High-definition TV 'has arrived in Europe ... and is here to stay', according to a new report from market analysis company Datamonitor.

Already available in the US, Japan, Australia, Canada and South Korea, HDTV is the highest quality digital TV process currently available.

With the UK, Germany and France setting the pace, the number of HDTV households in Europe is predicted to rise from a minuscule 50,000 at the end of 2003 to 4.6 million by 2008 -- and to the whole of Europe within twenty years.

French satellite TV operator TPS has announced plans to launch HDTV next year, with British satellite TV broadcaster BSkyB not far behind, aiming for 2006. The BBC has also revealed its intention to broadcast all content in HD by 2010, in time for the analogue-digital switchover by the UK government in 2012.

Says Datamonitor's media and broadcasting technologies analyst James Healey: "The consumer electronics industry is abuzz over this new (and profitable) market."

For more information on the Datamonitor report, click here.

Data sourced from: Daily Research News Online; additional content by WARC staff