TV signal technologies - Statistics & Facts

Published by Shanhong Liu, May 22, 2019
Since its beginnings in the 1950s, television has been integral in connecting the world through news, cultural exchange, and entertainment. With the dawn of the internet, TV’s role in the world has changed, but not necessarily declined. The number of television-equipped households worldwide rose from 1.45 billion in 2010 to 1.6 billion in 2017. The use of analog methods of TV access has declined sharply in recent years, especially as digital cable and pay IPTV become more and more popular. The worldwide digital TV penetration rate stood at around 75 percent in 2015 and is expected to reach over 98 percent by 2021.

Advanced digital methods offer more content and greater convenience to consumers. Over 40 percent of television-equipped households in the United States get their television through wired cable and another 30 percent access it via satellite. Projections indicate that the number of households using digital cable and satellite will slowly begin to decrease in the coming years as the market continues to evolve. Just as digital forms of TV access have pushed analog methods out of the market, streaming services have slowly begun to replace digital TV offerings. The number of cable TV subscribers dropped from 44.5 million in 2010 to 34 million in 2016.

As of February 2017, 58 percent of consumers in the United States reported having a subscription to some form of video on-demand service . Netflix, the most popular service, had an estimated 47.6 million subscribers in 2016. TV streaming boxes such as Roku, Amazon FireTV, and Apple TV allow users to access content from across platforms all in one place. The household penetration rate for streaming media players in the United States rose from just eight percent in 2011 to 36 percent in 2017. OTT TV is a relatively new facet of television in which companies offer specific programs directly to consumers via a subscription-based service. The most popular OTT service in the United States is Showtime, which has around 77 million subscribers. The success of OTT offerings such as Showtime and Starz has encouraged more and more media entities to try their luck in the growing OTT market. Over 30 new OTT TV services launched in 2015 alone.

TV hardware has also been quick to improve and adapt to the changing ways in which consumers view content. Smart TV unit sales are projected to grow from 194 million in 2017 to around 250 million in 2023. Samsung and Vizio are the top manufacturers in the smart TV industry, with market shares of 33 percent and 30 percent respectively. Household penetration rate for smart TVs in the United States was around 46 percent as of January 2016 and has been steadily growing since the technology first entered the market.

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TV signal technologies

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Streaming services/devices

OTT TV

Smart/connected TV

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