Digital terrestrial television (DTT) is the UK's most widely used TV platform, available to virtually all households. At the heart of this is Freeview – the free-to-air service watched by three-quarters of UK homes. Freeview offers more than 70 digital TV channels, radio stations and interactive services via an aerial, with the added benefit of simple digital recording and free high-definition channels from the UK's top broadcasters.
The popularity of DTT puts it on course to continue growing and evolving in the coming years. Its scale and enduring appeal also help underpin a range of benefits including:
* Universal availability of public service TV
* Greater consumer choice
* Competition between TV platforms
* Investment in UK-made programmes
Latest research from Ofcom shows most viewers continue to watch TV programmes as they are broadcast. However, DTT is constantly evolving to offer viewers even more choice. Freeview and Digital UK have developed a connected TV service, Freeview Play, designed to make the best of broadcast and broadband-delivered television available free to everyone. The new offer gives viewers easy access to both linear and on-demand content, including a range of popular catch-up players, free from subscription.
Digital UK has led the development of the product specification which is be based on open standards, working in close co-operation with manufacturers and industry bodies. Manufacturers and content developers can register their interest and find technical information about this new connected service here. The service launched in October 2015.
98.5% of UK homes are in digital terrestrial TV coverage
20m UK households watch DTT
£80bn is delivered to the UK economy by DTT over a ten-year period
108m+ Freeview TVs, boxes and recorders have been sold since 2003
46% of homes in the EU rely on DTT as their primary source of TV
£3bn is invested by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 each year in original UK content for TV
85% of all TV viewing is still to linear broadcast content
95% of the UK's most-watched programmes are available on Freeview without subscription
Sources: Communications Chambers: value of DTT report; Ofcom; Gfk Retail and Technology; BARB
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