UK leads the way for Digital switch on
Digital TV will be watched in a greater percentage of homes in the UK than any other country by 2010, a report says. Around 95% of UK households will have digital TV, compared with 66% in the US and 50% in Germany, according to market analyst Datamonitor.
Freeview will overtake satellite as the most popular way to watch TV in the UK by 2008, the company says. The report also predicts that Europe will continue to lag behind the US in adopting high definition (HD) TV.
It blames lack of interest in HD on the fact that the improvement in picture quality is smaller in Europe compared with the US. However, HD broadcasts of this summer's football World Cup have sparked interest in the format amongst Europeans, the report's authors say.
The UK already has the world's highest level of digital TV viewers at almost 70%, broadcasting regulator Ofcom revealed earlier this year. The US is second with 55%, but no other European country has passed 50%.
Growth in digital services is expected to be fuelled by hi-tech developments such as TV on demand and personal video recorders. In the UK, most homes will have to switch to digital when the government turns off the traditional analogue television signal.
The Cumbrian town of Whitehaven will be first to lose its analogue signal in 2007, with the switchover process due to be completed by 2012.