150 million HDTVs in homes by 2011

Ready or not? Despite increasing sales of HD TVs, many feel there is still not enough content to watch on them, particularly in the UK

The number of high definition TVs is growing fast - but there still aren't enough programmes out there for people to watch. Or so says a report by Informa Telecoms and Media published today.

The report says that 58% of US households and 20% per cent of Japanese homes now have HDTVs. The UK, Germany, China and others also catching on to the technology. Informa predicts that there will be 150 million HDTV equipped homes by 2011, thanks to heightened awareness among consumers and rapidly falling flat panel prices.

However HDTV owners are complaining that there still isn't enough content for them to watch, says Informa. It calls on governments and broadcasters to do more - as has already happened in the US and Japan with governments setting deadlines for HDTV content.

Simon Dyson, senior media analyst at Informa, told Reuters : "Maybe it's time for the practice to become more widespread."

UK TV viewers are relatively lucky when it comes to watching HD programmes, thanks to dedicated channels on Sky , and the launch last week of Virgin Media which is also putting HD content at its core. Such content, however, comes at a price.


However industry campaign group HD4All is calling for HD content to be made free on digital terrestrial television, using parts of the broadcast spectrum that have been freed up by analogue TV switchover.

But media regulator Ofcom has said it wants to sell off the spectrum to the highest bidder(s), with much of the avaiable space currently being fought for by mobile phone companies.