While TV sets are becoming ever ‘smarter’, remote controls have been lagging behind according to manufacturer, Samsung. The handset with Samsung’s TV range introduced at the CES 2014 consumer electronics show in Las Vegas may be a forerunner of remotes to come. The Smart Control combines a rounded ‘pebble’ shape with a ‘faster and more accurate’ button layout, gesture-recognition, voice interaction, a touch pad to ‘flip’ through onscreen content in a similar way to touch screen phones and tablets, and a one-touch 'Football mode' which automatically sets up the TV for sports programmes.
Americans prefer to see films at home rather than at the cinema, according to a poll from New York research company, Harris Interactive. Although they will go out to the movies on average five times a year, only 21% actually prefer to watch films that way, and more than half (57%) favour watching at home on TV.
Adult channel Hustler TV has launched a high definition version on Skylink, the DTH platform for residents of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The channel is available to customers of four of Skylink’s seven pay-TV packages – Flexi7, Multi HD, HD Plus, and Komplet. The Skylink platform broadcasts from the ASTRA 23.5°E satellites.
There will be 400 million homes directly receiving pay-TV and free-to-air TV via satellite dishes by 2018, up by almost 100 million on 2012 numbers, according to the Global Satellite TV Forecasts report from Digital TV Research. The figure represents about a quarter of TV household worldwide, a considerably increase from 14% in 2008.
Eurosport has become the place to find European women’s football. The Europe-wide family of channels has acquired the rights to broadcast live matches, in SD and HD, from the German Women’s Bundesliga for the next two seasons, joining its coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, UEFA Women’s Euro, Women’s UEFA Champions League, the Algarve Cup and international women’s age-group competitions.
UK free-to-air satellite platform Freesat has added one TV and one radio channel to its EPG. TV channel, Holiday & Cruise provides advice and information on destinations and travel, and is at channel 409 in the Freesat EPG (284 in the Sky UK EPG). London talk radio station LBC broadcasts 24 hours a day on Freesat EPG channel 734.
A report from the UK television industry marketing body, Thinkbox, shows that UK viewers’ love for conventional TV is far from over. While a typical UK TV viewer each day watches 3 hours 58 minutes on a TV set, they spend just 3.5 minutes viewing TV on devices such as a smart phone, tablet or laptop. “The TV set is currently the screen people prefer to watch TV on," says the report.
The UK’s TV licensing authority’s ‘TeleScope 2013’ report on TV viewing habits reveals that while UK homes now own an average of 1.83 TVs apiece (down from 2.3 TVs per home ten years ago), UK viewers are watching more TV – an average of 4 hours 2 minutes each day (up 26 minutes per day from 2006). However, each viewer still watches less than 0.05% of the 3 million hours of TV choice transmitted each year across all the UK’s FTA and subscription channels.
A survey by market researchers, Analysys Mason has found that less than half of the ‘smart’ or ‘connected’ TVs in people’s homes are actually connected to the Internet. Questioning consumers in France, Germany, Spain, Poland, the UK and US at the end of last year, the survey reveals that although interest in internet-enabled TVs is high (with 36% of respondents who did not yet own a smart TV interested in buying one), only 44% of those who do own a smart TV had actually connected it to the internet.
TV buyers in France, Germany, Italy and the UK are increasingly looking for big screen connected TVs according to research by comparison site Idealo. Analysing 8 million price and product comparison searches during 2012, Idealo has uncovered the preferences of would-be TV buyers in the four countries. The popularity of TVs with a screen size of 42in (106cm) or larger has increased from 38.8% in 2011 to over 54% at the end of 2012, when more than 80% of available TVs offered internet connectivity.
Samsung is by far the most popular TV brand, chosen by nearly 42% of searchers, well ahead of nearest rivals Philips (17.2%) and LG (12.4%).
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