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Digital-TV market lights up

Worldwide shipments in 2004 grew 50 percent from the previous year to knock at the 50 million mark.

Worldwide revenue from the sale of digital-TV receivers soared by 70 percent in 2004 compared with the previous year, a new study has shown.

Unit shipments rose to 49.3 million, up 50 percent from the 32.8 million receivers sold in 2003, Strategy Analytics said in a report released Wednesday.

According to the market researcher's projections, future performance should also be impressive, even though it expects volume to progressively taper down to 14 percent growth by 2010.

The expected retail revenue from digital-TV sales in 2010 will be more than $39 billion, with North America accounting for approximately two-thirds of the revenue. Other geographical regions with prominent market share will be the Asia-Pacific, with 19 percent, and Europe, at 14 percent.

"After a couple of years of stagnation, digital TV is once again one of the shining stars of the consumer electronics industry," Peter King, director of Strategy Analytics' Connected Home Devices, said in a statement. "Government mandates in the U.S. in particular will support rapidly growing demand for integrated digital TVs over the medium term."

The key drivers in the coming years, according to the research firm, will be new digital terrestrial television and Internet Protocol TV services.