Spain: HD Progress fights Chicken, Egg Syndrome

What comes first… the HD viewers or the HD programs? That's a question America and other nations were asking a decade ago when it seemed the rollout of HD products was a bit slower than predicted. This chicken-or-egg quandary is confronting Spain right now.

The most immediate contradiction in the Spanish HD market is simply that the number of HDTV sets now in living rooms is rather large — while the number of readily available terrestrial HD channels for viewers (and advertisers) remains rather low.

HD terrestrial testing continues throughout parts of Spain, and the government is just now beginning to mandate some of the next steps crucial to any type of successful transition to DTV. A recent Royal Decree declared that all new TV sets larger than 21 inches will now have to include HD tuners.

While some Spaniards are only now being told of the benefits of HD by the government and an increasing number of ad campaigns, any significant penetration of HD screens is still a few years away. And as for 3D broadcasts? That's even further away from reality for Spain, according to the government.