Paris/Kuala Lumpur – 75 percent of platforms surveyed have, or plan to launch an HD offering by end 2008, according to research firm Euroconsult. But lack of substantial HDTV content was viewed as the most significant roadblock for HDTV in the region. With only six months of the year to go, the ‘by end-2008’ timeline seems rather ambitious, but the message from operators surveyed was overwhelmingly optimistic regarding HD. Of the 25 platforms interviewed by Euroconsult, 9 already provide HDTV channels or VOD content and another 10 are committed to HDTV plans. The study said that HDTV is spearheaded by newer pay-TV platforms seeking to differentiate themselves. More established platforms were taking a slower approach to implementing HDTV. “This can be attributed to the fact that new platforms will largely be HD-ready and using MPEG 4 compression technology from the outset, rather than facing upgrading costs like some more established players,” said MEASAT’s vice president sales & marketing, Terry Bleakley. The study was commissioned by MEASAT Satellite Systems Sdn. Bhd. (MEASAT) which is striving to make its newest launch MEASAT 3, synonymous with HD. Said Paul Brown-Kenyon, chief operating officer of MEASAT. “The insights will help us determine how best we can support our customers and partners in the development of this important segment.” “The study provides clear evidence of faster development of HD offerings in Asia than previously expected. Opportunity for growth and increasing competitive pressure are the primary factors driving pay-TV broadcasters to develop a HD offer,” said Euroconsult’s managing director Pacome Revillon.