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UHD TV Penetration Seeing ‘Phenomenal’ Growth In UK-SES

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By Stuart Thomson

UHD TV set penetration is growing phenomenally fast in the UK, according to satellite operator SES’s latest Satellite Monitor survey, an online presentation of which was webcast this morning.

Satellite remains the leading platform in the UK, surveyed for the first time since 2016. Some 12.9 million homes use OTT TV as a complement to linear TV.

In the UK market, 87.9 per cent of homes receive HD TV while UHD TV has seen a “phenomenal rise”, with UHD TV screens now in 30 per cent of homes, said Mike Chandler, managing director of Astra GB.

SES reaches 17 million homes in the UK market including 10.7 million DTH homes, a decline year on year. Satellite has a 40.9 per cent share of the market, compared with 16.7 per cent for cable, 7.7 per cent for IPTV and 34.7 per cent for digital-terrestrial TV.

Of HD homes, 45.2 per cent are satellite and 17.3 per cent are cable while IPV and terrestrial account for 8.3 per cent and 29.3 per cent respectively.

Some 3.4 million of 7.9 million UHD homes are satellite, compared with 1.5 million cable, 0.6 million IPTV and 2.1 million terrestrial homes, according to SES.

The European satellite market overall has been more or less stable between 2015 and 2019, according to SES, reflecting stability in the pay TV market among other things.

Within SES’s Astra footprint, direct to home satellite leads although DTH and cable have declined slightly over the last two years relative to other platforms, with the group’s DTT feed footprint being given a boost by switchover in Ukraine.

Some 81 per cent of European homes have either an HD or UHD TV set. HD growth is now slowing down, with SD screens slowly becoming a thing of the past. Some 67 per cent across Europe as a whole now own a HD TV and 15 per cent own a UHD TV set, according to senior market and business analyst at SES, Ricardo Topham,.

While UHD started faster than HD, there has been no sudden jump in adoption of UHD as happened with HD after four years of availability, the operator said.

HD reach is continuing to grow faster than SES’s overall footprint but it is slowing down as the market matures.

SES also surveyed a number of emerging markets. Satellite TV is strong in Ghana, satellite accounts for twice the number of homes as digital-terrestrial TV. However in Nigeria, the opposite is the case and DTT accounts for twice as many homes as satellite.

Topham said that markets where analogue TV had been shut down without a proper transition period had suffered compared with those in which the project has been phased.

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