Suppliers Credit HD for 'Record Confidence Level'

The International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers reports in its latest quarterly findings, the IABM Industry Trends Survey, that CE supplier confidence is now at an "all-time high," thanks in large part to HD's popularity.

Nearly three-quarters of suppliers surveyed cited increased "long-term confidence" levels in the last quarter of 2006--an increase of about 18 percent from the previous three-month period. The paramount reason given for the highest optimism of suppliers ever recorded in the survey is the "global transition to HD," according to IABM.

The quarterly analysis is conducted by Ernst & Young on behalf of the IABM, which represents broadcast and media technology suppliers worldwide. IABM said the global transition to HD is picking up momentum as broadcasters and content production companies systematically upgrade their equipment to HD standards, even if they do not plan to broadcast in HD in the immediate future.

"HDTV is reaching a tipping point. Spurred by the high-profile launch of HD in Europe, HD is now reaching the mass market in the U.S. Technology-driven markets such as the Middle East have rapid HD uptake with Al-Jazeera being the first news channel in the world to broadcast entirely in HD," the survey finds. And the Asian industry, it forecasts, will grow dramatically as China prepares itself for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. China's state-run broadcasting network plans to provide HD pool coverage of all Olympics events.

About half the CE suppliers surveyed were expecting to increase their number of workers in the first quarter of 2007.