digital TV now in 90% of UK homes

Almost 90% of British homes are using digital TV, reveal figures from Ofcom.

The latest statistics on take-up of digital TV in the UK suggest that 18 million households, 89.2%, have a DTV receiver.

Digital video recorders, that can store, pause, or rewind live TV, are also proving popular.

Ofcom reports that about one million were sold in the first three months of 2009, taking the total in UK homes to 8.9 million.

The figures, gathered by Ofcom, suggest that five million of those recorders are Sky+ boxes, a further 2.6 million are Freeview recorders, and the remaining 1.2 million is split between Virgin Media's V+, BT Vision and Top Up TV.

The Ofcom report noted a drop of 28% in the sales of Freeview set-top boxes, as TVs with a digital tuner built-in start to take over from the stand-alone devices. Sales of TVs with an integrated tuner have now hit 20 million.

The figures also give insights into how Britain is switching to digital TV in advance of the analogue switch-off, due to be completed by 2012.

Analogue signals have already been turned off in a few areas in the UK including the West Country, Scottish borders, and the Isle of Man.

With almost 90% of TVs converted to digital, many homes were starting to update older sets.

Ofcom estimates that by the end of March 2009, 61% of secondary TV sets were capable of showing digital TV. They also think that about 27% of the TV sets in use in the UK are still only capable of receiving analogue signals.

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