Satellites will become the most important mode of receiving high definition TV (HDTV) programming over the next four years.
IMS Research forecasts the global HDTV market to reach almost 150 million households by 2011, with some 40 percent of these households receiving HDTV programming via satellite.
IMS said the growth in satellite HDTV households in the next four years will be driven by the US and Western Europe. In Western Europe, the slow growth 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 contrasts with the cable-centric US market, where the growth 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, however. 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.
Europe is expected to surpass Asia Pacific by 2011 to become the second-largest HDTV market in the world behind the Americas. Much of this growth will be fueled by lower costs for MPEG-4 AVC set-top boxes for operators and consumers, more local HD content, better competitive pricing for HD services, the growing popularity of flat-screen TVs and sports-driven demand for HDTV.
Source: IMS Research.
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