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Sales of Freeview boxes and TVs pass 100m

Wednesday, May 13th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

More than 100m Freeview boxes and TV sets have been sold since the service was launched in 2002.

The figure includes all televisions, set-top boxes and DVD and Blu-ray devices with an inbuilt Freeview SD or HD tuner.

TVs with a built-in SD or HD tuner make up 66% of Freeview units sold, at 70,735,192.

Freeview+ digital TV recorders that allow viewers to pause, record and rewind programmes account for more than six million sales.

Since Freeview HD was launched in 2010, high definition TVs and boxes have seen year-on-year growth, accounting for 16m sales. Of these sales, 98% were TVs.

Freeview’s managing director Guy North said: “Reaching this milestone is testament to the on-going popularity of the Freeview service.

“Since its launch we’ve taken the country from analogue to digital, linear to time-shifted, and SD to HD. Soon, we will take our viewers from digital to a connected TV world with Freeview Play.”

Freeview Play is the name of Freeview’s new subscription-free connected TV service.

It will combine catch-up and on demand with live TV, allowing customers to catch up with the shows they’ve missed either directly from the TV guide or via the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All4 and Demand 5 apps.

'Very confusing'

“There’s a great opportunity for Freeview Play to reach scale in the connected TV market,” added Mr North.

“We will bring simplicity to what is a very confusing market for people right across the UK, and expect Freeview Play to become the new norm in how we watch television in the future.”

Since the first smart TV was introduced in the UK, the connected TV market has seen a five-fold increase in sales – increasing from 9% of all TVs sold in 2010 to 48% in 2014.

With technology changing the way we watch television, Freeview carried out research to find out how our relationship with TV has changed.

It found that more than half of Britons (52%) would describe themselves as a TV addict and that 24% watched TV on ‘autopilot’, with viewing habits borne out of habit and routine.

Mr North said: “Our report shows that Britons love their telly; in fact, many of us are addicted to it.

“It also plays a valuable social role, not only helping us to relax, unwind and escape, but also bringing people together.”

He said that in a world of “constant tech distractions, long working hours and lots of pressure,” those are good benefits.

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