Bill Gates 'exaggerates' HDTV popularity

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Bill Gates 'exaggerates' HDTV popularity

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates is wrong to suggest that HDTV will be "everywhere" over the next decade, an industry analyst argued today..

Aleksandra Bosnjak, from StrategyEye Digital Media, believes that HDTV will not be universal for a "long time" despite Gates's predictions in his keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

StrategyEye research suggests that North America is far ahead in overall HD performance in terms of IPTV HD deployments, consumer demand and HD channel offerings.

While HD-ready IPTV is a 'must have' in North American markets, and one of the most competitive features in the North American pay-TV sector, it is a completely different story in much of the rest of the world, particularly with IPTV operators.

StrategyEye pointed out that the top European IPTV players offer only five HD channels, compared to 20 to 40 from North American IPTV service providers.

The picture is slightly better across European cable and satellite HD channels, but is still far behind the North American HDTV market.

"While there are some deployments in Eastern Europe, such as Telefónica O2TV's recent launch in the Czech Republic, Russia and Turkey, it will still be a long time before there is mass-market penetration of HDTV across EMEA," said Aleksandra.

"Comparatively speaking, from a technology and HD content/channel perspective, those regions are five to 10 years behind North America and some Asia Pacific countries."
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