Based on forecasts for 138 countries, the number of digital TV homes will increase by more than 1 billion between 2010 and 2020 to 1.68 billion – or up by 185%, according to a new report from Digital TV Research. The Digital TV World Household Forecasts report estimates that the digital TV total will climb by 131 million in 2014 alone.

Global digital TV penetration will reach 97.9% of television households by end-2020, up from 40.5% at end-2010 and 67.7% at end-2014. By 2020, 94 countries will be completely digital compared with only 12 at end-2013. About 124 countries will have more than 90% digital penetration by 2020.

Of the 762 million digital TV homes to be added between 2013 and 2020, 258 million will come from digital cable. Primary FTA DTT (homes taking DTT but not subscribing to cable, DTH or IPTV) will acquire an additional 292 million. Pay IPTV will more than double to 191 million, with pay DTH up by 79 million.

Digital cable will become the most popular TV platform in 2014, accounting for 33.6% of the world’s TV households in 2020 (up from 20.9% in 2013). Digital cable TV penetration will exceed 50% of TV households in nine countries by 2020, with Belgium leading at 64.9%.

Pay IPTV penetration will climb to 11.1% by 2020, up from only 2.5% at end-2010. IPTV penetration will exceed 20% of TV households in 20 countries in 2020; led by Iceland (68.2%).

Pay digital satellite TV penetration will be 15.8% by 2020. Penetration will exceed 30% of TV households in 19 countries, including South Africa (58.5%).