For most consumers, they don’t exactly know what high definition (HD) is but they know they want it.
“The technology is everywhere these days — on broadcast television, on cable, on satellite, and on the Internet,” said Sheri Greenspan, senior analyst for consumer electronics at iSuppli Corp. “You can’t escape hearing about something being broadcast in HD or getting the most out of your HD receiver or the most HD channels available.”
HD has become commonplace in many regions of the world as significant price reductions of HD televisions—and the displays used for these TVs—the increasing availability of content over multiple distribution channels, the emergence of Blu-ray as the next-generation DVD standard and the decreasing costs of HD equipment have all contributed to this new opportunity for HD in the home.
In 2008, HDTV
s overtook standard definition televisions as the leading TV shipped globally. The technology shows no signs of slowing in the next five years either.
iSuppli forecasts HDTV unit shipments to grow to 241.2 million by 2012, managing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.0 percent, up from 97.1 million units in 2007. Compared with non-HDTV unit shipments that will decline to 23.1 million units by 2012, decreasing at a CAGR of 27.0 percent, down from 114.8 million units in 2007, this is quite the switch in technology that the market has been waiting for.
On the Set-Top Box (STB) side, HD STBs represented less than 20 percent of the overall STB market globally but growing at a CAGR of 36 per cent, HD STBs will represent 50 per cent of the overall STB market by 2012.
Two key trends are emerging that are helping the growth of HD STBs. The first is the expanding availability of HD content—both in terms of physical access and service-provider support for HD. The second is the declining cost to process HD video streams. While MPEG-4/H.264 codecs are inherently more complex than MPEG 2—and thus more costly to implement — the cost difference is gradually becoming smaller with each new generation of silicon. The same can be said for the HD interfaces such as HDMI, which has generally become the standard for HD interfaces globally.
“This means the costs to providers to generate and deliver HD content is becoming minimal, and that savings is being passed along to the eager consumers who are waiting anxiously to view HD on their TV or Internet,” Greenspan said.HDTV