Watching TV

According to a piece in the Media Guardian, most people with Sky+ still watch the majority of their TV programmes “live”, rather than recorded. (you may need to register to read the story, I’m not sure)

Most TV viewing in households with personal video recorders such as Sky+ is still live and “traditional scheduled TV will be around for a long time yet”, according to new research.

Well, I guess it’s good to know that we’re still in a minority then, as pretty much all the stuff we watch has been recorded. It’s far more convenient to us to watch the things we want, when we want. Yes, some things are watched “live” – the morning news, and Herself tends to watch some things “live”, but I’d say that roughly 80-90% of the stuff we watch is recorded.

However, I do agree with the other part of the report :

Most commercials in time-shifted viewing are fast-forwarded, the study found, but viewers “continued to pay a high degree of visual attention” and often engaged with ads while fast-forwarding at high speed.

When we’re fast-forwarding through the adverts, we do pay more attention to them than we would when watching “live” TV. I’m still waiting for someone to come up with putting in little 1 second ads every 30 seconds, so people with Sky+/TiVo see them properly. Now that will be clever.

10 Comments on “Watching TV”

  1. Gordon says:


    Start to comment on this but I was beginning to waffle… so I’ll make it a post on my site instead (inspiration, at last!)

  2. Matt says:

    You know, if you copyrighted the idea of ads that are only properly visible when they are being fast-forwarded through on a TiVo or Sky+ box, you might make a few bob.

  3. Tom says:

    Is that a copyright or a patent?

  4. bagpuss says:

    Does that make me an even smaller monirity.80-90% of what I watch is recored, and I don’t even have Tivo or Sky+. (And the reason I record it is so I can fast forward through the ads, despite still beong stuck in the dark ages with a video recorder…)

  5. Richard says:

    I would say that the amount of TV I watch live is only about 5% at most. Everything else if off the TiVo.

    Maybe user of Sky+ do watch fewer recorded programmes, because Sky+ is less functionally rich than a TiVo. Or perhaps Sky+ users, as a group, are less technologically clued-up, and as such don’t tend to use the functionality of their PVR to its full extent.

  6. Gert says:

    Sublimal advertising is against the law

  7. Lyle says:

    Yes, Gert, subliminal advertising is illegal. However, subliminal counts as one or two frames, when TV/Film displays at roughly 30-40 frames per second. A one-second ad is plenty long enough to register on the conscious mind, which would be fine and legal, and not subliminal at all.

  8. Matt says:

    It could be a patent or a copyright, I’m not entirely sure, and the advertising would not be anything like subliminal, because the actual ad would be like, 10 seconds long, it would only become short and properly visible when being fast-forwarded. Possibly. If someone were to invent it.

  9. Pete says:

    In this case, the word you are looking for is patent.

    It’s all explained here

  10. Richard says:

    If you look at Channel 4 at the moment during their ad breaks, you will see quick flashes of the Big Brother ‘eye’ logo. And that only shows on the screen for about a second at a time.

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