One in three British consumers would happily ditch their traditional TV set for another viewing device, according to new research studying UK viewing habits by price comparison website broadbandchoices.co.uk.
The report’s findings suggest that a third (33 per cent) of those polled revealed they would rather watch programmes on a tablet, smart-phone or laptop than on a traditional television set.
The site’s specalists predict that by 2017, the ordinary television set will be replaced as the primary viewing device in most British homes thanks to the humble broadband connection.
broadbandchoices.co.uk notes that as faster fibre optic broadband is rolled out across the country, Internet TV watched on gadgets such as tablets and smartphones is becoming the default choice for many people, offering the advantage of viewing on the move.
The survey also revealed a quarter of respondents (26 per cent) watch less TV through a standard television set than they did ten years ago. This reflects a wider generational shift in habits, as younger viewers become more mobile and are less inclined to sit in front of a static TV set.
broadbandchoices.co.uk suggests that the recent collapse of high street entertainment giants HMV and Blockbuster could also lead to an increase in the online streaming of content. With fewer places available to buy tangible DVDs and Blu-Rays, services such as Netflix and LoveFilm, where viewers are able to download and stream film and TV content straight to their laptop, games console or Smart TV, are expected to increase in popularity during 2013, according to the website.
Despite the decrease in traditional static TV viewing, and thanks to the rise of mobile gadgets, the survey found that British consumers are actually watching an average of an hour and a half extra video, film and television content a day than they were ten years ago – equivalent to more than 500 hours a year.
According to Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at broadbandchoices.co.uk, it’s not surprising that the old fashioned television set is losing its crown as king of the living room. “With so many different ways for people to view films and programmes over a broadband connection, modern devices such as tablets allow viewers far more flexibility to choose where and when they watch their favourite shows. We could see the ordinary TV set replaced in most homes as the primary viewing device in less than five years,” he predicted.
“The ability to stream and download content has changed the landscape of home entertainment and put the end viewer in charge of their entertainment schedule. Make sure you have the right broadband set up that can support all this online streaming, particularly if there are multiple users in one household. Broadband availability varies by postcode, so it is crucial to do your research before switching – if you haven’t changed providers in a while you could save some money too,” he advised.