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Satellite Platform Leads in Worldwide HDTV Deployments
Oct 11, 2005
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By the end of 2005, nearly 14 million households worldwide will be capable of watching high-definition TV (HDTV) programming, according to research firm IMS Research. By 2010, IMS says the market is forecast to reach over 87 million households.

Based on a recent study, The Future of High-definition Television, HDTV is becoming an important offering for cable and satellite TV providers. "More operators in competitive digital TV markets are starting to look towards HDTV as a way to attract and retain premium subscribers," commented Anna Hunt, research director at IMS Research. "One of the challenges these operators face will be providing content in HD that is different and not just upconverted from existing SD channels."

IMS says availability and pricing of HDTV sets and HD set-top boxes will also play a key role if HDTV is to take off in new markets.

In addition, the study found the following:

  • Satellite services are expected to account for the largest share of worldwide HDTV households, when compared to other platforms and it will lead in both EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions.

  • The strength of HDTV over cable stems from this platform’s success in the U.S. and bandwidth limitations, fragmented cable markets and past financial troubles will be the main factors inhibiting HDTV rollout via cable in many parts of the world.

  • Some operators in the U.S. are leasing HD DVRs to all DVR customers, in hopes to more-easily upgrade these subscribers to the HD programming tier. This strategy is likely to be seen more often as prices of HD DVR set-tops fall.

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