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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Freeview 'overtakes Sky Digital'
Couple with remote control
Freeview launched in 2002
Freeview is now the most popular way to watch multi-channel TV in the UK, according to the digital service.

Freeview said 8.2 million UK homes now received the service on their main TV sets, based on figures up to March.

Its biggest rival, Sky, had almost eight million subscribers at the end of 2006, while cable broadcaster Virgin Media had three million customers.

Freeview, which offers digital TV via an aerial free of monthlty charges, has been available for five years.

The service is free, once the viewer has bought a Freeview box.

Sky Digital is a satellite service that offers more channels for a monthly subscription.

A Sky spokesman said it attracted more new customers at the end of 2006 than any other time since Freeview launched in 2002.

Freeview has also announced the launch of Freeview Playback, a digital recorder intended to replace video and DVD recorders.

Sky's version, Sky+ is already in two million households. Freeview said its Playback boxes could be in more than 10 million homes by 2012.

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