Feeds

Brits not buying into Freeview HD

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

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
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
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
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
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
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.