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HDTV Global Uptake and Assessment

Screen Digest has analyzed the business of high definition television worldwide. The top 19 television markets are reviewed in Western Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific region. Their report encompasses all business models, all delivery platforms (DTH, DTT, cable, IPTV), and reveals the key opportunities and challenges for broadcasters and other industry players right throughout the value chain.

Key findings of the report:

High definition television has reached a tipping point in 2005/06. In North America and Asia-Pacific, after four to seven years of implementation but slow penetration, HDTV is now set for mass market take off. In Europe, after pioneering services and trials over the last two years, many launches and massive marketing of HDTV services will take place over the next 12 months.

At the end of 2005 there were 34 million households in Western Europe, USA and Asia-Pacific with an HD resolution TV set out of 719 million TV households (ie, four percent). There were almost 4 million of them in Western Europe, of which 2 million could be qualified as fully 'HD ready'.

At year end, only 12 million households were actually able to watch HDTV broadcasts on their HD ready sets, predominantly U.S. households. By 2010, HD watching households will grow to 105 million (13 percent of all TV households), with the highest penetration in the US and Japan. In Western Europe, we forecast penetration to be seven percent (12 million), of which 9 million will receive HDTV through pay TV, and an additional 3 million through free-to-air broadcasting.

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