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How big TVs are bringing our families back together

GIANT TV screens have helped to bring families back together in the living room, new research suggests.

Larger and flatter TV screens appeared to be bringing children back into the living room, reversing a trend which saw them watching a separate set in their bedroom, according to the researchers.

"Television viewing has been robust between 2002 and 2011," said James Thickett of Ofcom, Britain's TV regulatory body, which carried out the research.



Widescreen

"One of the things that has helped drive strong TV viewing figures is the evolution of television technology.

"In the past 10 years we have seen the development of widescreen television, HD television, screens getting flatter and, very importantly, screens are getting bigger.

"What this is doing is actually bringing people back into the living room and television is taking on a new role as a family experience whereas 10 years ago, in the early 2000s, we were seeing kids, different members of the family watching different television shows in different rooms using different sets.

"The quality of the TV viewing experience has improved, the choice of channels has improved.

"We've now got new technologies like digital video recorders that are improving the television experience and we believe that has all helped to maintain television viewing at around four hours a day."

He said that if younger members of the family did watch different shows, they now tended to use a laptop computer rather than a different television set.

"Kids are now more likely to watch stuff on their computer or on their laptop rather than go up and watch television," he said.



Digital

"The proportion of digitally enabled second TV sets is relatively low compared to the proportion of analogue TV sets 10 years ago.

"They're not replacing their TVs in their bedrooms.

"They're relying on laptops or different screens.

"We're not going to see that mass adoption of TV screens all around the house."

hnews@herald.ie