Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Britons make switch from TV sets

A tablet computer - the televisual weapon of choice for a third of Britons, according to a poll

A third of Britons would rather watch programmes on a tablet, smartphone or laptop than a traditional television set, according to a survey.

Just over a quarter of people (26%) watch less TV through a standard set than they did 10 years ago, while 33% would "happily" swap it for a gadget capable of streaming programmes, the poll for broadbandchoices.co.uk found.

It said the survey suggested that internet TV watched on gadgets such as tablets and smartphones was becoming the default choice for many people as faster fibre optic broadband is rolled out across the country, offering the advantage of viewing on the move.

And despite the decrease in traditional TV viewing, the survey found that Britons are watching an average of 1.5 hours more video, film and television content a day than they were 10 years ago.

The website has predicted that the television set will be replaced as the primary viewing device by gadgets working off broadband connections in most British homes by 2017.

According to recent Ofcom figures, traditional television viewing among 25 to 34-year-olds fell from an average of 3.5 hours to 3.3 hours a day between 2005 and 2011.

More than a third of adults (37%) with home internet now watch online "catch-up" TV, an increase of 14% compared with three years previously, the regulator found.

Broadbandchoices said the recent collapse of high street entertainment giants HMV and Blockbuster could also lead to an increase in the online streaming of content.

Broadbandchoices spokesman Dominic Baliszewski said: "It's not surprising that the old-fashioned television 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. 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."

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