Study predicts 26 million DTV sets to be shipped in 2005


Scottsdale, Ariz. - As more markets begin the transition to digital from terrestrial television, unit shipments of digital television sets will grow.

In some countries, like Japan, the transition to digital satellite broadcasts will be the driving force, according to Cahners In-Stat Group. The high-tech market research firm projects that as more countries begin digital transmissions in 2001 and beyond, the number of sets shipped annually will reach 26 million in 2005.

In areas where digital transmissions have begun, price reductions for DTV sets will help unit shipments to grow. Additionally, differentiated content is necessary for the U.S. market to grow, just as the MHP standard will help to increase the European market.

"Recently the question of whether the digital TV set market has been a boom or bust has arisen. The answer to this question depends both on the region, the definition of a digital TV set, and the original expectations of those asking the question," said Michelle Abraham, senior analyst with In-Stat's Multimedia Service.

"In our opinion, hitting 26 million units seven years after introduction qualifies DTV sets as a boom market, not a bust."

In-Stat has also found that:

-- The basic architecture of the DTV set remains the same. New features being discussed include 1394 and DVI digital connections, digital cable-ready sets, and hard disk drives.

-- New digital display technologies are showing up in DTV sets. The first sets with Digital Light Processing began shipping in 2000. Later in 2001, the first set that uses Liquid Crystal on Silicon technology will be available.

-- All regions will not be equal. Asia-Pacific and Europe will grow to 4 million and 7 million units in 2005, respectively. The North American market will reach over 7 million units in 2005, while Japan will be the largest market at 8 million units.

-- Rear projection DTV sets will remain the most popular for U.S. consumers with 16:9 sets overtaking 4:3 sets in 2002.

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