India drives HDTV boom in South Asia


Rebecca Hawkes

| 26 August 2015

High definition (HD) TV in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) region reached 4.2 million people by the end of March 2015 and is set to boom over the next three years, according to a report from Dataxis.

Driven largely by the digitisation drive in India, the number of HDTV set-top boxes (STBs) seeded and the number of HDTV channels available in the region should lead to robust growth in the sector, Dataxis predicts.

India accounts for more than 90% of the total HD subscribers in the SAARC countries — Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – tracked in the report, SAARC: HDTV Market Q1 2015.

"DTH players are expected to lead the HDTV penetration in India for the next couple of years, however MSOs are also expected to come on board as the demand for HDTV and UHD content is on the rise in the Phase 2 cities where cable TV dominates the pay-TV market," said Sreeja VN, media analyst, Dataxis.

Direct-to-home (DTH) operators in India seeded some four million HD STBs in Q1 2015 compared to less than 0.3 million seeded by the multi-system operators (MSOs) in the same period, researchers found.

The number of HDTV channels in India has grown from just three true HDTV channels in 2010 to 50 HDTV channels in Q1 2015.