UK tops 29.7m DTT-enabled TV sets

Tuesday, September 29 2009, 11:55 BST

By Andrew Laughlin,

Ofcom has revealed that there are now 29.7 million digital terrestrial television (DTT) converted TV sets in the UK.

According to the regulator's Digital TV Progress Report for the second quarter of 2009, 9.9m main sets and 19.8m secondary sets have now been converted to DTT.

Overall DTT equipment sales reached nearly 2.7m over Q2 2009, up by almost 15% on the same time last year.

Sales of Freeview set top boxes stood at 680,000 during the quarter, down by 25% on 2008 figures. This fall was due to the growth in popularity of integrated digital TVs (IDTV), which accounted for almost three quarters of all DTT sales at just over 2m.

Total sales of DTT PVRs reached 2.9m by the close of Q2 this year, with 214,000 sold over the three-month period.

Since the launch of Freeview in October 2002, consumers have purchased 46m DTT devices, comprising of 24m set top boxes and 22m IDTVs.

Freeview customers are being reminded to retune their equipment after tomorrow lunchtime in order to continue receiving all channels and services.

This campaign is part of a national upgrade of the DTT platform to make Five more widely available and also prepare for the launch of Freeview HD later in the year.

As reported last week, total retail sales of Freesat equipment reached 450,000 during Q2 2009, up from 350,000 in the first quarter of the year. Over three quarters (79%) of Freesat sales were for HD compatible equipment.

A total of 700,000 homes now receive free-to-air satellite services in the UK, either directly from Freesat or via Freesat From Sky. Available in 98% of UK homes, Freesat has racked up over 600,000 sales since its launch in May 2008, making it the fourth biggest digital TV platform in the UK.

"To achieve this level of sales and viewing in such a short space of time is a fantastic achievement and testament to the ever-growing appeal of Freesat, both to consumers and broadcasters," said Freesat managing director Emma Scott.

"Great innovations such as high-definition TV, Freesat+, and a wide range of programming have previously only been available by paying a subscription and are now proving incredibly popular with viewers. Freesat homes consistently rate the service highly, with over 90% saying they would recommend to a friend.

"We've had a brilliant summer and are confident that we'll continue to report outstanding growth, especially in the run up to the World Cup as we attract viewers that want to watch in high definition but without having to pay a subscription, no matter where they live in the UK."