On-demand and recording features top list of consumer ‘must haves’ for TV

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HD and 3D TV are failing to impress, as the UK’s TV viewers put digital recording, on-demand content and no monthly fees on their list of ‘must have’ TV services, according to a new report from set-top box provider Humax.

The Humax ‘TV Appeal’ report, based on a survey of 2,000 UK adults, reveals insights into the top features and TV content that appeal to consumers, to guide retailers in their sales strategies.

Less than a quarter (23%) of UK adults think HD content is essential and only 3% see the appeal in 3D TV. Instead, other features ranked more highly, such as subscription-free TV (43%), live pause and rewind (32%) and integrated on-demand services like BBC iPlayer and ITV Player (26%).

When it comes to channel choice, it seems consumers are keen to explore the expanded line up of free channels post-digital switchover, with ITV2 revealed as the UK’s favourite – particularly among women – closely followed by Dave. Dramas and documentaries are the programme genre of most interest, highlighting consumers’ appetite for channels and programming available on subscription-free services such as Freeview, YouView and Freesat.

Over a third (35%) of UK adults do not have a digital TV recorder, suggesting an opportunity lies in upgrading TV viewers to more advanced set-top boxes that can offer recording options. It is those people aged 45 to 54 years who are more likely to own a set-top box that can record digitally, although those from 35 to 44 years are hit the ‘record’ button most frequently.

Despite the growing ownership of smartphones and tablets, the research also shows that the TV is the preferred way to watch on-demand and catch-up content and not mobile devices.

“TV viewers have never had so much choice when it comes to accessing and watching content, but our research gives retailers new insights into the services and features they value to inform sales strategies,” commented Graham North, Commercial Director of Humax.

“With subscription-free viewing high on the list of ‘must haves’ for UK consumers, there is a clear opportunity for retailers to sell feature-rich TV products for the YouView, Freeview and Freesat services that meet demand for more advanced recording functionality and catch-up content via the TV.”

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