Freeview will offer HD, time-shifting and BBC iPlayer in 2010

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Freeview HD

Ilse Howling, managing director of Freeview, has also promised that by the time of the World Cup next year, 50 per cent of UK households will be able to watch the games on Freeview HD. That will rise to 60 per cent by next Christmas.

"Freeview is upgrading Britain step by step," says Howling. "First digital TV, then recording, then Freeview on demand."

Howling also claims that 1.5 million Freeview+ PVRs have already been sold, a faster uptake than Sky achieved when Sky+ launched.

"Let us work to make Freeview+ the entry point to digital TV, the standard product," said Howling. "Our ambition should be to switch the remaining three million analogue TV homes [in the UK] not just to Freeview, but to Freeview+."