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HDTV Gaining Momentum within Asia-Pacific

Although significant barriers remain for widespread HDTV content delivery in the Asia-Pacific region, total consumer revenue from HDTV content broadcasted within the region will jump from $3.2 billion in 2006 to $8.06 billon by 2012, reports In-Stat.

Over 9.9 million TV households in five Asia-Pacific countries -- Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore -- received and watched HDTV programming by the end of 2006. In-Stat expects that number to climb rapidly over the next three years.

"HDTV content availability remains limited in the region, with only five countries offering the service beyond an experimental basis," says Alice Zhang, In-Stat analyst. "Besides Japan and Australia, which are mainly broadcasting locally self-developed content, there is a significant amount of content being broadcasted in China, Korea, and Singapore from international content providers."

I believe that the Asia-Pacific market for HDTV will benefit from the early introduction of consumer electronics (CE) devices that were designed specifically to view high-definition content. Most CE manufacturers launch new devices first in their home markets, and often those same products don't reach the European or North American markets until much later.

In-Stat's study found the following:

- HDTV households in Asia-Pacific will reach 42.1 million by 2012.

- Japan is currently leading the HDTV content development, with over 8.5 million households receiving and watching HD service as of the end of 2006.

- HDTV content is being marketed as a premium in Asia-Pacific, with the hope of increasing monthly revenues for cable and satellite operators, as well as providing terrestrial TV broadcasters with a new weapon in the fight against pay-TV services.

- Government initiatives are playing an important part in stimulating the transition from analog to digital in the free-to-air services domain, which will accelerate market development for HDTV content in some countries, including China.

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