At a time when HD Ready TVs are selling faster than ever in the run up to the World Cup, many households are still very confused as to how actually to watch in high definition (HD).
Ofcom’s latest data released this week shows that 70% of digital TV’s sold in the UK in the last quarter of 2009 were HD Ready. As a result, total HD Ready TV sales in the UK hit 23 million units by the end of 2009.
As Charlie Ponsonby, CEO of Ofcom accredited digital TV comparison service Simplifydigital.co.uk comments:
“HD Ready TVs now dominate flatscreen TV sales in the UK, but simply by buying an HD Ready TV does not mean that a viewer can watch in high definition”.
Indeed, millions of people are failing to get the most out of their high definition televisions by failing to hook it up to a HD digital receiver, Blu-ray player or PS3 console.
The British Video Association (BVA) study this week shows that 50% of those who believed they were watching in HD had not actually connected the necessary player or set-top box, and are thus actually still watching in standard definition.
Charlie Ponsonby of Simplifydigital continues:
“High street shops can be very quick to sell the virtues of an HD Ready TV without mentioning the additional cost required to actually watch in HD.”
“Simplifydigital receives hundreds of calls from confused consumers, who have an HD Ready TV and had only recently been made aware that they need to get an HD TV service such as Sky or Freesat, in order to watch in HD”
Indeed, once you have an HD Ready TV set, there are four HD TV packages to choose from. Freeview HD has just launched and should be available to 50% of UK homes by June this year. It offers just three HDTV channels (BBC HD, ITV HD and C4 HD). Freesat offers a similar range of subscription free HDTV channels received via satellite.
Sky and Virgin Media offer a far larger range of HDTV channels. Sky offers by far the widest range of HD TV channels available in the UK, offering a total of 39 HDTV channels including Sky Sports and Sky Movies in HD. And Virgin Media offers 8 HD TV channels including ESPN in HD.
Consumers who would like advice on HDTV deals from all the top digital TV providers, can speak to the Simplifydigital impartial digital TV experts for free on 0800 1 388 388.