TV by internet

by The Times 100 on Monday 23rd February, 2009

Since setting up over forty years ago, Intel realised the importance of combining product innovation with a market focused approach. Intel is best known for producing the chips that deliver increased power to everyday devices such as gaming systems and computers. This type of technology has opened up a new world of faster digital related experiences for music, video, phone calls, information creation and information consumption. As Intel processors become more powerful it increases the possibilities of different forms of entertainment, especially with faster internet connections which can download larger files such as TV programmes.

Watching television programmes over the internet has taken off in the past year since the introduction of the BBC's catch-up service, the iPlayer, a new innovation which enables viewing of material broadcast in the previous seven days.

It is younger viewers who are leading the change in the viewing patterns from television to the computer screen. Of the viewing audience for Skins, the Channel 4, late-night, sixth form drama, one in six is watching the programme via the internet. (The Times, 11 February 2009).

The advantage for viewers of watching programmes online is less disruption from adverts. However, for commercial broadcasters it is proving more difficult to sell adverts online. Channel 4 screens just three minutes of advertising in a 60 minute programme such as Skins online. On digital television it is able to show an average of nine minutes an hour. Online viewers were less keen on advertising, and as a result, they were potentially worth less to commercial broadcasters. (The Times, 11 February 2009).

The BBC iPlayer is now leading a move to mobile video. Past attempts to bring television to the mobile phone have not been successful, but the speed and availability of 3G networks and more advanced handsets have put this within reach. It is claimed that 25 per cent of Britons now use a 3G mobile to go online. (Financial Times online, 20 February 2009).

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