Sky has announced plans to make high definition TV "accessible for everyone" as the Sky+HD box is now available for £49 with free set-up.

Sky says that HD sales in the last quarter of 2008 were 188,000, double that of the previous 3 months bringing the number of Sky+HD households in the UK to 779,000.

The company says it has "worked closely" with manufacturing partners to bring the price of the box down to the sub-£50 mark to appeal to the 7 million homes in the UK with an HD-ready TV set.

Sky offers 31 dedicated HD channels with packages priced from around £27 a month.

And, good news for the economy - Sky says to meet the anticipated increase in demand Sky is "ramping up" its engineer and customer contact centre staff, with around 1000 jobs created in the year from June 2008 to June 2009.