UK viewers waste a week a year channel surfing

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Microsoft says we're wasting time channel surfing

Filed in our big, fat 'Eh?' folder, we find the news from a Microsoft UK survey that not only do a third of digital TV viewers stick to just the five terrestrial channels, but also that most of us are wasting our lives searching elsewhere anyway.

The survey, conducted among 2,000 people with digi-boxes, discovered that one in three stick to the main BBC stations, C4 and Five in spite of having instant access to dozens more channels.

Time wasting?

Moreover, 41 per cent watch only a few more channels than those five, preferring to stick with what they know and like/tolerate.

As for the time-wasting aspect, that's a little dubious. Microsoft says the typical viewer wastes a week every year channel surfing in search of what they really want.

Get to the point

We're sure many might find flicking the dial at least as fun as settling down with one show for half an hour, but the rationale for the MS survey suggests why that time might be considered lost.

The company commissioned the poll to boost promotional work on its Mediaroom online TV offering. One of the key points of that is in offering a web-like keyword search that should take viewers directly where they want to go.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.