Brits are Ditching DVDs in Favour of Smart TVs

Mike Wheatley

British consumers are getting more tech savvy, and as a result they’re increasingly rejecting older devices such as DVDs and desktop PCs in favour of modern gadgets such as smart TVs and smart watches.


That’s the main takeaway from a new survey by Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, which says desktop PCs are now in decline with less than a third of British homes owning one.

Ownership of smart devices on the other hand is increasing rapidly among UK consumers, as greater numbers of them feel the need to remain connected to the Internet at all times, Ofcom said. The average Internet user now spends 24 hours a week online, the survey found.

Along with desktop PCs, other old-fashioned gadgets such as MP3 players and DVD players are also losing popularity, mostly due to the rise of smartphones that can deliver the same functionality plus a whole lot more, Ofcom said.

Interestingly though, ownership of tablets and e-readers has hit a plateau in the last couple of years, something that suggests these kinds of devices might have hit their peak popularity.

Other new devices gaining popularity with British consumers include smart speakers and virtual reality headsets, which are owned by 13 percent and 5 percent of households, respectively.

Wearable tech is also emerging quickly, with things such as smart watches and fitness trackers now owned by one in five households. That figure is also doubling every 12 months, Ofcom said.

“The growth in popularity of streaming services has created tremendous demand for connected TVs, which for many people are replacing DVD players, and the smartphone is replacing several other devices at once,” Ian Macrae, Ofcom’s director of market intelligence, said in a statement. “The range of connected devices is expanding rapidly. Smart speakers really took off last year and along with other smart home devices will again be ones to watch this year.”