UK viewers of digital terrestrial television put catch-up TV in top spot, with 62% saying they love it more than any other new TV technology.
Research of 2,000 people, carried out on behalf of Freeview, suggests that what consumers want most are technologies that enhance current television viewing behaviour and give the viewer a more personalised experience.
When asked to rank eight different TV technologies in order of appeal, 62% said catch-up TV, followed by TV anytime (59%) and an enhanced electronic programme guide (51%).
3D viewing and mobile TV, meanwhile, are considered less appealing but still “nice to have”, scoring 19 % and 12% respectively. However, the Olympics could be a watershed for some of these new technologies, according to Freeview.
Commenting on the results, Ilse Howling, managing director of Freeview, said in a statement: “Eight years ago in Athens, the iPad and social media were unimagined, while the prospect of watching the 100m final in 3D at home was no more than a pipe dream. London 2012 is gearing up to be a game changer for the television industry.
“In eight years time, at the 2020 Olympics, who knows what the media landscape will look like. However, this research reminds the industry that what viewers want is more control of what they watch and when in an evolutionary, not revolutionary, way.”
What is interesting about the research is how similar the findings are across age groups and those using devices such as the smartphone and tablet. Television appears to be a great leveler – for example, smartphone users score only 4% higher in their response to the appeal of mobile TV compared to the general average.
“I am absolutely certain that no technology can succeed in the next decade without an appreciation of what the vast majority of viewers want.,” added Howling . “However, in the melee of the television world, it’s often easy to get caught up in industry hype on the latest fad. We must make sure that technology isn’t running ahead of consumers in terms of what they actually want.
“The clear message is that the innovations people like most are the ones which best fit with and improve the things they already do today. They like new things which offer an improvement rather than a major step change.”
The roll out of Freeview HD will be completed in October. Currently 81% of the UK can receive the service; by the Olympics this will increase to 85% and the whole country will be able to receive Freeview HD at the end of digital switchover.
Freeview has sold over 75 million products since it launched in 2002.