According to a recent report from Nielsen, 56-percent of U.S. homes have both HD TVs and high-def service. Despite that fact, more than 80-percent of programming in the U.S. is viewed in standard definition
. Calling this number shocking is a bit of an understatement. The American public has pumped billions of dollars into the electronics industry by purchasing HD TVs, and now most popular shows, sporting events and channels are available in HD. Nielsen attributes some of the discrepancy to the fact that most homes still have at least one non-HD set, and a full third of programming is still viewed on these standard-def displays. But research showed that 20-percent of programming watched on HD-capable sets was in standard definition.
The percentage of broadcasts watched in HD will climb as homes phase out aging standard-def sets. But, given the new dominance of high-def programming (especially in sports), it's still surprising that Americans are watching four out five shows in SD.