09.59 Europe/London, August 26, 2011 By Robert Briel
The majority of German households have an HD-ready TV set, but hybrid TV sets and 3D sets have a long way to go, according to figures published by TNS-Infratest.

In 2011, HD ready or Full HD flat TVs have become the standard in German homes: in comparison to 2008, the number of LCD and plasma TVs almost tripled (2008: 21% as compared with 59% in 2011).

Among the reasons for buying a flat TV set, the fact that they are visually appealing comes in first place (60%), followed by the wish to have a larger screen (43%) and the desire for a visually appealing alternative to the tube (30%).

“HDTV has contributed to making the television perceived again as a modern, sustainable technology,” said Wolfgang Werres, managing director TNS TNS Media Research.

Interestingly, most people seem to buy flat screen because of the way they look rather than their technical performance. Only 25% of all German households have an actual HD tuner built in or as a separate set-top box.

With regard to connected TV sets, around 59% of the questioned people between 14 – to 64-year-old are aware that TV sets can connect to the internet, but only 8% of all German homes have a connected set or connect via a set-top or game console. Another 4% have a PC or laptop connected to their TV set.

With regards to 3D TV, there is a high awareness level of 78%, but they are hardly used. “With hybrid TV and even more with 3D TV, consumers are unsure how user friendly these services are,” according to Werres.

Although the potential for hybrid TV and 3D content is not yet fully used, television still retains its high value as a medium for entertainment and information. The use of television in all age groups is constant over time – contrary to earlier hypotheses voiced – even among the young. 83% of 14 – to 64-year-olds watch TV four or more days a week. The people questioned estimate that their average TV viewing time is more than 2.5 hours per day, well above daily internet usage (about an hour a day).

The research also indicates that TV stations are using internet successfully as an additional sales channel: 25% of 14-64 year olds use catch-up TV services from the broadcasters such as the ARD Mediathek, RTL Now and the ZDF Mediathek. 37% watch current news from the web sites of the channels.

For the study, TNS Converge Monitor, a total of 1,502 persons aged 14 to 64 years were interviewed in Germany. The survey is representative for the German residential population between 14 and 64 in private households in Germany and was conducted in the form of person-to-face interviews (CAPI) in April/May 2011.