A survey has found that householders in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England are leading the way in the use of today's 'home entertainment essentials'.
The research, by Intel, reveals families in the South-East and Midlands now own fewer MP3 players, satellite TVs and gaming consoles per household than their counterparts in the North and regions. In Wales, for example, nearly 60% of homes now own a digital video camera compared to just 27% in East Anglia.
The home entertainment map of Britain has been published by experts at Intel who commissioned research among 1,000 homes in the UK. By first identifying 14 gadgets and devices as modern UK 'home entertainment essentials' the map provides an intriguing insight into Britain's modern home entertainment habits and demonstrates that innovative technology is part of people's everyday lives.
Leading the pack is Yorkshire and Humberside, with 62% of people owning at least one of the 14 must-have products. Lindsay Marshall, an academic at the University of Newcastle, comments: "There are a few possible reasons Northerners have advanced further than Southerners. It could be that entertainment gadgets have a higher status value in the North and people want to maintain their image. Or perhaps Southerners tend to spend much longer commuting, working longer hours and they simply don't have time to use these products."
The survey also reveals that must-have gadgets are no longer just for men and young people - both gender and age gaps are closing. Women and the over-50s both own at least seven of the 14 home entertainment essentials compared to men and the under-50s who both own 8 out of 14 items.
The only area that bucks the pattern is in the North East where they rank bottom of the table on several of the products.
Intel defined the Home Entertainment Essentials as satellite TV, digital radio, mobile phones, DVD players, MP3 players/iPods, computers, laptops, the Internet, digital camera, digital video camera, gaming console, in-car satellite navigation systems, wireless networks in the home and cordless phone.