DTG: 'New Year push for Freeview HD'

Thursday, November 19 2009, 10:42 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

The Digital TV Group has predicted a "real market push" by manufacturers on Freeview set top boxes and integrated TVs in the New Year.

Earlier in the week, the BBC confirmed a rollout timetable for Freeview HD towards the aim of 98.5% UK coverage for the service by the end of the digital switchover in 2012.

The corporation further wants 50% of the UK population to be able to receive Freeview HD in time for the World Cup tournament in June next year.

As viewers will have to purchase new equipment to receive Freeview HD signals, the BBC estimates that dedicated set top boxes will be available at retail outlets from early 2010.

DTG director general Richard Lindsay-Davies said that a few products may hit the market before Christmas, but it is likely that the real push will come in the New Year.

"I don't think that we will really see anything before Christmas barring a few small things on the market. But we've got a wide range of products, both integrated TVs and set top boxes, going to our test centre before Christmas," he said.

"It therefore really depends on how well the manufacturers are able to manage production. I think most of them are really targeting getting into the market in time for the World Cup. There may be a few things pre-Christmas but its likely that the real market push will be in the New Year."