TV viewers waste a week a year searching for channels to watch

Then you're not alone, according to a survey of nearly 2000 UK digital TV viewers, commissioned by Microsoft's Connected TV Business.

More than a quarter of digital TV viewers (27 per cent) still rely on flicking through the channels to choose what to watch, wasting more than one week a year channel surfing, says Microsoft.

On average, digital viewers in the UK spend between two and three hours each day watching TV, yet typically up to a quarter of that time is spent deciding what to watch. That adds up to more than 3.5 hours per week channel surfing, and around seven days a year.

Despite this, 73 per cent of viewers say they still miss programmes they would like to watch because they find it difficult or time consuming to find out what's on.

Christine Heckart, of Connected TV at Microsoft, says: "With so many digital channels to choose from, as well as a growing number of digitally recorded and on-demand content, it's not surprising viewers find it difficult to decide what to watch."

Microsoft has been working on more advanced TV search in conjunction with BT Vision. Its Mediaroom service is similar to internet search engines: you enter a keyword such as the title of a programme or an actor's name and the system searches the entire EPG together with the recordings on your PVR and on-demand library to find what you're looking for.