A new report from market research firm Informa Telecoms & Media predicts that the number of HDTV households worldwide will total 151 million by the year 2011, more than triple from the number at the end of 2006. The report predicts the top HDTV market in 2011 will be the United States, followed by Japan, China, the U.K., and Germany; the U.S. will have nearly 63 million HDTV households, while number two Japan will be approaching 30 million. Currently, the U.S. and Japan represent nearly 80 percent of the global HDTV market, with the United States accounting for 27.7 million HDTV households.
The report find that at the end of 2006, barely one third of HDTV households had the necessary set-top box or integrated HDTV tuner to view HDTV content. By 2011, the report forecasts some 70 percent of HDTV homes worldwide (some 105 million households) will be viewing HD content. Looming deadlines mandating a transition to digital television in the United States, Japan, and Australia are seen as motivators to get HDTV households to adopt the equipment or services necessary to receive HD programing.
“The public has really taken to high definition, attracted by falling prices for impressive looking sets,” said Adam Thomas, the report’s author. “But the problem remains that once people get these sets home from the showroom, they can be disappointed with the results. First they have to subscribe to a content service, and even then there can be relatively little to watch.”
Of course, folks with high definition televisions may be viewing HD content other than broadcast high-definition television: they may have a next-generation Blu-ray or HD DVD player, access high-definition content in games or online services associated with game consoles like the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, or subscribe to high-definition programming via satellite, cable, or download services.