Consumer adoption of DTV grows worldwide with help from flat displays, DVDs, says report

DVD players, LCD panels and plasma display screen sales are driving the adoption of digital television worldwide, according to new report from IDC.

The market is poised to reach sales of $70 billion in 2008. According to the report, the shift from analog to digital TV is in full swing, but consumers' overall awareness and understanding of DTV remains low.

High-definition television - a subset of the overall DTV market - will eventually have a dramatic impact on consumer education and adoption of digital TV in certain parts of the world.

DTV penetration into specific regions will vary greatly. In the United States, cable providers have a capacity advantage over satellite services in terms of carrying local HD channels. In Japan, the mountainous topography has positioned satellite as a critical driver for HD access. Currently, HDTV content delivery and HD set adoption is essentially limited to Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and the United States for the foreseeable future. Digital TV in other parts of the world will continue to be driven by advances in flat-panel displays and the DVD market, which has seen global shipments reach about 200 million since being introduced in 1997. It is expected to grow a third larger this year.

Other highlights from IDC's research include:

  • Global sales for all TVs will grow from 170 million in 2003 to 196 million in 2008, up $25 billion from the $61 billion in sales posted in 2003.
  • In 2003, 7.1 percent of global TV shipments were digital. This year the percentage will climb to more than 12 percent. By 2008, 60 percent will be digital.
  • Fewer than 20 percent of U.S. DTV households are watching HD content.

Entitled “Worldwide and U.S. Digital TV 2004-2008 Forecast: Its Time Has Come,” the report was issued in late June.

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