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High Defination TV services to see an upswing: In-Stat

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MUMBAI: Seems like the high-definition TV services have managed to establish a foothold. Lauched amidst hype and promises, high-definition television (HDTV) services have finally captured the imagination of a small, but growing, audience of TV viewers.

Viewers now enjoy HDTV's extraordinary clear and crisp picture quality, says a report from In-Stat/MDR.

According to market research firm- In-Stat/MDR's report with its life-like detail and impressive audio performance, HDTV service is also exciting TV broadcasters and multichannel service providers.

Available widely, albiet in a few select countries, HDTV service is being marketed as a premium service that has the potential to boost incremental monthly revenues for cable and satellite operators. It also providing terrestrial TV broadcasters with a new weapon in their fight against pay-TV services.

Currently, just over 4 million worldwide TV households receive and watch HDTV programming, although most industry insiders expect that number to climb rapidly over the next few years. Increasing consumer demand for HDTV service is also driving sales of new consumer electronics products, such as HDTV sets and HD-capable set top boxes. However, there are still several market challenges that are reigning in the growth of HDTV services. These include the need for more HD programming, lowering the cost of HD equipment, increasing the availability of HD service, and better educating the public about the benefits of HDTV, says the report.

According to In-Stat/MDR report:

Total worldwide terrestrial, satellite, and cable TV households that are watching HD programming on an HDTV set are projected to rise to almost 6 million by the end of 2004, and ultimately reach 45 million by the end of 2008.

HDTV service remains extremely limited in its reach, with only four countries offering the service beyond an experimental basis. These countries are Japan, the United States, Canada, and Australia. However, a few other countries, mostly in the Asia-Pacific region, are expected to roll out limited HDTV services in the next year.

Japan is leading the HDTV charge with over two million households receiving and watching HDTV programming. The US is second with just over 1.5 million households, say the relase.

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