Ofcom reports addiction to high-definition TV viewing

The verdict of a new report by Ofcom seems to be clear - if you want to kick the couch potato habit, then stay away from HD broadcasts.

It seems that high-definition films, programming and sport looks so darn good that 43% of those surveyed say their TV consumption has risen as a result of HD.

Virgin Media (then Telewest) launched its high-definition television service in the UK in December 2005, 4 months later came Sky's arguably larger, HD launch that coincided with the 2006 World Cup.

The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five together launched an HD trial on the DTT platform in London at the same time.

According to Ofcom, HD services have attracted nearly 450,000 subscribers, two-thirds of which got to BSkyB’s service while Virgin Media accounts for the remainder.

Ofcom commissioned research among 400 HD subscribers to understand the impact of the service on television viewing behaviour.

As we mentioned above, 43% claimed that their TV consumption had increased of those, a third (36%) said they watched 6 or more additional hours a week.

77% of respondents reported watching non-HD channels less since adopting the service. Respondents also reported that HD viewing constituted roughly one-third of their total viewing time.

Ofcom speculates that these figures, although seemingly high, might be affected by the novelty value of new HD broadcasts, the lure of big and clever HD-capable TV sets and might not prove to be a long-term trend.

Are they kidding? Have they seen HD broadcasts on a proper full-HD-TV-with-surround-sound-set-up? This trend's here to stay...