900,000 UK homes viewing free satellite

New figures from the regulator Ofcom show the number of homes receiving free-to-air satellite transmissions to be close to 900,000. Half of the 120,000 increase comes from the newly launched Freesat platform. The remainder includes viewers to Skyís own FTA package, former Sky subscribers that have maintained their dish and receiver, and a handful of multi-satellite systems including the Cyfra+ and TV Cabo dishes found around the British Isles.

Ofcomís figures relate to the period to June 30, 2008, but Freesatís published figures run to the end of September. Of the 39,018 Freesat receivers sold by the end of the second quarter, more than half (23, 854) were HD units.

The latest Ofcom Digital Progress Report also shows 88% of households now have digital TV on their main TV display. Secondary TV sets are also being upgraded with 19.1 million of the 35 million secondary sets now converted.

The proportion of integrated digital TV sets also continues to increase. The TV displays with in-built digital tuners accounted for 1.4 million of the two million DTT devices sold in the second quarter. IDTV sales are up 54% on the year.

The total number of households with DTT at the end of the second quarter stood at 16.7 million.