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2008 HDTV Year in Review


There’s been a whole lot of HDTV activity this year, and with only 16 days left in 2008, I think it’s a good time to take a look back.

First, a new report out by Nielsen says that 23.3 percent of US households now own an HDTV. That’s more than double the number of HD households a year and a half ago. I can suggest a few reasons for the massive growth: steep discounts on HDTV sets, more HD content available, and the upcoming digital TV transition.

Next, let’s take a look at HD services in 2008. Earlier this year Motorola passed the 15 million mark for the number of HD set-tops shipped. Combine that with the fact that video service providers continue to one-up each other with claims of more HD content, and we have a clear indicator that HDTV is an important commodity.

On the programmer side, not only are networks broadcasting more HD video,  but the avant-garde is making the move to all HD content. Maybe that goes in the 2009 file, but the impetus came in 2008.

Finally, this year marked the start of an HD video recording trend.  New inexpensive HD camcorders make it easy for anyone to shoot an HD video and upload it to YouTube. That has tremendous implications on the quality of video that consumers will begin to expect even online – not to mention, the huge  impact it will have on downstream and upstream bandwidth requirements.

All in all, it was a big year for HDTV. And 2009 promises more of the same.