TV catch-up the most popular activity for the smart set
July 19, 2012 08.59 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Catch-up TV and the streaming of programmes and movies are the most-widely undertaken activities on smart TVs, according to new research from Ofcom.

The Communications Market Report 2012 says that among those who had used the internet connection on their set, 51% said they had watched catch-up TV, 42% had streamed programmes, and 41% had streamed films.

Activities such as social networking and online shopping – often touted on the PowerPoints of our conference halls – are much less popular when compared to the PC.
The regulator says the evidence points to the consumer using different devices to address different needs.
TV sets that feature the ability to connect to the internet are increasing in popularity with 5% of TV households owning a smart (often referred to as Connected) TV.

However, almost half (47%) of smart TV owners said they had not been concerned whether or not the set was internet connected when making their purchase. Typically consumers are making their purchase decision based on wanting the best product with the latest technology, the design of the set, and the quality of the screen. Sixty per cent of respondents said that they simply chose the most up-to-date product available, while 40% said that they liked the look of the set and 32% said that they wanted the best screen.

Over two-thirds (65%) claimed to have subsequently used the internet connection on their smart TV.
Ofcom’s report also indicated a slowdown in the number of UK homes owning a personal video recorder. As of Q1 2012 this stood at 47% of UK homes.
Just under a third (29%) of UK adults in Q1 2012 used catch-up TV services online. However, there is evidence to suggest that the growth of catch-up services via a PC is slowing down, with an increase of only three percentage points year on year from 27% in 2011, as catch-up services become increasingly available via internet-enabled TV sets.