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UK, Germany and U.S. Digital TV Penetration

BBC News reports that around 95 percent of UK households will have digital TV, compared with 66 percent in the U.S. and 50 percent in Germany, according to market analyst Datamonitor.

Freeview will overtake satellite as the most popular way to watch digital TV in the UK by 2008, the company says. The report also predicts that Europe will continue to lag behind the U.S. in adopting high definition (HD) TV. It blames lack of interest in HD on the fact that the improvement in picture quality is smaller in Europe, compared with the U.S.

However, HD broadcasts of this summer's football World Cup have sparked interest in the format amongst Europeans, the report's authors say. The UK already has the world's highest level of digital TV viewers at almost 70 percent, broadcasting regulator Ofcom revealed earlier this year. The U.S. is second with 55 percent, but no other European country has passed 50 percent.

Growth in digital TV services is expected to be fuelled by hi-tech developments such as video on demand (VOD) and the personal video recorder (PVR). In the UK, most homes will have to switch to digital when the government turns off the traditional analogue television signal, starting in 2007.

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