European Analysis: France Leaps Ahead in HD

Despite the fact that other nations, notably the United Kingdom, have gotten much of the attention (at least in the Western press) for their efforts to push HD technology to mass consumption, France is the leader in Europe in advancing HD, according to a recent study.

"Digital TV Transition: Europe Watches France's Mandates as Terrestrial HDTV Arrives" is a research report produced by Strategy Analytics.

Mainly responsible for France's success, according to the study, is the nation's new "TV of the Future" law, which allocates capacity for HD channels and mandates the inclusion of DTV tuners in "HD-Ready" units. The study finds "these decisions will have ramifications for other countries in Europe, which will watch these developments with interest. There will also be important lessons from the French approach to licensing HD channels that takes place over the next few months."

However, Strategy Analytics said France's analog switch-off target of November 2011 still remains "an ambitious goal," given the country's continuing high dependence on analog.