European digital TV penetration to surpass US

Penetration of digital television in Europe will overtake the US within the next four years, according to a new study from Research and Markets.

The market research resource—in a paper entitled The Evolving Broadcast Sector (Review Report)—predicts that by the end of 2010, almost 69% of European households will have made the transition to digital services, with much of the growth across the continent driven by the continuing uptake of digital terrestrial TV (DTT) services. However, internet protocol television (IPTV) will also begin to have an impact.

The Research and Markets report examines the uptake of digital TV services—by platform and operator—across 14 western European markets and the US to 2010, and considers how the digital television market will develop by the end of the decade, including the potential of IPTV services.

The study also forecasts uptake of digital TV recorders, high definition (HD) television, and mobile TV across Europe and the US.

It states that the UK will remain the most highly penetrated digital TV market, with almost 95% of households receiving digital services. Germany will continue to lag behind other major European markets, despite strong growth, with only around half of households having become digital by the close of 2010.

While in the US, more than 50m home will be viewing HD programming, compared to fewer than 10% of European households. The UK will be the most developed European high definition market by the end of the decade, although penetration rates will remain far lower than in the States.