The Leichtman Research Group's sixth annual survey on whether or not people can tell standard def from a high def hole in the ground shows that 18 percent of HDTV owners, um, can't. They all thought they were tuning into delicious HD programming when they were in fact looking at some not-so-delicious standard def stuff. Part of it, undoubtedly, is that it's not so easy to figure out how to get HD content up on your giant new TV—I wouldn't trust my mom to get it working. But I have to think if you're confusing the two, you either have never seen real HD (hey, in June, half of HDTV owners didn't know what Blu-ray was, which is the best way to get 1080p content), or you know, they're talking to senior citizens. Which is actually kinda possible, since phone surveys miss the young and upwardly (only) mobile crowd. [PC World]
I can see this. Even as a gadget freak geek, I bought an HDTV, upgraded my cable to digital so I can get HD, and never tuned into an HD channel for several months. Yeah I'm ashamed. Leave me alone.
In my defense, some of it had to do with the fact that my first HDTV was a 32" so the lack of HD goodness wasn't as blatant as it would've been if it were a bigger TV. Also, I'd never seen HD content up close before. And finally, I rarely watch TV, so I really didn't give a damn. All I had then was a DVD upconverter, which looked good enough on it, so I was happy.
Then, one day, as I was flipping through channels, I accidentally typed in the wrong channel... and got Discovery HD. Then, and there, I was like "fuuuuuuuuck". That's when I found out that all the channels that have HD content have them on different channel as their SD equivalents :-D Needless to say, I was dumbfounded.