Digital TV in 73% of U.K. homes

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LONDON -- Almost three out of four U.K. homes had at least one digital television set by the end of September, media watchdog Ofcom reported Wednesday.

The research found that 73.3% of the U.K.'s 25 million homes viewed digital television on their main set, an increase of 800,000 households over the three months through the end of September.

Some 9.3 million homes are watching television on Freeview or another digital terrestrial platform, 8.5 million are watching digital satellite television from BSkyB and 3.3 million are watching cable television supplied by NTL.

Growth was primarily driven by a 600,000 household increase in the number of viewers watching digital terrestrial television.

Sales of digital terrestrial television equipment approached 1.4 million, comprised of 835,000 set-top boxes and 556,000 televisions with integrated digital tuners. It marked the fifth consecutive quarter with sales over the million mark.

The continued growth of DTT viewing comes as more and more households look to upgrade their second and third television sets to digital, in addition to the main household television.

As of September, Ofcom said that almost eight million second sets were connected to some form of digital reception device (either a set-top box or an integrated digital tuner), up from four million in the same period last year.

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