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UK — Ofcom publishes third report on quality of live TV subtitles

June 4, 2015 Comments off

Ofcom publishes third report on quality of live TV subtitles
Source: Ofcom

Ofcom today published its third report measuring the quality of live subtitles in UK TV programmes.

Ofcom requires the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky to measure the quality of their live TV subtitles, helping to identify improvements that could benefit the millions1 of viewers who use subtitles.

Today’s report shows that broadcasters are improving several aspects of subtitling.

These include making extensive use of easier to read ‘block subtitles’, which show several words as a single block of text; cutting the number of pre-recorded programmes that have to be subtitled live; and reducing the number and duration of subtitle ‘outages’.

In October-November 2014, broadcasters delivered good accuracy rates (98% and above) across 77% of their programmes, compared to 76% in October-November 2013 and 74% in April-May 2014.

4G and 3G mobile broadband research

April 7, 2015 Comments off

4G and 3G mobile broadband research
Source: Ofcom

Overall, 4G networks performed much better than 3G networks in five sample towns and cities tested – Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Newcastle and Poole/Bournemouth – where both 4G and 3G networks have been rolled out.

In these areas, 4G networks delivered an average download speed of 14.7Mbit/s (compared with 5.9Mbit/s on 3G) and took 0.72 seconds to load a web page (compared with 1.04 seconds on 3G).

The research, which collected 120,000 test samples on smartphones, also highlighted variations in performance between the UK’s network operators – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – across four key measures:

  • Download speed – how quickly data can be transferred from the internet (relevant to downloading files). Download speed is most likely to affect the consumer experience when downloading very large files to a mobile device or when speed is too slow (under 2Mbit/s) to support high capacity video services.
  • Web browsing speed – the time it takes to load a standard web page (relevant to browsing the internet or interacting with apps).
  • Upload speed – the rate at which data can be transferred from the user’s device to the internet (relevant to uploading pictures, videos and other content to social media, for example).
  • Latency – the responsiveness of the network, measuring the delay of transferring data to and from the user’s device (lower latency is important for activities like gaming, video calls and web browsing).

Nearly one in three UK broadband connections now superfast

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Nearly one in three UK broadband connections now superfast
Source: Ofcom

Nearly one in three UK broadband connections are now superfast, up from around one in four in November 2013, according to new Ofcom research.

The growing take-up of superfast cable or fibre services – connections delivering 30Mbit/s and above – has resulted in average UK broadband speeds increasing by a fifth in the six months to November 2014.

The average UK broadband speed is now 22.8Mbit/s, up from 18.7Mbit/s in May 2014, marking the largest absolute rise (4.1Mbit/s) in broadband speeds Ofcom has recorded (-1-).

Faster cable and fibre services have lower availability in rural areas, and rural broadband speeds are typically slower, delivering around one third of urban speeds on average.

UK — Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014
Source: Ofcom

This report examines children’s media literacy. It provides detailed evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as detailed information about the media access and use of young children aged 3-4.

The report also includes findings relating to parents’ views about their children’s media use, and the ways that parents seek – or decide not – to monitor or limit use of different types of media.

The report is a reference for industry, stakeholders and consumers. It also provides context to the work Ofcom undertakes in furthering the interests of consumers and citizens in the markets we regulate.

UK — Ofcom publishes research on mobile phone call service quality

August 20, 2014 Comments off

Ofcom publishes research on mobile phone call service quality
Source: Ofcom

Ofcom has today published research on mobile phone call quality provided by network operators.

Improving mobile quality of service for consumers is a priority area for Ofcom. Today’s research is part of a plan to help support initiatives to improve mobile coverage in the UK, and provide consumers with quality information on mobile reception.

This information is important in helping consumers choose a mobile service that suits their needs. It also helps promote competition between mobile operators on service quality, to benefit consumers. Ofcom will continue to monitor and report on how service quality develops over time.

The report includes research on mobile phone call quality from the consumers’ perspective on mobile handsets; data supplied by EE, O2, Three and Vodafone on the performance of their networks; and consumer research on satisfaction with mobile networks.

Ofcom’s research found that while overall levels of consumer satisfaction with mobile networks are high (76%), this varies by location. Some 78% of people in urban areas were satisfied with their mobile network, compared to 67% in rural parts of the UK and 70% in remote areas.

UK — The Communications Market 2014 (August)

August 8, 2014 Comments off

The Communications Market 2014 (August)
Source: Ofcom
From press release:

A ‘millennium generation’ of 14 and 15 year olds are the most technology-savvy in the UK, according to new Ofcom research, which shows that after our teens our digital confidence begins a long decline.

Teens born at the turn of the millennium are unlikely to have known ‘dial-up’ internet and are the first generation to benefit from broadband and digital communications while growing up.

The research – part of Ofcom’s eleventh Communications Market Report – measures confidence and knowledge of communications technology to calculate an individual’s ‘Digital Quotient’ score, or ‘DQ’, with the average UK adult scoring 100.

The study, among nearly 2,000 adults and 800 children, finds that six year olds claim to have the same understanding of communications technology as 45 year olds. Also, more than 60% of people aged 55 and over have a below average ‘DQ’ score.

It shows that we hit our peak confidence and understanding of digital communications and technology when we are in our mid-teens; this drops gradually up to our late 50s and then falls rapidly from 60 and beyond.

UK — Audience attitudes towards violent content on television

August 7, 2014 Comments off

Audience attitudes towards violent content on television (PDF)
Source: Ofcom

Key Findings

• Time of broadcast is the single most important factor in the acceptability of violent content on television.
• Differing demographic groups show only subtle differences in their approach to violent content, but all agree children should not be exposed to sexual violence on television under any circumstances.
• Viewers have a sophisticated ability to analyse contextual factors when assessing the acceptability of violent content on television, and many confirm that violent content contributes to their experience of television.
• Viewers suggested five key questions to be asked when judging the acceptability of a violent scene on television:

• What time is the violent scene shown?
• Who is the victim of the violence?
• What is the act of violence?
• How is the violence presented?
• What is the purpose of the violent scene?

See also: Violence in UK Soaps: A four wave trend analysis (PDF)

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