Consumers demand higher quality TV online -

A study investigating modern consumption of TV has shown that while HDTV is fast becoming the mainstream for home viewing, consumers are increasingly demanding higher quality services such as 3DTV and high quality streaming.

The survey, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Cisco, showed that UK consumers’ expectations of picture quality have been raised by High Definition TV, with uptake currently at 57 percent of households.

It was shown that with the arrival of 3DTV consumers will continue to seek higher quality pictures with 43 percent of young customers aged 16-24 expressing interest in purchasing 3D enabled sets in the future.  33 percent of those aged 25-34 also showed interest in 3D. We have long been shouting from the rooftops that the 3D telly push is a cynical way to offload a panel glut for very high profits - it seems the marketing is working.  

It is noted that there often problems with TV on demand services with 31 percent of UK couch potatoes experiencing stuttering or picture freezes, 17 percent of which reported having to go to the extreme lengths of switching the set off and on again.

However, the way that people are watching television is increasingly diversifying with newer devices such as tablets and large screen smartphones now enabling online TV consumption anywhere in the home.

Furthermore there is evidence that consumers are seeking integrated services with many surfing online and watching television simultaneously, with 70 percent of online consumers accessing the internet in the living room thanks to the freedom of access given by wireless devices.

Quality of streaming online TV content is still a problem for many, with 72 percent of consumers reporting issues, 42 percent of which gave up viewing content altogether. It's a problem when you are just getting to the end of the Hollyoaks omnibus and 4od freezes up as usual.

This has led to 22 percent of consumers showing willingness to pay for a guaranteed improvement in quality.  According to the Forrester survey young consumers would rather pay per item as opposed to a traditional subscription payment model, mirroring the pre pay model that proved very popular on mobile phones.

It is noted that with regards to who should ensure quality of service it is clear that consumers believe both the site from which they are viewing content and their ISP provider should both take responsibility.

With the arrival of increasing availability of wireless devices such as tablet PCs it seems that such diversification of viewing mediums will continue to boost online viewing consumption.

*EyeSee A bird tells TechEye that the music industry is also looking for ways to monetise streaming. With feeds from Glastonbury already popular, major labels are holding talks, in line for a 2011 push, to bring live gig streaming in a paid-for service like a hybrid of the iPlayer and Spotify.