While less than six percent of all estimated TV households worldwide were viewing HD programming by the end of 2009, a new study forecasts that penetration to climb to just under 8 percent by the end of this year — and likely triple to about 21 percent by 2014.
If accurate, that 2014 penetration rate would comprise about 276 million television households worldwide, according to a new report from Informa Telecoms & Media of Great Britain and detailed in IPTV News.
North America has always been the dominant region of the world for HDTV (currently accounting for two-thirds of the global picture). Led chiefly by the United States, that global percentage in projected to fall to just over one-third (37 percent) within the next four years when worldwide HD usage climbs to over 20 percent.
In Europe, the United Kingdom is forecast to lead the pack with 14.1 million HD households) by 2014, followed by France (12.2 million), Germany (9.3 million) and Italy (8 million).
The Asia-Pacific region is the third-largest for HD consumption right now and that trend is expected to continue, due in large part to the early adoption of digital HD in Japan (the inventor of analog HD).
Bottom line: By 2014, nearly 80 percent of TV households globally will not have HD services.