European HD-enabled households to double by 2010

The number of homes in Europe with HD-enabled televisions will nearly double from today’s level of 59 million to 116 million in 2010, reaching 51 percent of all European households, according to a new report.

The report, “HDTV in Europe, Key Economics & Prospects to 2018,” also forecasts that by 2018, the number of European households with HD-enabled sets will soar to more than 220 million sets. The biggest factor behind the uptake of HD-enabled sets is the plummeting prices of flat screens and a move by set makers to include HDTV capability as a standard feature, according to the report’s authors.

Co-produced by international consulting and analyst firm Euroconsult and research and consulting company NPA, the report also finds the number of European households that can receive HDTV is climbing, helping to propel consumer adoption of HD. Within the past couple of years, the number of pay-TV networks in Europe offering HDTV service has nearly tripled. Last year, 130 HD channels were available across Europe, and that number is expected to grow to more than 600 in 2013. The report also points to the launch of multichannel, over-the-air HD service in France last year as a first for the continent.

The report forecasts that in 2013, more than 38 million households will receive HD pay-TV services, twice the number of households watching HD free-to-air only. By 2018, more than 175 million will receive HD service, it said.