The Freeview DTT platform has overtaken BSkyB as the most popular means of receiving digital television in the UK. Freeview says that there are now 8.2 million homes where DTT-enabled sets are the primary means of watching digital TV. This compares with 7.7 million homes at the end of 2006. In its last reported numbers BSkyB was in 7.975m UK homes, and although the satellite platform can expect an increase when it reports the March quarter, it is unlikely to overtake DTT.
Freeview has also confirmed that its Playback DVR brand will launch next month. Cary Wakefield, general manager of the Freeview consortium, described its introduction as “the next chapter of success for us.” She predicted sales of 10 million devices by 2012.
Freeview will not manufacture the units itself, but will award the Playback label to manufacturers that are able to meet a series of specifications that have been drawn up by the UK’s Digital TV Group. The devices will cost around £150, according to the specifications.
The consortium is continuing to press the case for terrestrial HD spectrum after analogue switch off. Hopes were raised this week when Ofcom chief Ed Richards promised to meet with broadcasters over the issue.