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TVs

Are you going to have Christmas in high definition?

Your chance of getting a high-defiinition Christmas is currently about one in ten -- by the end of this year there will be 2.4 million HD Ready TVs in UK households

Is it going to be a high-definition Christmas for you? By the end of this year there will be 2.4 million HD Ready TVs in UK households, according to market research honchos GfK. This means that nearly 10 per cent of all households will be HD Ready, compared to 2 per cent at the beginning of 2006.

Of course, having an HD Ready television doesn't mean that you've actually bothered to get an HD signal into your home. The absolute numbers of people who can enjoy these slick images are still quite small. Sky announced today that it has 96,000 subscribers for its Sky HD service, which kicked off back in April.

Telewest said back in June that in the first three months of offering its Telewest TV Drive HD-enabled cable boxes that it had signed up 34,000 subscribers, and the company told us it may announce a new subscriber number next week with its quartely results. And there are a few brave souls who may be hacking into the BBC's HD Freeview trials. (If you want to go all obscure, you can check out Belgium-based satellite service Euro1080. That's if you don't mind dealing with Belgium of course.)

Hi-def isn't just about broadcast TV. There's also those nice new HD disc formats, Blu-ray and HD DVD. You can now buy a Blu-ray player from Samsung, although at just under a grand this is for early-adopter AV geeks only. We're also expecting the first of the rival HD DVD players (it's that old format war bore) later this month. If you're a PC geek you can also check out a Blu-ray-enabled PC from Sony, and if you're a gamer with an Xbox 360 you'll also be be able to see some HD DVD goodness with its add-on player. Sadly, PlayStation fans will have to wait until the PS3 hits Europe next March.

If you need to brush up on your HD, check out our Insider Secrets about getting ready for HD here. And if you want to to increase your chances of getting HD Ready for Christmas, check out our competitions page: we've got two HD Ready TVs to give away in our Win a Digital Christmas and Xbox competitions. Good luck! -MP