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NEWS MOVE & DELIVER Where would we all be without the humble remote control? Well, with having to physically rise from the sofa every time we wanted to change channels, we’d either be a lot fitter or less likely to bother. Fortunately we don’t have that problem, and haven’t had since the 1950s. However, with on-demand viewing and streamed content (often in the form of OTT services) changing viewer behaviour, the remote has an increasingly big role to play. Some recently published data makes that very point. According to a study conducted by research company Trendbox (on behalf of Universal Electronics) looking at the UK, France and Germany, the average number of TVs per home is two, and together with the multitude of other systems, the average number of remotes in each household is 3.3. The study found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, that viewers like to have a control device that is easy to use (80%) and allows easy set-up and access to content. More importantly, it pinpointed that a single universal remote control device for all media services into the home is often not an option and, even when it is, it isn’t well received. According to Trendbox “the results give a clear indication that consumers Playout Golf Channel Thailand has installed branding and playout systems from PlayBox Technology as part of a major upgrade to its Bangkok studios. The chosen kit includes AirBox transmission servers and TitleBox channel branding devices. “They are easy to operate, versatile and have an excellent reputation for reliability,” said Jirapat Khamkaun, Golf Channel’s head of engineering and operations. AirBox HD and AirBox SD servers were integrated into Golf Channel Thailand’s central apparatus suite and linked via Ethernet with the master control room where the automation process is supervised. Each TitleBox is operated as an independent key and fill resource during live programme production. In automated playout mode, the TitleBoxes are used in a character generation role with AirBox handling transmission of scheduled content. 24 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 109 JANUARY 2016 need a single, user-friendly remote control capable of interacting with their chosen viewing device.” “Historically, remotes have been complex and difficult to use. And as we add more features and functionality, like voice, motion and touch control, the customer experience becomes ever more important. The solution is one remote that works for all.” There are so many devices and services. But many of them are not simpatico. Which makes me wonder whether it is the remote control that needs to be universal or the hub at the centre of it all. If someone has the corporate bottle to develop an internet connected set-top box (or home server) that allows ALL the OTT apps as well as access to social media, they will clean up. Sky Q, announced at the end of 2015, comes close, as do Smart TVs, but until a consumer can get all his/her subscription TV channels and subscription OTT services on one place, via any devices, the chances of ‘one remote that works for all’ are slim. Viewing habits European TV viewers are continuing to move away from watching over-the-air TV shows in real-time on a television set, according to a new study conducted by independent market research company Trendbox, on behalf of Universal Electronics. The research, involving 1812 participants living in the UK, France and Germany, revealed that almost half of viewers now have their main TVs connected to the internet and 75% have a range of other devices plugged into the television, with DVD players (46%), games consoles (30%) and computers or laptops (22%), being the most commonly used. Approximately a third of those surveyed use OTT services, with YouTube (42%) being the most popular.