Research: Digital Transitions, HD Adoption Bodes Well for Switchers

ALBANY, N.Y.—Market forces are favorable for production switchers, according to Transparency Market Research. The Upstate New York firm cited “the increasing consumer demand for broadcasting major programs including music concerts and live sporting events in HD format” as a factor.

“In addition, with increasing demand for higher quality video, the broadcast industry has seen an increase in HD satellite broadcast subscribers globally,” the firm said. “HD channels have seen steady growth and with increasing digital transmission, the number of HD channels is expected to grow from 4,500 to 7,547 at a CAGR of 9.0 percent from 2013 to 2019.”

Researchers further noted that the number of ongoing digital transitions around the world. According to the 2006 International Telecommunication Union treaty in which 120 countries pledged to transition to digital broadcasting, African, European and Middle-East regions had to migrate to digital television before June 17, 2015, and the 16 countries of the Economic Community of West African States sub-region “are working to adopt a common implementation plan for digital transition,” the researcher said.

“This is expected to boost the market for broadcast equipment and, in turn, broadcast switchers deployed in them. Different countries in South America including Chile, Columbia and Venezuela are expected to adopt digital transmission by 2020,” it said.

Arab countries and Commonwealth of Independent States such as Ukraine and Belarus are expected to adopt digital transmission this year. Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Syrian Arab Republic and the United Arab Emirates among others are expected to “show greater market opportunity in near future,” the firm said.

Despite the positive influences of digital transitions and HD upgrades, the researchers said, “adoption of digital technologies is slow due to the heavy infrastructure required to enable digitized broadcasts. The switchers are used only as a part of broadcast equipment. Moreover, establishing new broadcast facilities involves huge capital investment… Thus, the small private broadcasters that operate over-the-air find it difficult to enter into the market, thus restraining the market growth.

“But the cost of digital equipment is expected to fall during the forecast period [2014-20]. Hence, the impact of these factors is high at present but is analyzed to be medium to low throughout the forecast period.”

The executive summary is here.