The worldwide market for HDTV is forecast to grow strongly over the next four years, with satellite remaining the dominant method of reception. IMS Research predicts growth to nearly 148m HDTV households by 2011, with nearly 41% of those households receiving HDTV programming via satellite.
According to a recently-published report from IMS Research, entitled 'The Future of High-Definition TV - 2007 Edition', the growth in satellite HDTV households over the next four years will be largely driven by the US and Western Europe. In Western Europe in particular, the slow advancement of digital cable in recent years has helped position satellite as the most common method of receiving pay-HDTV. Recent consolidation of the cable TV markets in several countries is expected to aid European cable HDTV growth over the long-term.
This is in direct contrast to the cable-centric US market, where the advancement of digital cable and heavy promotion of triple-play and advanced services are expected to keep cable dominant in the US HDTV market through 2011. The US is forecast to drive the majority of worldwide cable HDTV growth over the period. Satellite is still expected to make substantial gains in the US, thanks to focused marketing efforts by US satellite operators to push HDTV as a competitive differentiator.
Paul Erickson, market analyst at IMS Research, commented: "Europe is expected to surpass the Asia Pacific region by the end of 2011 to become the second-largest HDTV market in the world behind the Americas. Much of this growth will be fuelled by reduced MPEG-4 AVC set-top box costs for both operators and consumers, higher availability of local HD content, more competitive pricing for HD services, the growing popularity of flat-screen TVs, and sports-driven demand for HDTV."