10 million mark for Freeview as HD 'technically' arrives
2nd Dec 2009 | 10:54
No equipment, but broadcasts today
Freeview HD is all set for its technical launch today, and in a burst of fortuitous timing, the Freeview service has just arrived in the 10 millionth home.
Freeview HD's first public broadcasts will be at some point today, although with no equipment actually commercially available the service will only be viewed by a handful of testers.
However, the standard definition service has now reached a massive landmark, with the news that the service is now the main-set TV service in 10 million UK homes.
How that figure is arrived at is a little confusing, with many people having televisions with Freeview built-in, but also a satellite or cable box – but it's certainly a key moment for the popular free-to-air digital terrestrial television service.
Great way to end the year
"Becoming the main digital TV service in 10 million homes is a great way to end the year and a fabulous early Christmas present. Freeview is a British success story, and it is a testament to both the simplicity of the service and the hard work of the team that we have hit 10 million so soon," said Ilse Howling, Managing Director of Freeview.
"With over 50 channels Freeview already offers great choice and quality – but we have bold plans for 2010, with the launch of Freeview HD and Freeview+HD, bringing high definition to millions of homes by the time of the World Cup."
Freeview is playing down the launch of Freeview HD at the moment, although that has been partly forced on the platform by the lack of any equipment – probably until early 2010.
The 'technical' launch has been marked only with a small media event, not least because it is limited to the Granada region and London at the moment.
However, Freeview does have major plans for the service with the release reiterating: "Freeview expects 50 per cent of UK households to be able to access Freeview HD by the World Cup in June 2010 and the first new Freeview HD receivers will go on sale from early 2010, with more products available as the year goes on."