UK embracing hi-tech TV

TV-loving UK consumers lead the world in using the latest technology to enhance their viewing experience, Ofcom research has revealed.

The UK is ahead of other countries such as Japan and the USA for catching up with TV online and is at the forefront of using new technology such as smart TVs and digital video recorders (DVRs).

Ofcom’s report shows that the UK is embracing the latest TV technology, as the country becomes one of the first all-digital nations, following the digital TV switchover which was completed in October.

As well as being the leading country for the adoption of digital video recorders, UK consumers are the most likely in the world to access TV content over the Internet. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of UK Internet users claimed to do this every week – driven by the popularity of online TV catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer, Sky Go and 4OD. The USA ranked second with 17 per cent, with Spain third (16 per cent).

The UK also has one of the highest proportions of TV homes with HD – at 41 per cent, higher than France (18 per cent), Germany (28 per cent) and Japan (31 per cent), but behind the US (49 per cent).

UK consumers are also embracing the new generation of smart TVs – enabling access to online services such as catch-up TV viewing, social networking and gaming on the TV set. Fifteen per cent of UK consumers say they own a smart TV. This is the same as France, but compares to 10 per cent in the USA.

The average UK viewer watches over four hours (242 minutes) of TV every day, with only the USA (293 minutes) and Italy (253 minutes) watching more.

Earlier this year, Ofcom revealed that TVs in the UK’s living rooms continue to get bigger. Over a third (35.4 per cent) of TV sets sold in Q1 2012 were either ‘super-large’ (33” to 42”) or ‘jumbo-sized’ (43”+), up from 6.8 per cent in 2005.

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