Italy ends 2010 with over 40m active digital TV boxes
From Branislav Pekic in Rome

At the end of 2010, Italy has over 40 million active digital TV boxes and a total of 30 TV channels available in HD, according to data published by HD Forum Italia (HDFI).

In the DTH segment, some 2.4 million Sky Italia subscribers, or 50 per cent of the subscriber base (totalling 4.8 million), are capable of watching HDTV channels. There are also some 700,000 active smart cards for Tivůsat, although the majority is used with non-HD compatible receivers.

Over 39 million Italian households have become DTT-only, there are some 500,000 IPTV subscribers, as well as 217,000 users of the hybrid DTT-OTT-TV platform.

Sky Italia currently provides 5 channels in HD and 24 in Premium mode (football and movies), while Tivů Sat has one HD channel (RaiHD). On DTT, Rai, Mediaset and La7 (soon to be joined by Europa7) are conducting tests in the T2 standard, as well as 3D trials. La7 has, for example, been awarded a VHF channel (54) for La7 Test 3D, on which it is possible to air 3D content in any format.

For 2011, HDFI hopes to reach a target of 10 per cent of TV sets equipped for 3D reception, while 40 per cent of consumers have already stated their propensity to purchase a 3D TV within the next 12 months.