Technology

Digital TV homes to double in Eastern Europe

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MUMBAI: Rapid conversion means that the number of digital homes in Eastern Europe will nearly double between 2012 and 2018, bringing the total to 121 million, according to a new report from Digital TV Research. In fact, the Digital TV Eastern Europe report estimates that 13 million digital TV homes will be added in 2013 alone.

Digital TV penetration crossed the halfway mark of TV households in 2012, up from only 20 per cent at end of 2008. Fast take-up (and analog terrestrial switch-off) will push digital TV penetration to 61.4 per cent by end of 2013 and onto 97.3 per cent by 2018. Ten of the 21 countries covered in this report will be completely digitised by 2018, with Estonia the first to full conversion - in 2012.

The number of analogue terrestrial TV households fell by 30 million between 2008 and 2012, leaving 37.2 million. However, only 13 million DTT homes were added, therefore the digital pay TV platforms benefitted from the analogue terrestrial homes converting to digital. With nearly all of the analogue terrestrial TV homes disappearing, there will be 43.3 million DTT homes (or about a third of the TV households) by 2018.

Digital TV Research principal analyst Simon Murray said, "Much of the emphasis has fallen on the remaining 21.7 million analogue cable subscribers. Many of these homes will upgrade to digital cable, but some will shift to IPTV and DTH. However, many of the remaining analogue cable subscribers are refuseniks, who don‘t want to pay more for TV services. Free-to-air DTT (or even pay DTT) is an attractive option for these homes."

"Slow implementation of analogue terrestrial switchover favored the pay TV operators as it gave them more time to convert homes to their packages before FTA DTT became established. Poland and Romania are prime examples of this. However, we expect the impact of DTT in these two countries to result in (small) declines in their pay TV subscriber counts," he added.

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