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The UK is a nation of square-eyed goggle boxers

Ofcom says we can’t drag ourselves away from the telly
Thu Dec 13 2012, 16:07
3D Television

FIGURES FROM TELECOMS WATCHDOG Ofcom suggest that Brits are television crazed consumers that will use almost any devices to watch TV.

"TV-loving UK consumers lead the world in using the latest technology to enhance their viewing experience," said Ofcom in its latest release.

This means that the UK is above and beyond the USA and Japan when it comes to catching up with television online, meaning that we'll probably be catching up with repeats of television online before they start tuning in.

We are, said Ofcom, the leading country when it comes to adopting digital video recorders, and around a quarter of us watch television via the internet at least once a week. Here we beat the USA, where just 17 percent of people indulge in internet based television watching, and Spain, where 16 percent do.

When we aren't watching television on our computers, 41 percent of us are doing so on swanky high definition television sets. Again, this sees us sitting atop a pile of others including Japan, where 31 percent of homes have an HD telly, but behind the US, where 49 percent have one. We do have more smart TV sets connected than the US, though, with 15 percent to its 10 percent.

Televisions do not just catch dust, however, and the average UK viewer endures 242 minutes of programming every day. We are beaten here, of course, by the US where they watch 293 minutes, and Italy, 253 minutes.

It's not all about the TV, either, and the UK is a big hitter when it comes to smartphone penetration. Ofcom said 58 percent of us have a smartphone, and 19 percent have a tablet. This proliferation of mobile devices has led to a lack of desktop computer use, with just over a third of us using a desktop PC to access the internet. Half of us, or 51 percent, use a laptop, while six percent use a smartphone, tablet, or equivalent connected device.

"Our research shows that UK consumers continue to benefit from one of the most advanced markets for communications products and services," said James Thickett, Ofcom's director of Research.

"We have always been a nation of TV lovers, and our research shows that UK consumers are world leaders in using the latest TV technology. By catching up on programmes online or using smart TVs, the UK public is finding new ways to enhance their viewing experience."

This all adds up of course and people in the UK are downloading more data on their mobiles than any other major nation. This time last year the average UK mobile connection was using 424MB of data per month, while in America, in sixth place, they were sucking down just 319MB.

Fortunately, perhaps, the UK enjoys some of the lowest prices for mobile communications out there. However, Ofcom said that the gap here is narrowing. µ


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