Asia-Pacific set to take digital leap

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LONDON -- Almost one in three of the Asia-Pacific region's 625 million TV homes will receive digital television by 2012, compared with only 6% in 2006, according to research published Friday by Informa Media.

Although growth in the region is likely to be held back by the popularity of analog cable systems, the Informa research predicts that the region will have 180 million digital homes by 2012, with China overtaking Japan as the biggest digital market later this year.

China is forecast to account for 43.3% of the region's digital homes by 2012.

"Although reasonable growth is anticipated over the next five years, less than a third of the region's TV homes are expected to receive digital signals by 2012," report author Adam Thomas said.

Thomas added that subscriber reluctance to transition from analog cable to digital cable was holding back growth.

"In the cable sector in particular we are seeing some subscriber apathy toward upgrading from analog to digital," Thomas said.

After China, Japan is forecast to be the next-biggest market with 19.4% (35 million) of the region's digital homes, followed by India with 15.8% (29 million) digital homes by 2012.
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