Ofcom reports surge in hi-def TV takeup

The media regulator's Digital Progress Report records sales of HD-ready TV sets topping 23 million by the end of 2009.

Of the 3.3 million TVs bought by UK consumers in the final quarter of 2009, 70 per cent were HD-ready models.

There's good news for HD broadcasters too: Sky HD added 482,000 subscribers in the three months to December 31st 2009, which means HD now accounts for around 21 per cent of Sky's customer base, while Virgin Media's V+ service added 112,700 subscribers in Q4, bringing the firm's total HD customer base to 862,000 (23 per cent of its total).

Even Freesat managed to rack up sales of around 720,000 high-definition TVs and set-top boxes, with HD accounting for 80 per cent of all Freesat hardware sales.

Freeview HD, which offers BBC HD, ITV1 HD and Channel 4 HD, only launched at the end of last month and is being rolled out across the country between now and 2012.

It's hoped that 50 per cent of UK homes will be able to receive Freeview HD in time for the start of the World Cup on June 11th.

Ofcom's report also found that digital TV takeup in the UK reached 91.4 per cent of the population by the end of 2009.

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