Freeview HD Could Severely Affect Sky+ HD Uptake

More than 350,000 Sky+ HD customers could switch to Freeview HD within six months according to a research carried out by Yougov amongst a sample population of 2063 adults.

17 percent of Sky Customers that have Sky+ HD said that they were likely to switch to Freeview HD for their main TV which could shift around 360,000 households to the free alternative.

There are more than 10 million households that currently use Freeview for their main television sets with a total of more than 18 million sets on Freeview as of last year.

Freeview HD has already gone live in London since December 2009 but the rollout nationwide is set to accelerate as we approach June 2010 and the start of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

Yesterday Toshiba released its first Freeview HD PVR at a cost of £350 and a Freeview HD receiver is said to cost around £130, roughly ten times the value of an entry level bog standard, DVB-T model.

For now, only BBC HD and ITV HD are available with Five expected to come up with five HD channels (ed : all free?) by next year. Sky in comparison has more than 30 HD channels on its satellite service.

Interestingly, 12 percent of Virgin Media subscribers said that they'd intend to switch to Freeview HD.

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There are also reports that Freeview HD may soon introduce a 3D service in the future although this will depend heavily on the hardware penetration of 3D services. Freeview HD is going to affect Sky + HD more than Virgin HD because the latter is putting more emphasis on its broadband, not its telly service.

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