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UK leads world in HD-ready TV set uptake, says regulator

Uptake of HD-ready television sets in the UK has surpassed HD consumer adoption in the United States. In fact, consumers in the UK lead the world with uptake of HD-ready sets, according to a newly released report from the UK communications regulatory agency.

Ofcom, the UK equivalent of the Federal Communications Commission in the United States, released the surprising finding as part of its fifth International Communications Market report into the global communications market.

The report, which looks at characteristics, such as consumer uptake of technology, in the communications market of 17 countries, found that 59 percent of UK households have adopted HDTVs, compared with 57 percent in the United States.

However, uptake of HDTV services is lower in the UK than other countries, where subscriptions to HDTV programming services is tied to the number of available HDTV channels, the Ofcom report said.

Ofcom’s comparison of uptake of HDTV services revealed:

  • 44 percent of U.S. households have HDTV services, and 404 HD channels are available.
  • 43 percent of Japanese households have high-def services and 130 HD channels.
  • 42 percent of French households have HD services and 55 channels.
  • 13 percent of UK households have HD services with 50 HD channels.

The report also found UK TV viewers are above average when it comes to how much television they watch. While U.S. viewers continue to lead the world with minutes of TV watched per day at 280, UK viewers spent 225 minutes per day, 18 minutes above the average.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.