Published: 07.44 Europe/London, May 11, 2011

The number of digital homes in Germany has reached 17.7 million on April 30 and is now fast approaching the 50% milestone, according to research firm AGF/GfK.

The number of digital homes comprises all means of reception, digital terrestrial (DVB-T), digital cable (DVB-C), digital satellite DTH (DVB-S/S2) as well as IPTV.

Out of the 35.86 million televison homes in the country, 49.4% is now watching digital, up from 47.8% on January 1, 2011. The previous year, on January 1, 2010, the total number of German digital TV homes was 14.67 million, or 41.4%.

The growth of digital TV homes was very strong during the last quarter of 2010 with almost 1 million homes switching to digital. During the first four months of the year, the process slowed down with 550,000 new digital homes.

At the moment, one of the biggest challenges in the German market is the digitalisation of the DTH homes. On April 30, 2012 all analogue satellite broadcasts will stop and still about 3 million homes rely on analogue satellite reception.