A new report asserts that after years of hype and promises, HDTV services have captured the imagination of a small, but growing, audience of TV viewers who now enjoy HDTV's extraordinary clear and crisp picture quality.
The report, "High-Definition TV Services: Coming to a Home Near You?" from In-Stat/MDR, examines the availability of HDTV services around the world. It covers market and industry drivers for HDTV service subscribers and viewers, and discusses how the availability of HD programming and the development of different HD business models are impacting the market for HDTV services.
With its life-like detail and impressive audio performance, HDTV service is also exciting TV broadcasters and multichannel service providers. HDTV service, which is becoming widely available in select countries, is being marketed as a premium service that has the potential to boost incremental monthly revenues for cable and satellite operators, while also providing terrestrial TV broadcasters with a new weapon in their fight against pay-TV services, the research firm has found.
Currently, a little more than four million worldwide TV households receive and watch HDTV programming, although most industry insiders expect that number to climb rapidly over the next few years.
Increasing consumer demand for HD service is also driving sales of new consumer electronics products, such as HDTV sets and HD-capable set top boxes. However, there are still several market challenges that are restraining the growth of HD. These include the need for more HD programming, lowering the cost of HD equipment, increasing the availability of HD service and better educating the public about the benefits of HD.
In-Stat/MDR also has found that:
Total worldwide terrestrial, satellite and cable TV households that are watching HD programming on an HD set are projected to increase to almost six million by the end of 2004, and ultimately reach 45 million by the end of 2008.
HDTV service remains extremely limited in its reach, with only four countries offering the service beyond an experimental basis. These countries are Japan, the United States, Canada and Australia. However, a few other countries, mostly in the Asia-Pacific region, are expected to roll out limited HDTV services in the next year.
Japan is leading the HDTV charge with more than two million households receiving and watching HDTV programming. The United States is second with a little more than 1.5 million households.
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