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China Digital TV Market Operation Report, 2006-2007

Published: Feb/2007

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Digital Television (DTV) is an information service platform that provides digital signals for TV programs, emission, transmit and television. Compared with the analog television, DTV enjoys the following characteristics and advantages in technology,Firstly is its high definition, good audio effects and strong anti-jamming ability.

Secondly, channel numbers will be multiplied. Using the existing 8MHz analog TV channel can transmit the DTV programs with 6-8 channels of DVD level or 15-18 channels of VCD level. The full use of TV channel resources is able to meet the personalized demands of consumers for free choices of TV programs.

Thirdly, multi-purpose services can be developed. As CATV transmission and users' access get gradually digitized, it is much easier for the development of new services such as TV websites, interactive TV, stock market and analysis and video on demand, etc, and then the users will change from simple viewers into the active participators.

Globally, the first DTV broadcasting for commercial purpose appeared in France in Apr 1996 and then it rapidly spread all over the world. The number of global DTV users has reached 220 million in 2006, and the average penetration rate of DTV came to 20%, among which Europe, US and Japan took high shares. Currently, all the countries of the world have successively put the DAC (Digital/Analog Conversion) into schedule. The Netherlands has stopped the broadcasting of analog TV programs since Dec 2006, which became the first one to completely use DTV signals. Northern European countries plan to stop these by 2007 while U.S. and Japan plan to say goodbye to analog TV by 2008 and 2011 respectively. And China plan to fulfill DAC by 2015.

In 1985, China began to transmit the programs of CCTV all over the country through telecommunication satellite. Satellite live TV adopts satellite digital compressed technology to transmit broadcasting/TV programs, which can improve the qualities of signal sources of CCTV or provincial TV programs that would be re-broadcasted in the local TV stations, and then rapidly expand the population coverage rate of broadcasting and TV programs. 

The State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) has always positively promoted the DAC, so the number of DTV users have increased dramatically, up to 6.56 million in 2006H1 from 4.39 million in 2005. The number has broken 10 million in the full year of 2006.

According to the statistics, by the end of 2006, there have been 24 cities that have finished the overall conversion of making CATV digitized. On the basis of previous Qingdao model, Hangzhou model, Foshan model and Shenzhen model, some successful models like Guangzhou model and Guangxi model appeared again.

Number of DTV Users in China, 2004-2006

The year of 2006 witnessed obvious promotion in DTV industry than in 2005, and the number of users is preliminarily estimated to reach 12.9 million including 4.5 million of pay TV users. China DTV industry has taken an initial shape, the profit-making model centered on increasing subscription fee has been gradually formed, and a system of content supply has gradually come into being, so the DTV industry pattern has been basically established. It is estimated that the number of DTV users will reach 35 million by 2008 and the penetration rate of it will share 25% of all CATV users then.

Mobile DTV is a kind of modern system which can play and receive the digital programs by wireless digital signal emission and digital equipment terrestrial access. Shanghai Oriental Pearl Mobile Television Co., Ltd. is the China first and world second new concept media to launch outdoor digital mobile television program. By Jul 2006, about 20 provincial/city-level mobile TV stations joined in MMTV, and the terminal number accumulated to over 60.000 units and the outdoor audiences have reached more than 30 million person-times.

Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China issued the DTTB in Aug 2006 and this standard will be formally carried out by Aug 2007. This standard includes standards for single carrier and multi carrier. The release of DTTB plays a landmark event in the development of DTV standards in China, which will no doubt promote the rapid development of DTV industry.

As far as the developing trend is concerned, DTV will certainly replace the analog TV in the future. SARFT has been popularizing DTV and strives to achieve the goal of DAC. Apart from the Chinese government, channel providers, channel integrators and CATV network operators all show a great enthusiasm. All of these create an advantaged environment for the development of pay DTV. Therefore, China DTV industry will see a bright future.


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