Only just over a year before the planned analogue switch off in 2012, by the end of the third quarter of 2010, UK digital TV penetration stood at 92.6% of UK homes, according to data released by UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom.

This share of UK home represented a 3.1% climb year on year, but flat quarter on quarter. Between them, DTT and satellite accounted for more than three-quarters of the figure Q4’s results, which will inevitably give a boost due to the Christmas shopping periodic, are being eagerly anticipated.

Yet the good news for the industry is that despite generally unfavourable economic conditions, UK consumers were still adding digital TV sets with the survey showing that nearly three-quarters (74.0%) of all secondary TV sets converted to digital by the end of June 2010, a 6.7% rise over the period a year ago and up 3.3% quarter on quarter. This meant that in all 82.4% of all TV sets had converted to digital television by the end of Q3 2010, a year on year rise of 3.9% and a quarterly gain of 2.3%.

In terms of the digital TV technologies, ten million homes claimed that DTT was their primary means of digital TV reception. This was equivalent to 39.1% of all homes, a year on year rise of 1.1%.

DTT had a bad Q310 when compared with the quarter a year earlier but for the nine month period compared better. Total sales of DTT-enabled equipment reached 2.5 million units in Q310, a fall of 12% on that a year earlier. Freeview set-top boxes accounted for over 608,000 sales in the quarter and nearly all new TV sets include a digital tuner. Yet for the nine month period to the end of Q3 2010, 13.7 million DTT units (IDTVs and set-top boxes) were sold, a slight increase of 2.4% on that of the nine months to the end of 2009.

Ofcom found that almost 9.4 million, 36.8% of homes, received pay-satellite TV services, up 1.8% on a yearly basis. BSkyB claimed that it added pay-TV 96,000 subscribers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland during the third quarter. Ofcom estimates around 80,000 of these being UK additions. A further 1.6 million homes claimed access to free-to-view digital satellite device on any set in the home. Indicating the success of marketing by players such as Freesat, this was up by a million people from a year ago.

Cable TV was eclipsed its rival platforms, accounting for 13.1% of homes took cable television, an 0.7% increase on 2009’s share. Virgin Media reported net additions of almost 15,000 TV subscribers, with a total TV customer base now over 3.76 million. Digital cable added over 17,000 subscribers in the quarter (including conversions from analogue cable), with 99.4% of all cable television customers using digital cable services by Q3 2010.

Ofcom's survey is available at _

Source: Rapid TV News _