Feeds

Brits not buying into Freeview HD

85% of HD TVs bought this summer can't tune into the service

Top three mobile application threats

Freeview today claimed that Brits have bought more that 60 million receivers, DVRs and TVs capable of picking up the free-to-air terrestrially broadcast transmissions it's responsible for marketing.

But the news is rather less impressive when it comes to the organisation's HD offering.

Freeview was quick to compare the take-up of the Freeview HD service with that of satellite broadcaster Sky, stating that both services clocked up the same number of households - around 230,000 - in their respective first five months in operation.

But while Freeview HD launched in 2010, Sky HD debuted four years ago, a time when there were far fewer HD TVs around and punters were just getting used to digital TV and the upcoming analogue switch-off.

And since then Freesat has notched up a presence in 1.25 million households as of June 2010.

Nowadays, then, HD ought to be an easier sell - so why has Freeview HD been relatively unsuccessful?

For a start, it's currently being broadcast to only 55 per cent of the UK population, and features a mere three channels, soon to be four when the BBC begins simulcasting BBC One in HD alongside its current BBC HD showcase channel.

That may explain why 85 per cent of all the HD TVs sold this past summer did not incorporate a Freeview HD tuner, by Freeview HD's own admission

This year, ten transmitters have begun beaming out Freeview HD in England in addition to the two activated late last year. A thirteenth, Caldbeck, serving Cumbria and the Lake District, goes live this month.

That leaves plenty of the UK still unserved, with the roll-out timetable extending out into 2012 if you live in parts of Berkshire and Greater London, or in County Durham, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Teesside and Tyneside.

Folk in Northern Ireland may have to wait as long, though all of Scotland will be covered by the end of 2010 Q2 2011. Wales already is covered in its entirety.

Maybe this will aid sales in the run-up to Christmas, as will a greater number of Freeview HD sets in shop shelves. Sony has Freeview HD kit out quickly, but it's taken some vendors longer to make their Freeview HD models widely available. There are now more than one hundred models of Freeview HD TV available, the organisation claimed. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.