Chris Deering, Sony's European president, has forecast that 20m European households will have high definition TV (HDTV) sets by 2008.
"Once you show HDTV people are hooked. Viewers become instantly thirsty for the big screen television experience. We are on the cusp of a change as fundamental as the shift to colour from black and white," Deering told an industry event.
Deering's forecast exceeds previous industry forecasts, with Datamonitor expecting 4.6m by 2008, up from an estimated 50,000 sets at the end of 2003. Datamonitor expects US HDTV penetration to reach 30m within that period.
Deering said HDTV set prices - currently at £2,000 - would continue to fall, making them more of an attractive proposition to the mass consumer market.
"Although the consumer market will develop slowly, due to the high price of consumer equipment, broadcasters/producers should prepare and must begin to substantially upgrade their equipment and infrastructure from today," he added.
Lovelacemedia | 03.12.2004