HD-ready 1080p' TVs launched from 2007. 

To find out exactly how the latest TVs measure up against each other check our independent expert TV reviews.

Over a quarter don't watch any HD content

Despite the massive rise in HDTV ownership a sizeable chunk of respondents who owned HDTVs still don't watch any HD content. Over one in four said they didn't watch any HD programmes and 19% told us they didn't have any access to HD channels or Blu-ray discs at all.

Out of the majority who do watch HD the biggest chunk (22%) are glued to Sky HD, followed by 14% of respondents who said they watched the rival satellite service Freesat HD. Blu-ray is watched by 14% of HDTV owners according to the survey, but proved more popular for owners of Full HDTVs.

Which? researcher Mike Briggs said, 'Though there's still a significant minority who don't actually watch high definition content on their HDTVs, we expect that number to keep dropping. The arrival of Freeview HD and its roll out across the country over the next two years means many more people will have access to free high definition content for the first time.'

For more information check our Freeview HD and Freesat HD guides.

Good news for 3D TV?

The huge uptake in HD TV could spell good news for the fledgling 3D TV market. Briggs said, 'When HD-ready TVs first hit the market they were expensive and HD content was thin on the ground. It was another year till Sky HD launched and a Best Buy 32-inch HD-ready TV cost around £1,000'.

'These days an equivalent Best Buy HD TV costs around a third of that, and HD content is far more common. The similarities to 3D TV are striking. New 3D TVs are priced at a premium and finding 3D content to watch is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.'

For more information on 3D TV check out our essential 3D TV guide.

HD TV reviews

Which? independently buys all products that it tests in its Which? labs - including over 100 HDTVs every year, from leading brands Sony, Panasonic, LG and Samsung.

For help choosing the best television check out Which?'s in-depth, lab-based TV reviews

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