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Digital TV and the advent of Smartphones


According to the report, What television is: 2013, written by Deloitte, the TV industry generated £17.5 billion (€20.6bn) in revenues in the UK in 2012, a figure that translates to just over 1 per cent of UK GDP.

In 2012, UK completed its switchover from analogue to digital systems. Now, UK homes wishing to enjoy entertainment on their TV must be connected to a digital TV provider. Websites such as are making this process easier for viewers by providing information on digital TV providers operating in the country.

Smartphones and tablets are positioning themselves as a media portal, especially for TV and video. And the strategy seems to be working. Users are spending about 25 minutes a day watching full-length television episodes on digital devices, compared to about five hours on television sets.

So what can the embattled television industry do to avoid being obsolete?

Well for starters, many operators have responded to this new threat by offering TV on the tablet.  Video-on-demand and live TV content through apps is quickly becoming a popular phenomenon for most operators who are seeking to persuade viewers to spend more time on their channels.

Some operators are seeking to take this a step further by offering personalized services. This means TV operators are looking for ways to offer the right content to the right people at the right time.

Another strategy adopted by operators is enhancing TV experience on the second screen. ‘Second screening’ is the practice of using a mobile device while watching TV. More people are watching TV accompanied by a connected device be it a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. Some analyst are attributing the second screen phenomenon to our shortening attention spans, and our inability to fully pay attention to anything. But the real reason for the popularity of the second screen could be  that viewers have found new ways of augmenting their viewing experience.

Instead of putting TV onto the tablet or smartphone, operators are enhancing the traditional TV watching experience. With new technology, Tablets can connect to the set top box or smart TV, detecting what is playing. Additionally, the rise of “TV check-in” apps provides a less technologically-intense way for the tablet to know what people are watching. Once it’s known what a viewer’s watching, it’s simple to serve up content related to the show. For example, a viewer watching American Idol could see the latest gossip columns featuring the contestants, polls, and what people are saying about the programme on Facebook and Twitter.

According to Paul Lee, director of technology, media and telecommunications at financial services firm Deloitte, the driving force behind second screening is fundamentally due to the increase in home wireless broadband connections coupled with the rise in popularity of portable internet-connected devices such as laptops, smartphones and, most recently, tablets, creating a culture of “connected usage”.

So, do you think your operator is doing enough to keep you glued to your screen?

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