90 per cent of US households to have digital TV by 2009

MUMBAI: Digital TV in the US is reshaping whole industries, and almost everything is about to change. Digital technology will ensure that TV broadcasting and its associated business models will undergo a massive change, the form of which will be governed by the consumer.



That is the outlook from eMarketer's new report US Digital TV: Think Outside the Box, which forecasts that by the end of 2009, nearly 90 per cent of all households will have digital TV, assuming that analog TV signals in the US will be switched off by the end of 2009. If a TV household has not subscribed to a digital TV service from a cable or satellite provider or purchased appropriate equipment, they will be unable to watch TV. With this TV-less threat looming, digital TV acceptance is expected to rise rapidly over the next five years.



The digitisation of television signals is driving fundamental changes in the ways viewers receive TV content. From viewing clips on mobile phones or laptops, never before has the phrase 'think outside the box' been more apt than in the developing digital TV sector.

eMarketer senior analyst and the report's author Ben Macklin says, "Online entertainment is compelling because Internet users can access the content they want when they want it. The viewing experience on a PC is still far inferior to the TV, but bandwidth and technological improvements will inevitably solve these issues. So it's somewhat irrelevant to argue whether the PC or the TV will be the primary media hub in the future. It's the Internet that's the driver of change, and when you break things down to their component bits, as digital technology does, then the PC and TV will just be two of many nodes on which Internet users access the content, applications and services they want, when they want them."

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