Intellect UK warns Top Up TV may stymie Freeview's success



Industry trade body Intellect UK has expressed "considerable concern" about Top Up TV, the proposed new DTT pay-TV service, saying it "may well confuse the public image of Free-To-View television and set back the success of Freeview".

Intellect expressed its worries as it announced its latest figures for Freeview sales, saying that in Q4 of 2003, 800,000 Freeview set-top boxes were sold in addition to 80,000 integrated digital televisions (IDTVs). The organization says that its "forecasts for 2004" are "400,000 IDTVs and 3.2 million set-top boxes", although it's unclear whether the latter figure refers to DTT sales alone or sales of boxes across all three digital television platforms. If DTT alone this would represent by far the most bullish forecast for Freeview yet made, suggesting it could be in as many as six million households by the end of 2004.

Meanwhile, Intellect says it is continuing to lobby the UK Government to make a clear statement by the end of this year setting out the timetable for Digital Switchover. Intellect represents 1000 companies across the British information technology, telecommunications and electronics industries.