Britain's digital TV revolution close to 90%

Digital television - growing
Digital television - growing

Digital television is in nearly 90 per cent of UK homes, with more than 73 per cent of all the television in Britain converted for digital by the end of March 2009.

In Ofcom's quarterly Digital Progress Report, it is clear that the UK is embracing multichannel digital television, with 89.6 per cent of the main sets in UK households accessing digital television signals.

And even the secondary televisions are becoming more digital dependent, with 61 per cent converted to multichannel – an eight per cent rise in comparison to the first quarter of 2008.

Ready to go

"Britain is well on the way to being ready for digital switchover long before the deadline arrives," said What Satellite and Digital Television editor Alex Lane.

"Even our second and third TV sets now being converted to digital at a fantastic rate and with nine million digital video recorders out there, it looks like we're catching on to the joy of time-shifting too."

Freeview set top box sales have dropped 28 per cent year on year, with Ofcom insisting that this is largely due to the increase of integrated tuners, although Freesat users went up from a total of 233,00 in the last three months of 2008, to 250,000 by March 2009.

Overall, however, Ofcom suggests that the total number of people accessing free-to-air satellite broadcasts is dropping significantly, despite the increase in Freesat subscribers and one-off payment offers from Sky.

This could be down to upsell – people deciding to go for a pay subscription for more channels – or possibly a problem with sampling.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.