10% of UK Viewers Could Benefit from UltraHD

A survey of TV viewing habits in the UK has been conducted by the BBC, as it considers moving to UltraHD broadcasts. The results showed that only 10% of viewers would benefit from the move, rising to 22.9% if people were able to buy the size of TV that they desired (i.e., a larger one).

The average size of TV in the UK is 39.3″, up from 26″ 10 years ago; however, average viewing distance has remained largely the same, at 2.63m. Men reported having larger TVs, at 40″, while women averaged 36″ (take from that what you will… – TA).

50.1% of the 2,416 respondents said that they would buy a larger TV when they next upgrade – a crucial point for UltraHD broadcasting – with the most in-demand size being 49″.

When will that next TV be purchased? 30.5% of respondents said that they had purchased a new TV in the last two-to-five years; only 18.9% had an older model. The average TV replacement cycle is between eight and nine years, so mass-replacements are unlikely in the near future.

72.8% of people had an LCD TV, 14.6% had a plasma, 3.8% a CRT, 1% a projector and 7.8% did not know or had something else. In terms of what Brits are viewing, 91% watch linear TV; 68% watch packaged media (DVDs, etc) and 61% use the internet for streaming. Additionally, almost 40% of respondents used their TV for gaming. The average length of time to watch TV is between two and four hours every day – and we like to do it in the dark. Almost 40% of people said that they like the room to be dark or dimly-lit when watching TV.

Relatively few people add external speakers to their TV, with 60% saying that they rely on their set’s in-built speakers. Just under 18% have full surround sound, 9.5% have stereo speakers and 8% have a soundbar.

10% of people questioned by the BBC did not have a TV, but 90% of that group used a different device to watch TV content: 76.6% on a laptop, 32% on a desktop, 29.9% on a tablet and 22.5% on a smartphone. That equates to just 1% of people who don’t own a TV and don’t watch TV content.

The full survey and results can be found at