Informa Group predicts slower penetration for DTV in Europe

Despite bold plans by many European governments for analog switch-off, no country will have complete digital conversion by 2010, according to a new report by Informa Media Group. Forecasts in the company’s European Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) report conclude that digital TV penetration is only expected to reach 46 percent by the end of 2010.

However, this will represent 110 million homes, with Ireland and Sweden having the highest penetration at 81 percent of TV households. Some countries will switch off their analog terrestrial signals by then, but many homes will still receive analog cable and satellite signals.

The forecast estimates 20.7 million European homes with primary viewing to DTT signals by 2010. This figure represents 10 percent of European TV households. Although this penetration may seem low, it should be compared against only 2 percent of European TV homes at the end of 2003, which gave 3.5 million DTT homes.

The forecast excludes cable, satellite and DSL homes that also own a DTT set-top box because DTT viewing is considered to be secondary to the subscription service in these homes. Furthermore, the figures only count DTT homes once (i.e. homes with more than one DTT set-top box are counted as one home). The forecast makes no provision for mobile DTT viewing, such as digital television viewed in cars.

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