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High Definition TV Upside in European Homes

European sales of high definition TV (HDTV) and video devices will surge by 158 percent this year, reaching 28.1 million units, according to the latest research from the Strategy Analytics.

By 2012, 70 percent of European homes will own at least one HD-capable TV, up from 8 percent in 2006. Most HDTV buyers will also purchase a high definition set-top box, disc player, games console or digital media player.

"Europe's high definition TV transition is well under way," says David Mercer, Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics. "European consumers are beginning to buy HD-capable devices in huge quantities and there is a terrific opportunity for content providers and distributors to meet the growing desire for HD programming."

This report compares adoption forecast models across a number of emerging high definition device segments, and concludes that by 2012, 44 percent of European homes will own HDTV receivers, in the form of set-top boxes and integrated digital TVs, compared to 27 percent with HD digital media players, 26 percent with HD disc players, and 15 percent with HD portable devices.

"The trend toward high definition TV and video is being driven by surging demand for LCD and plasma TVs, the vast majority of which are capable of displaying HD," notes Peter King, Director, Connected Home Devices. "Awareness of high definition is growing all the time and we expect this to feed into growing sales of Blu-ray Disc players, high definition camcorders and other HD devices."

I believe new technology developments that will lower the cost of HD camcorders, and improved usability in video editing and DVD creation software, will help to fuel the rapid advance of high definition consumer and prosumer content. Moreover, small businesses will have the ability to utilize the same low-cost video production and distribution tools for promotional purposes.

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