1.1 Consumer survey results for the first quarter of 2010 show that take-up of digital television in UK households stood at 92.0%, up by 2.8 percentage points year on year.
1.2 Consumers are continuing to convert additional sets in the home. As a result over 70% of all secondary TV sets had been converted to digital by the end of March 2010, up by around 9.2 percentage points in a year.
1.3 Taking these figures together, 80% of all TV sets had converted to digital television by the end of Q1 2010 (up 7.0 percentage points in a year). The remaining 20% of sets continue to receive analogue terrestrial broadcasts.
1.4 Other findings in the first quarter of 2010 include:
- Sales of DTT enabled equipment reached around 3.4 million units in Q1, up by 8% on Q1 2009. Integrated digital television sets (IDTVs) accounted for almost 75% of sales in the quarter (2.5 million units). Around 99% of TV sets sold now including an integrated digital decoder. Freeview set-top boxes accounted for 850,000 sales in the quarter, down 7.3% on Q1 2009.
- In the year to Q1 2010 almost 13.7 million DTT units (IDTVs and set-top-boxes) were sold, compared to 12.7 million in the previous year, an increase of 7.5%.
- The number of homes claiming DTT was their primary means of digital TV reception reached 10.2 million according to survey results in Q1 2010. This was equivalent to 39.8% of all homes and up by around 1.3 percentage points on Q1 2009.
- Q1 2010 sales data from BBC/ITV freesat show that unit sales had reached over one million by the end of March, up from around 900,000 units in Q4 2009. Over three quarters (80%) of freesat decoders sold supported HD services.
- According to our consumer research results for Q1, around 1.3 million homes claimed to have access to some form of free-to-view digital satellite device on any set in the home. This was up from 643,000 in the previous quarter following increasing sales of free satellite devices over the past year. However this may also be partly due to fluctuations on the survey as a feature of measuring a smaller sector.
- The Q1 survey also indicated that almost 9.3 million or 36% of homes, received pay satellite TV services, up 1.4 percentage points year on year. BSkyB reported that it added 62,000 subscribers to its pay television service in the UK and Republic of Ireland during the fourth quarter; we estimate that around 45,000 of these were UK additions.
- Research results for Q1 show that almost 13% of homes took cable television. Separately, Virgin Media reported net additions of almost 36,000 TV subscribers, with its total TV customer base now over 3.7 million. Digital cable added almost 47,000 subscribers in the quarter (including conversions from analogue cable) and accounted for over 99% of all cable television customers.
1.5 The following points to note on the platform shares in this report include:
- In calculating platform totals, DTT-only homes are defined as those where DTT is the only multichannel television platform in the home or where the survey respondent considers DTT to be their primary viewing platform, (figures for all homes using DTT on any set are included in Sections 2 and 3 of the report).
- As DTV markets mature, the likelihood of overlap between DTV platforms grows. For example a household with a pay service from either a satellite or cable provider in addition to free DTV equipment (such as DTT or free satellite), may often be recorded primarily as a pay satellite / cable home by survey respondents.
- Similarly, respondents with both DTT and free satellite services may also switch between the two services and may designate one or the other as the primary platform in the home; with their responses potentially varying over time.