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High-Definition (HD) TV Rapid Market Growth

The number of households watching High-Definition (HD) TV programming continues to rise rapidly, according to the latest In-Stat global market study.

Households with HDTV service, which are defined as homes with an HDTV set that receive and watch HD programming, are projected to grow from 15 million in mid-2006 to 20.3 million at the end of 2006. This impressive household growth is tempered by the fact that it is occurring in just a few countries. On a more positive note, several new countries introduced HDTV service this year.

"Consumer demand to see the World Cup in HD served as a catalyst for the start of HDTV services in several European countries," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. "In addition, select TV households in countries like China, Singapore, and Mexico can now also get HDTV service.

In-Stat study found the following:

- As of mid-2006, the U.S. and Japan accounted for 91 percent of all worldwide HDTV households. Other countries with significant numbers of HDTV households include Canada, Australia, and South Korea.

- The number of worldwide HDTV households is expected to spike over the next few years as new markets for HD services, particularly in Europe, open up. By the end of 2009, In-Stat is projecting that the number of HDTV households will exceed 55 million.

- HDTV services are currently being delivered by all types of television service providers, including satellite/Direct-to-Home service providers, cable TV operators, telco TV operators, and terrestrial broadcasters.

- In the US, there is still a "disconnect" between HD services and the penetration of HDTV sets. Currently, only one-third of US households with HD-capable TV sets are actually using them to watch HD programming.

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