Freeview is estimating around 642,000 homes are now watching the Freeview HD high definition transmissions, based on sales of 1.2 million units in the nine months since the service went live. The figures draw on sales data from GfK and follow a strong Christmas sales period where almost a quarter of IDTVs sold had an in-built DTT tuner.
Ilse Howling, Freeview’s Managing Director says: “Reaching this milestone within the first year of launching Freeview HD is a great achievement. We know from talking to Freeview viewers that having high definition is becoming the standard when considering what type of equipment to buy.”
Sales of Freeview HD PVRs outstripped standard receivers by two to one in the period before Christmas, suggesting even the £55 low-end receivers are still not perceived as offering the value and future proofing that the Freeview+ receivers bring, against standard definition Freeview boxes that often retail for £25 or less.
Market saturation may also have started to become a factor now that more than 90% of UK households have now upgraded to digital.
Any further discrepancy between receivers sold and homes receiving can be covered off by Freeview HD signals not yet being converted to digital, though both the Anglia and Central regions will switchover to digital, releasing HD frequencies, before the end of the year.
By the end of 2012 virtually the whole country (98.5%) will be able to receive Freeview HD.