Brits break free of TV schedule

Of the tens of millions of Brits now watching digital TV, almost half (48 per cent) in the survey say they now control what they watch and when they watch it using digital video recording (DVR). The biggest reasons for the popularity in digital TV and DVR is to avoid scheduling conflicts but also gives more family time, fewer arguments about what to watch and the ability to pause live TV to answer the phone or door.

Nevertheless, the report finds that one in three digital TV viewers (31 per cent) continue to organise their lives around what's on TV; including a hardcore one in eight (12 per cent) who would even turn down a night out if it clashed with a favourite programme.

According to the survey, it is the tech-savvy ';Generation Y' (16 to 24 year olds) who seem most attached to live TV, with just under half (42 per cent) saying they organise their lives around the schedule and almost one in three (31 per cent) saying they would choose to stay in or go home early if there was something on TV they wanted to watch.

With DVR, viewers can pause and rewind live TV, and record TV shows or whole series all at the touch of a button. Nine in ten people (92 per cent) who use DVR say this improves the TV viewing experience, addressing the most common frustrations of broadcast TV, including scheduling conflicts, which the research revealed to be the biggest gripe for one third (34 per cent) of digital TV viewers.

Microsoft suggests that the DVR offers unexpected bonuses. One in five DVR users (22 per cent) reported more family time as they record programmes and eat at the dinner table not in front of the TV; one in three (30 per cent) have fewer arguments in the home about what to watch and four in ten (39 per cent) say they now pause TV rather than ignoring a phone call or knock at the door.

“Young adults are still willing to change their schedules to catch their favourite shows live so that they can talk about them with their friends right away. For the rest of us life is too hectic and we value being able to catch-up and watch our favourite shows at a more convenient time. You can do this and more with connected TV services,” noted Christine Heckart, general manager, marketing, connected TV business group, Microsoft.

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