Global digital TV conversion almost complete by 2020
Joseph O'Halloran
| 14 May 2014
An increase of 185% in digital TV homes from 20102020 to 1.68 billion will see a total global penetration of 97.9% according to a report from Digital TV Research.

If realised, says the Digital TV World Household Forecasts report, based on forecasts for 138 countries, this would mean an increase from a penetration rate of 67.7% at the end of 2014 and will mean that 94 countries would be completely digital compared with only 12 at the end of 2013. About 124 countries will have more than 90% digital penetration by 2020.

Of the 762 million digital TV homes to be added between 2013 and 2020, 258 million will come from digital cable which is set to become the most popular TV platform in 2014, accounting for 33.6% of the world's TV households in 2020, up from 20.9% in 201. Digital cable TV penetration is expected to exceed 50% of TV households in nine countries by 2020, with Belgium leading at 64.9%.

By contrast, homes taking DTT but not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV, are predicted to acquire an additional 292 million homes with about 26.4% of homes will be primary FTA DTT at end-2020, up from 10.5% in 2013. By 2020, FTA DTT penetration will exceed more than half the TV households in 41 countries. Pay IPTV is forecast to more than double to 191 million, with pay DTH up by 79 million. Furthermore the analyst suggests that IPTV-based pay-TV penetration will climb to 11.1% by 2020, up from only 2.5% at end-2010. IPTV penetration will exceed 20% of TV households in 20 countries in 2020, led by Iceland (68.2%).

Looking at regions, Asia will lead the digital rush with Asia Pacific forecast to more than double digital TV homes between 2013 and 2020, with 88 million added in 2014 alone. The region will supply 501 million (66%) of the 762 million digital TV household additions between 2013 and 2020. Sub-Saharan Africa will more than triple its base over the same period. China became the largest digital TV household nation in 2010, and will boast 460 million digital homes by end-2020 or 27% of the global total up by 225 million on 2013. India will add 118 million digital TV homes between 2013 and 2020 and will overtake the US to take second place in 2015.