LONDON: Ofcom, the British communications regulator, announced Wednesday that 21.7 million UK homes now have digitally-enabled TV sets, according to data gathered by the watchdog during Q3.

The growth is mainly driven by the free-to-air Freeview platform, with almost 2.4 million purchases of Freeview equipment during the quarter.

Moreover, the total number of second TV sets converted to digital now stands at nearly 12m, up by 1.3m during the quarter and by 50% year-on-year.

This data emerged from Ofcom's quarterly Digital Television Progress Report, from which other key statistics are ...

    Freeview Services
  • 2.4 million Freeview devices (including set-top-boxes and integrated digital TV sets) were sold during the quarter, up from 1.4 million in the third quarter of 2006 (+70% year-on-year). This represents Freeview's second highest quarterly sales to date, with 8.6m units sold over the past year, versus 5.8m in the preceding year.

  • During the quarter a further 200,000 analogue terrestrial homes converted to digital television via Freeview. This meant that the number of homes using Freeview as their only digital platform reached 9.3m by the end of the quarter.

  • Fouteen million homes now have a Freeview device connected to at least one TV set, an increase of 1.1m on the previous quarter.

    Digital Satellite Television
  • BSkyB increased its customer base by 67,000 during the quarter to over 8.1m with 335,000 additions year-on-year. When combined with free-to-view satellite homes, total satellite households were over 9.1m at the end of the quarter.

  • More than 1.4m Sky subscribers now take the Multiroom service, up by 68,000 during the quarter. This means that 17% of Sky customers now have at least one additional set converted to satellite viewing.

  • Sky's high-definition service added 66,000 subscribers taking the total number to over 350,000.

  • Almost 2.7m homes (33%) of Sky customers now subscribe to Sky+, its personal video recorder service.

    Cable Television
  • The total number of homes with cable TV continued to rise with over 3.4m subscribers at the end of the quarter, up by over 100,000 homes year-on-year.

  • Cable penetration reached its highest level in over five years accounting for 13.4 per cent of all TV homes.

  • By the end of the quarter 190,000 Virgin Media subscribers were using V+ its personal video recorder and high-definition services.
The complete Ofcom report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Data sourced from Ofcom (UK); additional content by WARC staff