Over a quarter of digital TV viewers still rely on channel hopping to decide what to watch, spending more than a week per year channel surfing.
A survey of 2,000 UK digital TV viewers, released by Microsoft’s Connected TV Business to promote its TV Search product on BT Vision, says 27% spend around 3.5 hours per week channel surfing. Young adults (aged 16-24), with too much time on their hands, are the worst offenders with 20% spending a quarter of their time channel hopping.
Despite this apparent investment in time 73% still say they miss programmes they would have like to have watched because they find it difficult or time consuming to find what’s on. 45% find the number of channels overwhelming, 41% stick to a handful of familiar broadcasters, and for one in three this is the Big 5 UK channels.
Christine Heckart, of Connected TV at Microsoft said that with the abundance of choice it was hardly surprising viewers found the search process time consuming. “ To get the most out of your TV service you need to be able to find what you want to watch, when you want, quickly and easily. That’s why we made search a key feature of Mediaroom, which is used by BT for its BT Vision TV service. Microsoft has been studying and refining TV search with input from consumers around the world for over nine years.”
Microsoft has adopted a system similar to an internet search using keywords such as an actor’s name or programme title to search the EPG including the on demand library and locally made recordings.
Unsurprisingly more than half of the viewers surveyed and 69% of 16-24 year olds favoured the keyword approach.