ScreenAfrica: Satellite operator SES Astra says one in five European homes now has an HDTV set. “More than 37m HD Ready sets have been bought in Europe since Feb 2005,” said Alexander Oudendijk, Chief Commercial Officer of SES Astra. Using data drawn from GfK Retail & Technology, Oudendijk says almost 40m HD Ready sets, either Plasma, LCD or rear projection, are in use, while another 24-25m flat panel sets (without the HD Ready tag) are in use.
The 2006 sales figure of about 15m sets sold was some two years ahead of forecast, Oudendijk said. The current status of more than 37m sets sold has been achieved three years ahead of the 2005 predictions.
Based on the latest data from Screen Digest, Oudendijk expected Europe to have some 400 HDTV channels by 2012, with about 160 of them on satellite. The bulk of this number will be available only to pay-TV viewers.
Further research from SES Astra has also revealed the 83% of the satellite TV households in Europe and North Africa are digitised. This is more than four times more than in cable where of all households where 20% are digital.