The vast majority of television sets sold in the UK are now equipped for digital reception, according to new figures from GfK released by switchover body Digital UK.
In May, the percentage of digital TVs sold was 99.53%; with the World Cup driving a year-on-year sales increase of 9%. The UK has an estimated 60 million installed televisions, with one million new sets purchased every month. The arrival of flat screen displays has fuelled a significant increase in purchases. The average purchase price is now £400, while the average price of a standard definition set-top box is now £26.
“With a quarter of the country already fully switched to digital TV and a further 11 million homes due to switch next year, it’s good news that retailers have finally stopped selling analogue sets,” said Digital UK CEO David Scott. In all 92% of UK homes are now watching digital TV on their main set.
The majority of the UK’s television regions can now boast digital penetration of around 90%.
Arguably, Digital UK’s greatest challenge comes in converting those late adoptors. The organisation has released figures suggesting that 90% of the digital laggards who waited for analogue switchover thought digital TV was better as good as analogue. Nearly a third said they had noticed an improvement in sound and picture quality, though 30% believed reception was the same as for the analogue service they had replaced.
Unsurprisingly, Freeview is the most popular service among late adopters. The move to the new high power network – effectively the frequencies currently occupied by analogue transmissions – means that all viewers will have to retune their sets at the point of switchover. Some 17% said they were not confident abut the process with confidence at its lowest (31%) among Freeview viewers who only started using the service three months before switchover.