UK consumers ready for advanced TV in the connected home

Ericsson UK Research has demonstrated consumer demand for advanced ‘connected home’ features, but DIY solutions currently rule the day amongst early adopters.

Ericsson has released details of its latest ConsumerLab research, titled IPTV and the Connected Home. The study examines digital content consumption in the home today, and focuses on consumer interest in potential IPTV services and of the potential for interconnectivity between digital content devices.

Core facts include that demand for advanced TV and connected home features is driving consumers to create their own home entertainment systems. Altogether, 33% of the internet population in the study were very interested in creating ‘connected home’ environments. An estimated one third of internet consumers have connected their PC to the TV to stream or download video content from the internet and watch the content on the main home screen, or on a mobile device, based on the qualitative research study and early adopter market size in the UK.

Ericsson ConsumerLab Research shows over half of UK consumers, based on respondents’ answers in the study, would like greater freedom and flexibility to access digital content from any device, from anywhere, combined with wireless connectivity between all digital content devices.

Demand for advanced TV and connected home features is driving UK consumers to create their own home entertainment systems, which allow them to view and share digital content on a range of screens and devices in the home, according to the research.

The research highlights the fact that games consoles are being used as a hub for home entertainment, as they are the devices which interconnect with the widest range of other devices and services in the home. However, of an average of 16 digital content devices in the home, most devices remain strictly PC or TV-centric, and offer only limited or no connectivity to other devices.

The data shows a clear demand for easier access to digital content around the home, and the opportunity for operator-based services to tap into mass market demand by delivering simple, reliable ways to access digital content anytime, anyplace. However, the research showed that operators need to deliver ‘super-simplicity’ to drive mass market take up of advanced IPTV-based functionality.

The survey also asked respondents to rank a series of ‘What consumers want from advanced TV services and the Connected Home’ concepts, based on the TV and digital content-related features they offer.

The top ranked concept, both in the UK and in the international group, was ‘The New Home’, which enables the consumer to use any device to access TV, video, music or images, from anywhere. The key features of this concept include: Wireless connectivity – 80% of consumers in the international group and 64% of UK consumers would like wireless connectivity between all digital media devices, to facilitate the quick and easy sharing of digital content; Direct media delivery – consumers would rather send digital content directly to the device where it is optimally consumed, for example sending a photo directly to the TV, without having to connect via a computer; Remote access to digital content – the ability to either send content home from a device, or to access home-based content remotely, would be a key connected home service.

Stephen Hall, VP strategy, marketing and communications, said: “Consumers are looking for new ways to view and share their digital media. A significant number of tech-savvy users are already creating connected homes, bringing together the best features of digital TV and the Internet to use content in ways which best suit them. Clearly, many more people would like access to the same features, but they are held back by the complexity of the technology. What will drive increased take up of these higher value TV and related services is simplicity. There is clearly a huge opportunity for operators who can deliver an easy to use, highly connected home environment. Ericsson is helping to deliver this by working with operators and with digital media industry as a whole.”