Take-up of digital television in UK households at 93% in Q1: Ofcom

MUMBAI: Consumer survey results for the first quarter of 2011 show that take-up of digital television in UK households stood at 93.1 per cent, up by 1 percentage point year on year, according to UK media watchdog Ofcom.

Consumers are continuing to convert additional sets in the home. 75.7 per cent of all secondary TV sets had been converted to digital by the end of March 2011, up by 5.2 percentage points in a year.

Taking these figures together, 83.3 per cent of all TV sets had converted to digital television by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

Sales of DTT-enabled equipment reached 3.2 million units in Q1 2011, down by 6.3 per cent in comparison to Q1 2010.

Integrated digital television sets (IDTVs) accounted for over 81.3 per cent of sales in the quarter (2.6 million units). Almost all TV sets sold (99.6 per cent) included an integrated digital decoder. Freeview set-top boxes accounted for over 596,000 sales in the quarter, down by 30.3 per cent on the same period for last year.
In the twelve months to the end of the first quarter of 2011, 12.6 million DTT units (IDTVs and set-top boxes) were sold, compared to 13.7 million in the previous year, a decrease of 7.8 per cent.

The number of homes claiming that DTT was their primary means of digital TV reception stood at 10.1 million, according to survey results in the first quarter. This was equivalent to 39.6 per cent of all homes, in comparison to 39.8 per cent in last year’s first quarter.

According to Ofcom’s consumer research results for the first quarter, consumers in around two million homes claimed to have access to some form of free-to-view digital satellite device on any set in the home. This was up from around 0.7 million over a twelve month period.
The survey also indicated that almost 9.3 million, or 36.2 per cent of homes, received pay-satellite TV services, the same as the Q1 2010 figure. Separately, BSkyB reported that it added 377,000 subscribers to its pay television service in the UK and the Republic of Ireland in the year to the first quarter, with its total TV customer base now at 10.1 million.

Research results for the first quarter show that 13.1 per cent of homes took cable television, up from 12.9 per cent a year before. Separately, Virgin Media reported net additions of 49,300 TV subscribers on the previous year, with its total TV customer base now at 3.8 million.

Digital cable added over 12,700 subscribers in the quarter (including conversions from analogue cable), with 99.8 per cent of all cable television customers using digital cable services by the first quarter.

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