DTH dominates European HDTV

An authoritative Euroconsult report says that 59m European households have so-called HD Ready TV sets, and that number will grow to 220m by 2018. Lower-priced sets and the increased availability of HD programming has helped drive enthusiasm. The report predicts an explosion in the number of HD channels available.

However, the current position is that satellite DTH services dominate pay HD subscriptions, although cable and IPTV-based services are increasing their HD offerings, says Paris-based Euroconsult. “And while satellite free-to-air may remain the only option in several countries in the short term, the launch of HD multichannel over DTT has recently occurred in several European markets, including Sweden in 2007, France in 2008, and the UK (planned for 2009).”

Meanwhile, the number of channels distributed in HD in Europe has more than doubled in a year from 55 in 2007 to approximately 130 in 2008. By 2013 there should be over 600 HD channels in Europe, says Euroconsult.