Half U.K. sets now digital


LONDON -- Almost half of the U.K.'s 60 million television sets are connected to some form of digital service, U.K. media regulator Ofcom said Wednesday, up from 48.5% at the end of 2006.

Publishing its quarterly report on the U.K. digital television market, the regulator said that, in the first three months of 2007, a million homes signed up with digital television services for the first time. That brought the total percentage of the nation's 22 million homes with digital television up to 77%, up from 73.3% in the third quarter of 2006 and 69.5% at the end of 2005.

More than 9 million second sets are now connected to a digital device, up from 7.9 million last quarter and just over 6 million a year ago.

Free-to-air digital terrestrial platform Freeview continues to drive growth, selling 2.4 million units in the first quarter of the year, a year-to-year increase of 24%. BSkyB added over 200,000 new homes in the same period, while Virgin Media added 38,500.