170m EU homes HDTV-equipped by 2013

Euroconsult, and NPA have reported that the high definition television market in Europe is set to take off. Today 59 million European households are equipped with HD-enabled TV sets. That figure is set to grow to 116 million in 2010, a 51 per cent penetration rate and explode to 220 million in 2018, according to a report co-published by the two companies. Driving this adoption is the steady decline in prices for flat screens since 2004, and the imminent inclusion of HDTV capability as a standard feature in flat screens sold throughout Europe.

"To date, HDTV in Europe has been a series of trials and early services," said Jean Emmanuel Casalta, Managing Director at NPA. "But higher penetration of HD-enabled flat screens in Europe will help drive growth in the next ten years."

A growing number of European households can receive high definition content, another critical factor for market growth. The number of pay-TV networks in Europe offering HD almost tripled in the last two years. While satellite HD services still dominate HD subscriptions, cable and IPTV services are accelerating their introductions of HD offerings. And while satellite free-to-air may remain the only option in several countries in the short term, a major European 'first' occurred with the 2008 launch of a multi-channel HDTV offer over digital terrestrial television (DTT) in France. Meanwhile in 2008 the number of HD channels distributed in Europe more than doubled to 130 channels. Over 600 HD channels should be distributed in Europe in 2013.

"Pay-TV reception will drive growth of HDTV adoption in Europe in the short term, despite the current economic downturn. In 2013, over 38 million households should receive HD pay-TV services, twice the number of households watching HD free-to-air only. From 56 million in 2013, the number of households receiving HD will boom to over 175 million households in 2018, making from HD the standard TV experience in most Western and Central European markets," indicated Pacome Revillon, Managing Director at Euroconsult.

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