A large HD 'content gap' will remain in 2012 with a majority of Europeans still watching standard definition TV on their HDTV displays.

The prediction, from media analyst Screen Digest, is based on figures that show that by the end of 2007, 18% of the 165 million European TV households were equipped with HD displays, but less than 1% of these (1m) were fully ‘HD enabled' (ie. watching HD content using an HD set-top box and an HD subscription).

By 2012, the prediction is that 20% of the 85% of European households with HD displays will actually be watching in HD, but the big uptake of HD will not take place until analogue switch-off, which will happen between 2010 and 2012 and will free-up bandwidth capacity on the digital terrestrial platform, kick-starting the next phase of growth in HD TV.

With this in place, Screen Digest predicts that by the middle of the next decade HD will be commonplace.