It seems that this question gets posed by one mainstream media outlet or another every year or so, and what better time to ask again than following estimates that 50 million American homes will be HDTV-equipped by the end of next year? It's no secret that carriers are pushing HD more frequently in their advertising, and now that select basic cable channels are finally making the move to HD, we wonder if the currently satisfied viewers will get curious and follow along? Numerous analysts have suggested that consumers won't make the jump en masse to demand HD programming until a noticeable amount of non-network content becomes available in HD, and while CNN, Food Network, TBS, and A&E (for instance) are all going (or have gone) HD, there's still hundreds of channels out there that have yet to purchase the first piece of HD recording equipment. Is HDTV ready for mainstream? Our gut says not quite, but we're a lot closer today than we've been.

[Image courtesy of PSBSpeakers]