Consumer survey results for the fourth quarter of 2010 show that take-up of digital television in UK households stood at 92.5%, up by 1.1 percentage points year on year.
Consumers are continuing to convert additional sets in the home. 75.8% of all secondary TV sets had been converted to digital by the end of December 2010, up by 6.9 percentage points in a year.
Taking these figures together, 83.2% of all TV sets had converted to digital television by the end of Q4 2010.
Sales of DTT-enabled equipment reached 3.9 million units in Q4, down by 18.6% on Q4 2009. Integrated digital television sets (IDTVs) accounted for over 80.4% of sales in the quarter (3.1 million units). Almost all TV sets sold (99.3%) included an integrated digital decoder. Freeview set-top boxes accounted for over 756,000 sales in the quarter, down 39.4% on Q4 2009.
In 2010 12.8 million DTT units (IDTVs and set-top boxes) were sold, compared to 14.7 million in the previous year, a decrease of 12.6%.
The number of homes claiming that DTT was their primary means of digital TV reception was 10 million, according to survey results in Q4 2010. This was equivalent to 38.9% of all homes, down by 0.7 percentage points on Q4 2009.
According to our consumer research results for Q4, around 1.6 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 around 0.9 million in a year.
The Q4 survey also indicated that almost 9.4 million, or 36.7% of homes, received pay-satellite TV services, up 2.5 percentage points in a year. Separately, BSkyB reported that it added 140,000 subscribers to its pay television service in the UK and the Republic of Ireland during the third quarter.
Research results for Q4 show that 13.0% of homes took cable television, up from 12.4% a year before. Separately, Virgin Media reported net additions of almost 12,100 TV subscribers on the previous quarter, with its total TV customer base now over 3.8 million. Digital cable added over 13,700 subscribers in the quarter (including conversions from analogue cable), with 99.5% of all cable television customers using digital cable services by Q4.
The GfK consumer research used in this report is based on a panel of 12,000 homes surveyed quarterly via the internet and by telephone.
The survey provides data on ownership and acquisition of television sets and other receiving equipment such as set-top boxes.
The ratio of online to telephone interviews is designed to specifically meet demographic representative quotas. The error margin for the research results is estimated to be within 1-2 percentage points (up to +/- 500,000 homes).
The next report, scheduled for publication in June/July 2011, will be our 30th quarterly update.
We have decided that in light of the progress that has been made towards Digital TV conversion, it is now appropriate to move to an annual cycle of reporting, with the first annual report being published in June 2012.