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HD TV continues rapid growth across the globe

The proportion of global TV households watching HD programming is expected to grow from under 14% at the end of last year to almost 42% by the end of 2017, according to TBI-publisher Informa Telecoms & Media’s latest Global HDTV Forecasts report.

Informa Telecoms & Media predicts that the number of active HD households will rise to over 600 million globally by 2017, with Asia Pacific emerging as the biggest HD market by that date, followed by North America and western Europe.

The report says that penetration of HD-ready TV sets had gown rapidly since 2005, when equipment was present in just 3% of TV homes, with growth driven by reducedprices, growth in the number of channels and the inclusion by TV manufacturers of HD as a standard feature.

It said that by 2017 several countries could be approaching the point where almost all viewers would be watching HD content, leading to the possibility of a standard definition switch-off and the possibility of introducing a new generation of high-definition technologies.

Informa’s report includes statistics and forecasts for 53 countries for the 2005-17 period, defining active HDTV households as those with an HD set watching HDbroadcasts.