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Fewer sets but more TV watched in UK as second screens see strong growth

Even though the average household now has fewer TV sets, UK TV audiences are watching more programmes as the uptake of connected devices takes off, according new research by UK TV Licensing.

In its look at the nation’s changing television viewing habits, the research found that there are now an average of 1.83 TV sets per household, down from an average of 2.3 in 2003, and that the average viewer watches an average of four hours two minutes of TV a day, up from an average of three hours 36 minutes a day in 2006.

Showing the continued primacy of traditional TV, despite the vast amount of alternatives, the research found that contrary to popular perception the number watching only time-shifted TV was less than a single percentage. Almost half (49%) of time-shifted viewing is completed the same day as the programme was transmitted and a further 24% within 24 hours.

Just under half (47%) of UK households have a PVR, watching a combined estimate 455 million hours or the equivalent of almost 52,000 years. Yet it is not all about state of the art technology: nearly a third (29%) still have a VCR as part of their home entertainment set-up.

Nearly a third of Internet users in the UK use catch-up services like the BBC iPlayer and Channel 4s 4oD every week, with just over a third (37%) of connected homes using on-demand services each week.

Other findings include the fact that more than a third of the TV market value in 2012 was from sales of 3DTVs, and sales of jumbo screens (43" or more) increased 10% over the past 12 months. The survey also showed the growing influence of social media related to TV, finding that two-fifths of all tweets were about television shows between 6.30pm and 10pm.

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