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APAC region to add 440mn digital TV homes in the next five years

Asia Pacific is undergoing a boom in digital TV with a penetration seen in the increase from 36% in 2011 to 83% in 2017, around 440mn new homes added to the digital TV service, according to a new report from the United Kingdom firm Digital TV Research.

China alone is expected to provide additional 268mn digital TV homes, with India adding an additional 82mn. The two countries are described as having a "huge" influence over the region, largely because their population of 1 billion-plus. By 2017, they are expected to provide digital TV home 541mn combined or three-quarters of the total Asia Pacific.

Of the 440mn digital TV homes added over the next five years, 103mn is predicted to come from DTT. Digital cable will provide an additional 195mn, with supplying the DTH pay more and pay 34mn 86mn IPTV. By contrast, the region will lose 152mn and 196mn analogue cable homes analogue terrestrial.

"Despite the rapid conversion, digital TV will still have plenty of room for growth for some time to come," said Simon Murray, author of the report and founder of Digital TV Research. "Only half of the countries covered in this report are fully converted to digital by 2017. By then, Indonesia and the Philippines still have analogue penetration of 70% and 64% respectively. China will have the analogue 24mn 57mn home and India. "

Pay-TV penetration is predicted to rise from 53% in 2011 to 67% in 2017, adding subs do 165mn to 569mn total. China will provide 315mn households pay TV, in India supplying an additional 145mn.

However, pay TV penetration is higher in South Korea (93%) and Singapore (90%), according to reports. Legitimate pay-TV penetration will be the lowest in Indonesia (23%), with the Philippines to the next lowest at 27%. Piracy is described as remaining a serious problem.

Pay-TV revenue in Asia Pacific is projected to increase by U.S. $ 11.7bn over the next five years to reach U.S. $ 40.7bn. Japan will remain the market leader in 2017 with U.S. $ 10.6bn, followed by China with U.S. $ 9.7bn and India with U.S. $ 7.1bn. However, the pay-TV revenues are expected to remain flat in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea.

Cable TV will remain the highest earners, with revenues of U.S. $ 23.6bn by 2017. Digital cable TV revenues will climb by 137% between 2011 and 2017 to reach U.S. $ 21.2bn, with analogue cable TV to fall from U.S. $ 11.4bn to U.S. $ 2.3bn. May 383mn cable homes by 2017, up only 44mn from 339mn at end-2011. Cable penetration will be 44.7% by 2017, virtually unchanged from 44.4% at end-2011.

However, the good news for cable operators is that the number of digital subs are predicted to almost triple over the same period in almost 332mn, although the analogue total will fall to a quarter of its 2011 total. Although the number is falling rapidly, there is still the subs 51mn analogue cable (6% of TV households) by 2017.

The number of homes paying for IPTV is predicted to reach 110mn in 2017 - or 12.8% of TV households. China will contribute 77mn IPTV subs (or 70% of the total region) by 2017. IPTV subs will overtake the DTH pay prior to 2013. About 34mn pay the DTH homes are added between 2011 and 2017, taking the total to 76mn.

Primary DTT households (homes not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV but taking DTT) will rocket from 30mn (4% penetration) at end-2011 to 133mn (15.5%) by 2017, according to the Digital TV Research. China will provide 84mn 2017 total, followed by Japan and India 9mn 10mn.