HDTV for $.37 an Hour

A report from Nielsen Media Research states that the average American home has 2.73 televisions, but only 2.55 people. The Nielsen also reports that the average person watches about four and a half hours of TV each day.

Okay, let’s do some math about HDTV watching. Let’s assume that someone pays $2,000 (to pick a round number) for a large screen HDTV. They pay $100 a month (again, a round number) for HD digital cable service. Let’s assume that the .55 other people in the home are watching the 1.73 other televisions, so we have two people watching the HDTV for 4.5 hours a day apiece. And let’s assume that they keep the TV and the service for five years.

The total cost of the TV and the HD service over the five years will be $8,000. The set will be watched 8,212.5 hours per person, for a total of 16,425 people-hours. That works out to less than $.37 per person-hour of watching. A football game will cost a little more than a dollar. A movie will cost less than $.60. Sure, it’s not free, but when you break it down this way, it doesn’t sound all that expensive either.