By the end of 2000 there will be more UK homes "connected to the outside world" by digital TV than by personal computer, predicts set-top box maker Pace Micro Technology.

Pace, which supplies boxes to BSkyB, C&WC, Kingston Communications, NTL, OnDigital and Telewest, describes Britain as the fastest growing market in the world for digital television, triggered by competition between satellite, terrestrial and cable networks. During the fiscal year to June 3 it sold more than two million digital decoder boxes - up 146% on the previous year.

Reporting full-year profits up from £15.1m to £24m, Pace forecasts that the market will remain robust with a total of 20 million digital set-top boxes installed around the world this year. It expects this figure to soar to 80 million by 2005.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)