The Death of BBC Three

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Nick Cooper 625
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The Death of BBC Three

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BBC News: BBC Three on-air closure approved

"The BBC Trust has formally approved proposals to move BBC Three online.

The Trust sanctioned the move on the condition that all BBC Three long-form programmes will also be broadcast on BBC One and Two.

"The decision to close a TV channel is a difficult one, and one we have not taken lightly," said BBC Trustee Suzanna Taverne.

But added: "The evidence is very clear that younger audiences are watching more online and less linear TV."

The decision follows a full public consultation over the proposed closure of BBC Three as an on-air channel.

BBC director general Tony Hall announced in March 2014 that the youth-oriented channel would be moved to iPlayer, with its budget slashed from £85m to £25m, as part of "financially necessary" cost-cutting moves at the corporation."
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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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Nick Cooper 625 wrote:BBC News: BBC Three on-air closure approved

But added: "The evidence is very clear that younger audiences are watching more online and less linear TV."
Not even the younger audience, I cannot honestly remember when I last watched 'linear TV', all my viewing is now Netflix/Youtube/HBO... It's quite obvious that there is going to be a major shake-up of traditional television in the next 10 years or so.

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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Clive wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote:BBC News: BBC Three on-air closure approved

But added: "The evidence is very clear that younger audiences are watching more online and less linear TV."
Not even the younger audience, I cannot honestly remember when I last watched 'linear TV', all my viewing is now Netflix/Youtube/HBO... It's quite obvious that there is going to be a major shake-up of traditional television in the next 10 years or so.
I think generally the TV viewing figures discount the idea that that is widespread, though. There may be lots of ways to augment "linear viewing," but it seems that plenty of people are still wtaching stuff as part of a live schedule. To be honest, I think it is actually something that broadcasters should strive to maintain, as if the only choice people had was to pick stuff from a list, tastes would end up very siloed.
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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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Aren't all programmes linear?

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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Ross wrote:Aren't all programmes linear?
I'm assuming that's one of those "deliberate misunderstanding for the purposes of making a point" things?
Nick Cooper 625 wrote:To be honest, I think it is actually something that broadcasters should strive to maintain
I don't see how they're going to do it for anything other than big events where people consider that watching it live is an important part of the experience, but you can't do those every week. For everything else, the convenience of being able to watch when you choose, rather than having to make a point of being in front of the TV at a time of the broadcasters' choosing, is inevitably going to win out.

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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Not really, because the term makes no sense. Linear? In a line? Beginning, middle, end? That's YouTube as much as normal telly.

Why do people who work in TV talk such utter shit?

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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Ross wrote:Not really, because the term makes no sense. Linear? In a line? Beginning, middle, end? That's YouTube as much as normal telly.

Why do people who work in TV talk such utter shit?
I'm guessing the term "linear" refers to the schedule rather than the actual TV programme. But "scheduled TV" would have been a lot clearer.

Will BBC Four have to be re-branded when BBC Three is no longer broadcast? (Admittedly it started before BBC Three did, so I don't suppose the BBC cares too much about these things.)

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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Brock wrote:Will BBC Four have to be re-branded when BBC Three is no longer broadcast? (Admittedly it started before BBC Three did, so I don't suppose the BBC cares too much about these things.)
No, there'll still be a 'BBC Three'..... at least until they phase out the brand with no fanfare in a few years time when they realise that no-one is watching it

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote:To be honest, I think it is actually something that broadcasters should strive to maintain
I don't see how they're going to do it for anything other than big events where people consider that watching it live is an important part of the experience, but you can't do those every week. For everything else, the convenience of being able to watch when you choose, rather than having to make a point of being in front of the TV at a time of the broadcasters' choosing, is inevitably going to win out.
But do the viewing figures actually support the idea that the majority of the population - or even a large minority - is eschewing scheduled TV for catch-up/on demand/whatever? Or is there - as usual - a disconnect between what those in the media think people should be doing, and what the public really is doing?
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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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Ross wrote:Why do people who work in TV talk such utter shit?
Good question. I often wonder why clearly intelligent people on archive forums pretend they don't understand things that they obviously do simply so that they can make Some Kind Of Point.

FWIW, the terms "linear" to describe traditional editing (where you start at the beginning and work your way to the end and you can't shorten or extend any material you've already laid down without having to re-edit everything afterwards) and "non-linear" to describe hard disk-based random-access editing, have been used in the film, TV and audio recording industries for decades. It really doesn't take much of an effort of the imagination to see that usage extended to traditional TV and on demand TV.
Nick Cooper 625 wrote:But do the viewing figures actually support the idea that the majority of the population - or even a large minority - is eschewing scheduled TV for catch-up/on demand/whatever? Or is there - as usual - a disconnect between what those in the media think people should be doing, and what the public really is doing?
I haven't worked in British TV for 10 years (I'll be back there after Christmas though), so I don't know what the latest research is. But it doesn't take a massively analytical mind to look at the huge upswing in use of PVRs, catch-up services and the rest, and the overall decline in live viewing figures set against the rise in catch-up/on-demand viewing, to form the opinion that that's the way things are going.

We've had this discussion before, haven't we? This was a few years ago, possibly on the old site, and my vague recollection is that you took the position that because catch-up/on-demand hadn't overtaken live viewing at that point, it was never going to - or something like that. You were dismissive of the idea of PVRs or streaming ever being a serious competitor to live viewing, anyway. I'm sure you'll look it up and correct me if I'm wrong.

What I can say for sure is that most of my friends in the UK (so we're talking thirty- and fortysomethings who grew up with scheduled TV) have reached the point where they're watching a good 50% of stuff via PVR and/or on demand. My parents and in-laws now have Amazon Fire Sticks, and they love them. Anecdotal evidence of course, but my experience of observing what normal, highly stereotypical viewers do is that when you give them easy access to on-demand, they lap it up. I don't think I'm sticking my neck out when I say that our parents' generation is probably going to be the last that broadly has any attachment to the idea of traditional scheduled TV.

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Ross »

False naiveté is a pretty common way to make a point in a lighthearted manner. Most people realise that and don't take it literally.

But in this case I genuinely didn't know what non-linear meant. I'm not familiar with traditional and modern editing, either.

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by brigham »

Using the term 'linear TV' as if it's an everyday expression is just another bit of pretentious corporate bullshit. Most people will have heard it here first. In fact, I'd wager it was coined for the article.
I remember when CD first appeared, some buffoon discussing its merits compared with 'Black Disc'.
Thankfully, that one vanished as quickly as it appeared.
As for BBC3; it's taken me this long just to get used to people saying 'BBC2' !

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote:But do the viewing figures actually support the idea that the majority of the population - or even a large minority - is eschewing scheduled TV for catch-up/on demand/whatever? Or is there - as usual - a disconnect between what those in the media think people should be doing, and what the public really is doing?
I haven't worked in British TV for 10 years (I'll be back there after Christmas though), so I don't know what the latest research is. But it doesn't take a massively analytical mind to look at the huge upswing in use of PVRs, catch-up services and the rest, and the overall decline in live viewing figures set against the rise in catch-up/on-demand viewing, to form the opinion that that's the way things are going.

We've had this discussion before, haven't we? This was a few years ago, possibly on the old site, and my vague recollection is that you took the position that because catch-up/on-demand hadn't overtaken live viewing at that point, it was never going to - or something like that. You were dismissive of the idea of PVRs or streaming ever being a serious competitor to live viewing, anyway. I'm sure you'll look it up and correct me if I'm wrong.
If we did, I doubt I said "never," but rather that we'd not reached such a tipping point by that stage, and it's still questionable whether we have now.

Obviously any discussion is somewhat hampered by the lack of availability of detailed viewing figure to allow for analysis. That said, cobbling together sources shows that the first episode of the current series of Doctor Who had and overnight audience of 4.58 million, a seven day figure of 6.54 million, and a 28 day figure of 6.84 million. In other words, 67% of the audience as still watching on the day of transmission, 27% within the following six days, and the remaining 4% on days 8-28.

On the other hand, the edition of Strictly on 26 September had 7.68 million on the night, 9.31 million over seven days, and 9.52 million over 28 days, making 81%, 17%, and just 2% respectively.

It would seem fairly logical, though, that high-profile programmes tend to get watched more on catch-up, with more disposable viewing. It's certainly interesting to note that BBC and ITV news broadcasts still score so heavily in each channel's Top 30, despite the availability of 24 hour news channels.
What I can say for sure is that most of my friends in the UK (so we're talking thirty- and fortysomethings who grew up with scheduled TV) have reached the point where they're watching a good 50% of stuff via PVR and/or on demand. My parents and in-laws now have Amazon Fire Sticks, and they love them. Anecdotal evidence of course, but my experience of observing what normal, highly stereotypical viewers do is that when you give them easy access to on-demand, they lap it up. I don't think I'm sticking my neck out when I say that our parents' generation is probably going to be the last that broadly has any attachment to the idea of traditional scheduled TV.
On the other hand, my experience of my siblings, parents, and in-laws is that they still watch a lot of TV as live, although they do use catch-up services for stuff they've missed. If you parents and in-laws have embraced Amazon Fire, I would suspect that makes them more atypical than stereotypical.

Something that seems rather obvious to me is that with the death of VHS, people simply rely on catch-up services as a replacement for tape-based timeshifting, with the added bonus of also being able to watch stuff they weren't previously aware of.
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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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brigham wrote:In fact, I'd wager it was coined for the article
And you'd lose. Linear and non-linear were being used within the industry to describe the difference between traditional scheduled TV and the PVR/on-demand future before I left the UK in 2005. I'm sure a judicious Google will bring up references that predate 2005, but just to confirm that it wasn't coined for the article, here's one from December 2010... click!

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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Nick Cooper 625 wrote:the first episode of the current series of Doctor Who had and overnight audience of 4.58 million, a seven day figure of 6.54 million, and a 28 day figure of 6.84 million. In other words, 67% of the audience as still watching on the day of transmission, 27% within the following six days, and the remaining 4% on days 8-28
And how does that compare with 8-10 years ago, when it could get overnights of 8 to 10 million? I would suspect that the live viewing made up a good 90%-plus of the total audience over 28 days. Of course, the iPlayer wasn't launched as a public beta until February 2006.
On the other hand, the edition of Strictly on 26 September had 7.68 million on the night, 9.31 million over seven days, and 9.52 million over 28 days, making 81%, 17%, and just 2% respectively
Which bears out what I was saying - *that* kind of programming, where watching it live is seen as a key part of the experience, is what's going to hold on to the big live viewing figures. Drama, in fact probably anything pre-recorded, is clearly different.
If you parents and in-laws have embraced Amazon Fire, I would suspect that makes them more atypical than stereotypical
But you understood my point, yes? That totally average stereotypical older-generation viewers who *do* have the time to sit in front of the TV being led by the broadcasters' schedules, and who have never programmed a VCR, can become hooked on on-demand when they're actually presented with it as an easy-to-use option?
Something that seems rather obvious to me is that with the death of VHS, people simply rely on catch-up services as a replacement for tape-based timeshifting, with the added bonus of also being able to watch stuff they weren't previously aware of.
So your anecdotal evidence is somehow more valid than mine? :)

I'd say that most people probably use PVRs and catch-up services far more than they ever timeshifted with VCRs. I was, inevitably, the most active taper in my household back in the days of videotape, and yet probably 90% of stuff I recorded was stuff I was watching at the time and thought I might want to keep. I probably only made timeshift recordings two or three times a week at most, whereas within a week of getting TiVo in 2002, we were watching 99% of stuff timeshifted. We've never gone back, other than when visiting the UK and watching TV in places where there was no PVR.

We were certainly early PVR adopters, but that was 13 years ago. They are now used in that way in huge numbers of homes, and it's inevitably going to become the norm. My own kids have only ever known on-demand, and once of the consequences of that is that they've seen very little TV advertising. We haven't tried to do any Modern Parents-style shielding of them from advertising, it's just what's happened as a result of them spending the first 8 and 6 years of their lives in Dubai where everything we watched was streamed or downloaded.

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote:the first episode of the current series of Doctor Who had and overnight audience of 4.58 million, a seven day figure of 6.54 million, and a 28 day figure of 6.84 million. In other words, 67% of the audience as still watching on the day of transmission, 27% within the following six days, and the remaining 4% on days 8-28
And how does that compare with 8-10 years ago, when it could get overnights of 8 to 10 million? I would suspect that the live viewing made up a good 90%-plus of the total audience over 28 days. Of course, the iPlayer wasn't launched as a public beta until February 2006.
Yes, at a time when far fewer people had sufficient broadband connections to use it.
On the other hand, the edition of Strictly on 26 September had 7.68 million on the night, 9.31 million over seven days, and 9.52 million over 28 days, making 81%, 17%, and just 2% respectively
Which bears out what I was saying - *that* kind of programming, where watching it live is seen as a key part of the experience, is what's going to hold on to the big live viewing figures. Drama, in fact probably anything pre-recorded, is clearly different.
Obviously, but that doesn't automatically mean the death knell of scheduled TV, or even just the removal of drama - and maybe comedy - from the schedules just because a large minority of the audience may end up watching it via some sort of catch-up "already."
If you parents and in-laws have embraced Amazon Fire, I would suspect that makes them more atypical than stereotypical
But you understood my point, yes? That totally average stereotypical older-generation viewers who *do* have the time to sit in front of the TV being led by the broadcasters' schedules, and who have never programmed a VCR, can become hooked on on-demand when they're actually presented with it as an easy-to-use option?
I understand that exceptions are not the rule. There will always be outliers.
Something that seems rather obvious to me is that with the death of VHS, people simply rely on catch-up services as a replacement for tape-based timeshifting, with the added bonus of also being able to watch stuff they weren't previously aware of.
So your anecdotal evidence is somehow more valid than mine? :)
No, I think you are not looking at either objectively.
I'd say that most people probably use PVRs and catch-up services far more than they ever timeshifted with VCRs. I was, inevitably, the most active taper in my household back in the days of videotape, and yet probably 90% of stuff I recorded was stuff I was watching at the time and thought I might want to keep. I probably only made timeshift recordings two or three times a week at most, whereas within a week of getting TiVo in 2002, we were watching 99% of stuff timeshifted. We've never gone back, other than when visiting the UK and watching TV in places where there was no PVR.
Yes, most of what I taped back-in-the-day was stuff I wanted to keep. I rarely timeshifted in the accepted sense, but I know now what I knew at the time, i.e. that I atypical. Most people I knew at the time used their VCRs to timeshift because they were out, or watching something else, and to play rented or bought pre-recorded tapes.

That people now use the plethora of non-transmission methods of viewing that are now available is hardly a revelation. If something is there, people will use it, but there are still plenty of fairly obvious indicators that they are also still watching scheduled TV.


We were certainly early PVR adopters, but that was 13 years ago. They are now used in that way in huge numbers of homes, and it's inevitably going to become the norm. My own kids have only ever known on-demand, and once of the consequences of that is that they've seen very little TV advertising. We haven't tried to do any Modern Parents-style shielding of them from advertising, it's just what's happened as a result of them spending the first 8 and 6 years of their lives in Dubai where everything we watched was streamed or downloaded.[/quote]
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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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Nick Cooper 625 wrote: Yes, at a time when far fewer people had sufficient broadband connections to use it
So are you acknowledging that the much greater availability of catch-up these days - greater broadband takeup coupled with the widespread integration of iPlayer into smart TVs rather than it having to be something you watch on your computer - is a likely contributor to the drop in live viewing and rise in streaming after TX?
Obviously, but that doesn't automatically mean the death knell of scheduled TV
That depends entirely on what sort of timescale you're talking about. My position, which was exactly the same the last time we did this, is that it's inevitably going to happen eventually. When is "eventually"? I don't know, but we're closer to it now than we were 10 years ago when *everything* was getting much higher live viewing than it does today.
I understand that exceptions are not the rule. There will always be outliers
If you think that people will generally shy away from on-demand options like the Fire Stick, Chromecast et al, then I think you're wrong. At least, I think you're wrong if you believe that people have any kind of inherent loyalty to the idea of sitting down obediently at the time of a broadcaster's choosing to watch any given programme. It's what they do because they're used to it, but the widespread availability of a cheap and easy-to-use alternative could become a game-changer very quickly.

In the past, the real barrier to the uptake of on-demand was the availability of the delivery system (the need for a proper return path meant that you had to be cabled to get a proper VOD service). Now, even a pretty basic 2Mb broadband connection is good enough to run a video streaming service of pretty much identical quality to DTT, and the equipment is as cheap as £26 to £30 for a Fire Stick. That's cheap enough to take a punt on, or to give as a stocking-filler present, etc. I can easily see it doing what happened with TiVo and Sky+ when they created the PVR market - nobody really understood what PVRs were at first, and they were widely dismissed as being ludicrously expensive VCRs only of interest to well-heeled gadget freaks. And now look.
No, I think you are not looking at either objectively
My view, as stated earlier, is that traditional scheduled TV is inevitably going to give way to a primarily on-demand approach. I've never put a timescale on that. I don't think it's a particularly subjective, controversial or out-there opinion either; rather, it's the rational response to the way things have been going. So I'm not really sure where *you're* coming from, because I don't think you're stupid enough to believe that things *aren't* going to move ever further in that direction.
That people now use the plethora of non-transmission methods of viewing that are now available is hardly a revelation. If something is there, people will use it, but there are still plenty of fairly obvious indicators that they are also still watching scheduled TV
And I'm not aware of having said anything to the contrary. Clearly people *are* still watching scheduled TV but the numbers are falling as the numbers for on-demand services rise. I believe that the evidence, anecdotal and otherwise, points to the latter eventually overtaking the former, but I'm not predicting a date for when that happens. We're definitely closer to it now than we were even 5 years ago, though.

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Clive »

GarethR wrote: In the past, the real barrier to the uptake of on-demand was the availability of the delivery system (the need for a proper return path meant that you had to be cabled to get a proper VOD service). Now, even a pretty basic 2Mb broadband connection is good enough to run a video streaming service of pretty much identical quality to DTT, and the equipment is as cheap as £26 to £30 for a Fire Stick. That's cheap enough to take a punt on, or to give as a stocking-filler present, etc. I can easily see it doing what happened with TiVo and Sky+ when they created the PVR market - nobody really understood what PVRs were at first, and they were widely dismissed as being ludicrously expensive VCRs only of interest to well-heeled gadget freaks. And now look.
I can almost exactly pin-point the date when I stopped watching scheduled TV, as when my cable operator sent me a TiVo which included a Netflix subscription. Ironically when I sit down for an evenings TV viewing I invariably glance through the suggestions that the TiVo has made for me and more often then not jump straight onto Netflix to carry on with whatever TV series I am following. I don't think I have looked at a TV schedule for more than a year. Saying that, I am no fan of Sport, soaps or reality so there is little to attract me during the primetime viewing hours.

My teenage nephews rarely watch any TV, whenever I see them they are lounging on the sofa wired into their laptops with Youtube or Netflix or whatever. OK, they maybe teenagers, but the idea of TV viewing as a communal activity is lost on them.

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Cole »

Having a TiVo box has definitely changed the way I view broadcast TV. Even though I've owned a VCR since 1984 and a HD-DVD recorder since 2005, it's the TiVO's three receivers that have made the difference.

Even though we intend to watch some programmes when broadcast, having three receivers means that my partner and I can schedule those programmes to record on the TiVo 'just in case'. As a result, we got out of the habit of getting in front of the telly before the programme starts, but can happily swan in five/ten minutes after they start and still watch from the beginning. However, I also realise that all this recording is based on broadcast TV. iPlayer is a good back-up for when we may have missed something.

The only programmes we actually do watch live are things we did happen to get to the telly in time for or when we are 'lazy-watching': channel hopping or when we can't be bothered to get off the sofa to go to bed and old or US comedies are playing.

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

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GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: Yes, at a time when far fewer people had sufficient broadband connections to use it
So are you acknowledging that the much greater availability of catch-up these days - greater broadband takeup coupled with the widespread integration of iPlayer into smart TVs rather than it having to be something you watch on your computer - is a likely contributor to the drop in live viewing and rise in streaming after TX?
Well, obviously it's a factor, but that's not the issue in question, but rather at what stage we supposedly are at regarding the shift from schedule TV to other delivery methods.
Obviously, but that doesn't automatically mean the death knell of scheduled TV
That depends entirely on what sort of timescale you're talking about. My position, which was exactly the same the last time we did this, is that it's inevitably going to happen eventually. When is "eventually"? I don't know, but we're closer to it now than we were 10 years ago when *everything* was getting much higher live viewing than it does today.
Wider availabilty of content dilutes viewing habits. Hardly a revelation.
I understand that exceptions are not the rule. There will always be outliers
If you think that people will generally shy away from on-demand options like the Fire Stick, Chromecast et al, then I think you're wrong. At least, I think you're wrong if you believe that people have any kind of inherent loyalty to the idea of sitting down obediently at the time of a broadcaster's choosing to watch any given programme. It's what they do because they're used to it, but the widespread availability of a cheap and easy-to-use alternative could become a game-changer very quickly.
I think that people using other delivery methods to augment existing viewing habits does not mean they completely eschew the latter. Obviously some people do, but they're the outliers I was referring to.
In the past, the real barrier to the uptake of on-demand was the availability of the delivery system (the need for a proper return path meant that you had to be cabled to get a proper VOD service). Now, even a pretty basic 2Mb broadband connection is good enough to run a video streaming service of pretty much identical quality to DTT, and the equipment is as cheap as £26 to £30 for a Fire Stick. That's cheap enough to take a punt on, or to give as a stocking-filler present, etc.
As long as they have a TV with HDMI, of course. That's a pretty real barrier, as well. Even so, the news today was full of stories about thsoe who don't have a fast broadband connection, and that can mean as much isolated rural communities as the centre of cities, even London.
I can easily see it doing what happened with TiVo and Sky+ when they created the PVR market - nobody really understood what PVRs were at first, and they were widely dismissed as being ludicrously expensive VCRs only of interest to well-heeled gadget freaks. And now look.
Yes, let's look at the most recent figures, which show that 36% of households have a PVR. Five years ago it was 26%. Still a long way to go to match the +85% household reach that VCRs ended up with.
No, I think you are not looking at either objectively
My view, as stated earlier, is that traditional scheduled TV is inevitably going to give way to a primarily on-demand approach. I've never put a timescale on that. I don't think it's a particularly subjective, controversial or out-there opinion either; rather, it's the rational response to the way things have been going. So I'm not really sure where *you're* coming from, because I don't think you're stupid enough to believe that things *aren't* going to move ever further in that direction.
I think it's a long way off. I also get the impression we're not even where you think we are already.
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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Richardr1 »

Ofcom's research is that 64% of TV homes have a DVR (Digital video recorder).

Ofcom website

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Clive »

I would also suggest that 95% of viewers have a HDMI input on their TV.... I cannot think of any friend or relative who doesn't have a flat screen TV purchased in the last 10 years or so.. Even my octogenarian parents scrapped their CRT TV to buy a flat screen and PVR a few years back as it was more convenient for them...They know how to use it too !

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by brigham »

This whole discussion has become another re-hash of the old 'people won't change to (add 'CD, DVD, 625, widescreen, Ford Sierra' &c..here), it's a white elephant.
People do as they are told, and the marketing bods do the telling.

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Richardr1 wrote:Ofcom's research is that 64% of TV homes have a DVR (Digital video recorder).

Ofcom website
That's such a stark difference from the Ipsos PVR figure of 36%, there's probably a definitial issue. I suspect Ofcom are including DVD/HDD recorders that are not PVRs.

The Ofcom report, though, looks like a mine of very useful data. Figure 1.27 on page 55, for example, show a breakdown of viewing methods by age-band, which certainly dispells the idea that "young adults aren't watching live TV." Obviously that will apply so some, but for an average of 50% still watching live TV, that means there are still a hell of a lot who will be mostly watching it.
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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Clive wrote:I would also suggest that 95% of viewers have a HDMI input on their TV.... I cannot think of any friend or relative who doesn't have a flat screen TV purchased in the last 10 years or so.. Even my octogenarian parents scrapped their CRT TV to buy a flat screen and PVR a few years back as it was more convenient for them...They know how to use it too !
Actually the Ofcom report Richard linked to states (page 158):

"Over the past three years penetration of HD-ready TVs has remained almost unchanged; three-quarters (76%) of TV homes owned these devices in 2015. While take-up of HDTV services has increased, from 50% to 57% over the three-year period, growth appears to be slowing, with only a four percentage point increase year on year, from 53% in 2014 to 57% in 2015."

Technically either DVI or HDMI is required for a set to be deemed HD-ready, but the fact that the the overall percentage hasn't really changed in the last three years suggests a sizeable and relatively unchanging minority (24%) still watching exclusively on old equipment (annecdote time again: we only upgraded to a flatscreen in July last year, and my in-laws even more recently).

The Ofcom figures alway show the extent of a very obvious caveat, i.e. that just because people have equipment that can be used in a certain way, it doesn't mean that they actually are.
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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Cole »

Clive wrote:I would also suggest that 95% of viewers have a HDMI input on their TV.... I cannot think of any friend or relative who doesn't have a flat screen TV purchased in the last 10 years or so.. Even my octogenarian parents scrapped their CRT TV to buy a flat screen and PVR a few years back as it was more convenient for them...They know how to use it too !
Is it worth a mention that many flatscreen TVs have some sort of PVR capability? It may be a hidden feature and requires the user to purchase a large capacity USB flash drive, as the telly doesn't have storage as standard, but the facility is usually there for *most* TVs purchased within the past five years (AFAIK).

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Cole wrote:
Clive wrote:I would also suggest that 95% of viewers have a HDMI input on their TV.... I cannot think of any friend or relative who doesn't have a flat screen TV purchased in the last 10 years or so.. Even my octogenarian parents scrapped their CRT TV to buy a flat screen and PVR a few years back as it was more convenient for them...They know how to use it too !
Is it worth a mention that many flatscreen TVs have some sort of PVR capability? It may be a hidden feature and requires the user to purchase a large capacity USB flash drive, as the telly doesn't have storage as standard, but the facility is usually there for *most* TVs purchased within the past five years (AFAIK).
USB recording doesn't really seem to have caught on, probably because people can't be arsed buying a large enough drive. A couple of years back we got my in-laws a DVD player that can record to USB from an external source, but I don't think they've ever used that feature.
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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Simon Coward »

GarethR wrote:
brigham wrote:In fact, I'd wager it was coined for the article
And you'd lose. Linear and non-linear were being used within the industry to describe the difference between traditional scheduled TV and the PVR/on-demand future before I left the UK in 2005. I'm sure a judicious Google will bring up references that predate 2005, but just to confirm that it wasn't coined for the article, here's one from December 2010... click!
Even earlier than that, it's used in a piece in The Times about the challenges traditional providers of TV delivery/consumption will face when competing with the world wide web. That was 15 years ago, in the summer of 2000.
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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by GarethR »

Richardr1 wrote:Ofcom's research is that 64% of TV homes have a DVR (Digital video recorder)
Well, the data Nick linked to separates PVRs from cabsat boxes from DTT/Freeview/Freesat boxes - but pretty much all cabsat boxes (which have 55% penetration according to that report) have had PVR capability built in for over a decade. As do many DTT/Freeview/Freesat boxes (49% penetration). So what exactly do Ipsos Connect mean when they say that 36% have PVRs?

Logic would suggest they're referring to standalone PVRs, probably more likely DVRs. The upshot being that the number of households that have access to PVR functionality, whether in their regular STB or via a separate dedicated PVR/DVR box, is going to be much higher than 36%.
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: As long as they have a TV with HDMI, of course
is it all pennyfarthings and Bush TV22s round your way, then? Even my parents, both well embarked on their seventies, have three HDMI-equipped TVs. I can't think of anybody I know who doesn't have at least one HDMI-capable flatscreen by now.
Even so, the news today was full of stories about thsoe who don't have a fast broadband connection, and that can mean as much isolated rural communities as the centre of cities, even London
Which is why I specifically mentioned 2Mb connections. They're not considered fast (apparently 10Mb is now generally accepted as the baseline for the average family), but they're good enough to handle a DTT-quality VOD service and are available to 97% of the country. Again, it may all be tin cans and string where you are, but the overwhelming majority of the UK has the ability to use VOD over broadband.

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Re: The Death of BBC Three

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

GarethR wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: As long as they have a TV with HDMI, of course
is it all pennyfarthings and Bush TV22s round your way, then? Even my parents, both well embarked on their seventies, have three HDMI-equipped TVs. I can't think of anybody I know who doesn't have at least one HDMI-capable flatscreen by now.
There's no need to be facetious. The Ofcom figures show that 24% are still using solely non-HD kit, so that shows that either you - unsurprisingly - don't know the contents of the homes of everyone you know, or you don't know a representative sample of the population. Buyers of new equipment are either those who "must" have the latest kit, or those who are replacing older stuff that's either too outdated or broken. Collectively they do not make up the entirety of the population. The digital switchover will obviously have been a major factor is getting people to upgrade who wouldn't have otherwise, but inevitably a large minority of the population is clearly happy with pre-HD sets that are still usable.

In fact, the only reason we upgraded to an HD flatscreen last year was that the sound went on old analogue set in the bedroom. Rather than buy a direct replacement for that, it made sense to get something new and slightly larger for the living room, and cycle the 24" 16:9 CRT from there to the bedroom. There's certainly nothing wrong with the latter, given that it displays an excellent picture from an RGB input, and probably has more than a few years life left in it, so there's no need to replace it just because we can.
Even so, the news today was full of stories about thsoe who don't have a fast broadband connection, and that can mean as much isolated rural communities as the centre of cities, even London
Which is why I specifically mentioned 2Mb connections. They're not considered fast (apparently 10Mb is now generally accepted as the baseline for the average family), but they're good enough to handle a DTT-quality VOD service and are available to 97% of the country. Again, it may all be tin cans and string where you are, but the overwhelming majority of the UK has the ability to use VOD over broadband.
Well, if you have been paying attention you'll know that I live in inner London, not out in the wilderness, and obviously we do use catch-up services and the occasional bit of other streaming, but it's definitely the minority of our viewing. Then again, the Ofcom report clearly shows (Figure 1.27) that that's pretty much the average across the population. Yet again, you're mistaking people having the ability to do something with them actually doing so.
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