Billion digital TV homes by end of 2014
Joseph O'Halloran
| 25 June 2014
The pace of digital TV development storms on, according to a Digital TV Research report that predicts more than a billion such TV households across 138 countries by the end of the year.

If realised, says the The Digital TV World Household Databook, this would represent a reach of two-thirds of TV households and a rise of 130 million compared with the end of 2013 and a rise of 461 million from the 590 million recorded in 2010.

Regionally, the analyst believes that digital TV penetration will range from 97.1% in North America down to 51.5% in Latin America, with 13 countries having 100% digital TV penetration by the end of 2014. A further 25% are on track to register over 90%. Of the 461 million digital TV households to be added between 2010 and 2014, 292 million (nearly two-thirds of total additions) will be in the Asia Pacific region, bringing its total to 517 million. The top five countries are likely to account for 55% of the world's digital TV households and China is set to have 289 million digital TV homes (27.5% of the world's total) by the end of 2014, with the USA in second place and third-placed India adding 59 million digital homes to take its total to 96 million. Brazil will nearly quadruple its total to reach 36 million by end-2014. However, the analyst notes that penetration will be lower than 50% of TV households in 45 countries, with El Salvador the lowest (13%).

Looking at the business of digital TV, Digital TV Research predicts that global pay-TV penetration will increase from 49.1% in 2010 to 57.1% in 2014 with the number of pay-TV households (analogue and digital) reaching 886 million by end-2014, up from 715 million in 2010. The top five countries will account for nearly two-thirds of the total. Even though the number of pay-TV subscriptions will likely more than quadruple in 13 countries between 2010 and 2014, the number of pay-TV subscribers will fall in six countries. Pay-TV penetration is forecast to exceed 70% of TV households in 32 countries by end-2014, but 55 countries will be below 30% of TV households. Pay-TV Digital TV Research will fall in 11 countries (including the US) between 2010 and 2014.

The survey points to digital cable TV as the most popular platform, with 374 million subscribers expected by end-2014. Indeed Digital cable overtook analogue cable in 2013 and analogue terrestrial in 2014. The number of homes paying for IPTV will more than triple between 2010 and 2014.