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  4. > Global Insight into the Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT) Market

Global Insight into the Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT) Market

  • October 2013
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 36 pages


Table of Contents

Digitization and Increase in HD services Render DTT Services Attractive in a Sluggish Economy

This insight provides country-by-country subscriber data for DTT and forecasts for DTT equipment such as DTT-enabled set top boxes and IDTVs. It provides drivers and restraints for DTT vis-a-vis Pay TV and Internet TV alternatives. It also discusses relevant technical trends including compression formats and transmission standards.

Executive Summary

• Digital terrestrial transmission (DTT), or digital TV, is the de-facto way of delivering broadcast television in nearly all advanced nations. However from a global perspective, digitalization (i.e., the conversion from analog to digital TV) is still very much an ongoing process.
• This insight provides a detailed global snapshot of DTT progress today and also lays out the expected roadmap for ongoing DTT deployments for the coming five years. The goal is to assist vendors of DTT products in assessing global opportunity and serviceable market, and understanding competitive landscape.
• This insight provides a client-side analysis of the DTT industry. It complements the vendor-side analysis provided by Frost and Sullivan’s annual Broadcast and DTT Video Encoders market study, and the consumer electronics viewpoint provided by our annual Consumer Video Devices market study.
• DTT subscriber counts are provided for more than X countries, ranging from advanced markets like the US, Italy, China, and Brazil with millions of viewers, and others such as Argentina where digitalization is only now getting underway.
• We also provide a forecast of DTT receiver unit sales, including standalone DTT set top boxes and television sets with integrated digital tuners.
• Over the forecast period, iDTVs will vastly outsell DTT STBs, which are largely commissioned and deployed with heavy government subsidies when a country first switches from analog to digital transmission. As standards mature, current-generation iDTVs are equipped to handle modern broadcasts (including AVC-compressed transmissions) and thus limit the need to purchase an STB.
• Major technology trends over the 5-year forecast period include a drive by broadcasters to raise quality in order to compete effectively with Pay TV and Internet TV alternatives; this is driving uptake of AVC relative to MPEG-2 and also encouraging growth in HD channels. 4K and HEVC are on the horizon.
• Close relationships with governments and major broadcasters are crucial for vendors looking to succeed in the DTT market. Both pay DTT and free DTT offer revenue opportunities, although the former is mostly prevalent in Africa and LATAM and the latter is most monetized in North America, Western Europe, and the Far East.
• While the terrestrial television market may have been written off by many industry participants, DTT network expansion and new roll outs continue in 2012 and are expected to continue until the 2015 to 2017 time frame.

Market Introduction

• Digital terrestrial transmission (DTT) is a standard-bound protocol and process for wirelessly transmitting digital broadcast content from a regional transmission tower to homes within range of the transmitter. DTT TV can be received by an end user through digital TVs (DTVs) or high-definition digital TVs (HDTVs) with built-in tuner cards, or using set top boxes (STBs).
• There are four main competing DTT transmission standards: ATSC, DVB-T, DVB-T2, and ISDB-T. Within a DTT standard, there are two possible video compression standards (MPEG-2 and MPEG-4) that can be used, in two potential resolutions (SD and HD). For a given country, a DTT standard consists of a combination of a chosen standard, and a set of permitted codec(s) for permitted resolution(s).
• As a result, the global DTT market is highly fragmented. The DTT overview map on slide Xreflects this fragmented nature of the DTT market.
• An important aspect of the transition to DTT is the analog switch off (ASO) deadline established by individual countries usually to be in sync with the ASO deadlines in their region. Considering the extensive investment and resources required to achieve the ASO, many countries have witnessed delays and missed deadlines, however, ASO continues to be an important driving trend in the DTT market.
• In addition to ASO, migration to a more efficient transmission standard, currently MPEG-4 and high efficiency video coding (HEVC) in the future, will support HD, ultra HD (UHD), and potentially 3D services is another important factor defining the technological activities in the DTT market.
• The ATSC countries, included HDTV capability by design, and originally mandated MPEG-2 compression for SD and HD both (an avant-garde encoder at the time the standard was written). Specifically, MPEG-2 main profile high level is used to compress HD content.
• MPEG-4 support was added to the ATSC standard around 2009, but the large installed base of MPEG-2 based HDTVs has so far made it unfeasible to use MPEG-4 for HDTV channels in North America.
• DVB, on the other hand, did not originally provision for HD content. Thus, in contrast to the situation with the US and Japan—they did not have to consider backward compatibility with existing MPEG-2 HDTV receivers. As a result, DVB-T uses MPEG-4 for all HD content, accelerating deployment of HD content in Europe relative to North America. That said, further growth in HDTV services on DTT is difficult given limited spectrum availability as compared to level of demand.
• DVB-T2 is a new version of the DVB-T standard and it uses radiofrequency spectrum more efficiently, thus enabling higher bandwidth per channel. Broadcasters can thus either pack more channels per multiplex than in DVB-T systems, or upgrade some SD channels to HD or 3D without need for additional licenses.
• As of August 2013, DVB.org has stated that DVB-T2 has been deployed by X countries, adopted by X countries, and is being trialed in Xcountries. The countries that have adopted DVB-T2, such as India and Turkey, are in different phases of testing and piloting and are expected to launch DVB-T2 in 2014, although no launch date has been made official yet.
• The ASO driven transition to DTT and the migration to MPEG-4 are consequently driving the DTT infrastructure market. In the infrastructure market, set-top boxes play a critical role in delivering the video to consumers.
oA STB is defined as an appliance that decodes digitally transmitted video content for television viewing. They are provided to subscribers of cable, satellite, IPTV, and DTT services. The next section provides an overview of the DTT set-top box market including market forecast and vendor market share.
• The next two slides in this section provide an overview of ASO progress across all transmission standards and the DVB-T2 adoption status in key countries globally.
oThis is follows by a slide on the global number of DTT households in 2012 in key countries. The US clearly leads the countries in this metric, but growth is expected to be driven by not only key emerging economies such as China and Russia but also countries such as South Africa and Nigeria in Africa that have only now started the transition to DTT.
oThe total number of DTT subscribers were estimated to be about Xmillion in 2012.

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