If you think getting high-definition TV here is tough, then spare some sympathy for our cousins over the pond. For despite the fact that 30 per cent of all US households now have HDTV sets, only 44 per cent of those use them to watch high-def TV. How so?

The chief reason, according to the US Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is that many Americans don't want to pay the subscription charges involved. Others simply aren't interested in the technology. They've arguably only bought a big, flat panel TV because they needed to replace an existing set. While the final group are perhaps the most benighted of all - they simply can't tell whether they have high-def TV or not.

The results come from a CEA members-only survey called "HDTV: You Have the Set, But Do You Have the Content?" CEA Research Director Joe Boyd said in a statement:

"Consumers are satisfied overall with HDTV. But our studies indicate continued education is necessary to ensure consumers truly understand how to receive the full HD experience."