Published: 23rd Apr 2014
We're a nation of TV lovers here in the UK. From Coronation Street and EastEnders to Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, Brits love to spend time in front of the box.
However, the way we watch our favourite programmes is changing. Thanks to the internet, sitting in front of the TV is no longer the only option to stay tuned with the latest show. It's now possible to view programmes online both home and away, be it through a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
You don't have to just stream shows live, as thanks to catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and 4oD you can also see a show at a time that suits you - a level of flexibility that just isn't possible when using a traditional TV alone.
More and more people are opting to watch programmes this way, with research from uSwitch earlier this year revealing the average Briton new spends seven hours a week viewing catch-up TV over the internet.
Commenting on this figure, Marie-Louise Abretti - a telecoms expert at uSwitch - said: "You no longer have to fit your schedule around the TV guide, and you don't even have to wait until you get home to watch your favourite shows."
BBC iPlayer attracted some three billion views in 2013, which represents an increase of close to a billion in just 12 months - a clear indication of the growing popularity of watching TV through the internet. Indeed, episodes of some programmes like Top Gear and Doctor Who generated millions of views alone.
As well as watching catch-up TV, a growing number of people are choosing to subscribe to services like Netflix, which allow them to stream a wide range of shows and films. A study by the Post Office found 55 per cent of Brits are now signed up to a service like this, while research organisation Decipher has claimed one in ten people in the country use Netflix alone.
With each passing year the internet becomes a bigger part of the TV industry and this is unlikely to change any time soon. Indeed, popular channel BBC Three will soon be online only, while major sporting events like the 2014 World Cup are set to receive a higher level of online coverage than ever before.
Of course, you need a fast and reliable broadband connection to be able to enjoy the TV opportunities the internet now provides and this is something many people do not have access to.
Research from Broadband Choices has found half of Brits are annoyed by buffering, which occurs when a broadband service is struggling to stream video content. The organisation revealed two-thirds of people find programmes slow to load, while 57 per cent experience stop-start performance.
If this situation sounds familiar, you may want to consider switching your broadband provider and consider an alternative technology like satellite broadband. That way you'll be able to enjoy all of the benefits online TV has to offer.
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