Millions 'missing out on HD digital TV'

Many consumers are unaware that they need a special set-top box from their digital TV provider to view HD channels, even if they have a HD-ready TV.

Despite millions of people splashing out on HD-ready TVs, many have failed to recognise that in order to access a better quality picture they need a special set-top box from their digital TV provider.

This is due to the fact that although the TVs are HD ready, they do nothave HD tuners inside and so have no ability to receive HD signals directly from a source like Freesat or Sky HD.

According to the British Video Association (BVA), as many as six million individuals are missing out on HD viewing because they do not have a HD set-top box or Blu-ray player.

BVA spokesman Simon Heller said: "In the run-up to the World Cup even more people will be looking to invest in HD, but they need to be aware that a high-definition television alone does not mean that they are watching content in high definition."

According to Ofcom's Digital Progress Report, sales of HD ready TVs reached almost 23 million by the end of 2009.

Subscriber numbers to broadband and digital TV provider Sky's HD service also increased by 482,000 over the final quarter, while an extra 112,700 subscribers signed up for Virgin Media's V+HD service.

sky digital subscribers currently have access to 41 HD channels, while Virgin Media customers can access 12.