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Digital TV homes close to one billion by 2015

There will be almost one billion digital TV homes worldwide by end-2015, according to the latest forecasts from TBIvision publisher Informa Telecoms & Media. It notes that tough economic conditions are not hampering the increase in the number of digital homes, but that pay TV growth will slow as free to air digital services become more popular.

About 85 million digital TV homes will be added worldwide this year, taking the year-end total to 517 million. A further 401 million will be added between then and end-2015, taking the total to 918 million. China will account for a large chunk of that growth with 136 million of the additions. India will account for 47 million additions in the same period.

Asia will account for 46% of all digital TV homes at end-2015. Digital penetration will, however, remain at its highest levels in the West. At end-2010 North American digital TV penetration will run at 86% and in Western Europe the proportion of TV homes with a digital service will be 78%. These totals will rise to 100% and 95% respectively by end-2015.

The prevalence of digital terrestrial and other free-to-air digital TV services will mean the rate of growth for pay services will start to slow through period.

“Within the next five years, Informa forecasts that a further 28% of homes will take digital cable, with pay DTH at 14% and pay IPTV on 5%,” says Simon Murray, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. “Primary DTT-defined as those homes taking DTT but not subscribing to digital cable, pay DTH or pay IPTV- will likely achieve 14% penetration by end-2015.”