Digital cable-ready HDTV sales to hit one million

The CEA projects that by year’s end, more than one million digital cable-ready HDTVs will be sold in the United States.

Beginning this summer, American consumers are supposed to be able to receive HDTV programming via cable for the first time without the need for a set-top box.

Under terms of the landmark cable-consumer electronics plug-and-play DCR agreement ratified last fall by the FCC, CEA has notified CableLabs that more than a half million digital cable-ready HDTVs are expected to be on the market through Sept. 30.

The CEA also said that more than a million HD sets and cable subscribers will need a CableCARD by the holiday season. That same number of CableCARDs will be needed to support the rollout of the dual ATSC-cable tuner integrated television sets. Coupled with a positive fourth-quarter forecast, this means explosive growth, eclipsing a million units in just six or seven months, said CEA industry analysis director Sean Wargo.

Meanwhile, CableLabs reports that so far a total of nine digital television manufacturers have submitted new products for joint test suite (JTS) testing and have successfully achieved verification for cable-ready products.

The four latest DTV manufacturers winning approval include Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Philips Consumer Electronics and Thomson. They join Hitachi, LG Electronics, and Sony which were previously verified under the JTS, and Panasonic and Samsung which were previously certified under CableLabs’ OpenCable testing program.

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