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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 06:08 GMT
Future of TV: The viewers' group
The Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV) consumer group has been campaigning for the preservation of quality and diversity in British broadcasting since being founded by Jocelyn Hay in 1983.

How will we be watching TV in 10 years?

Voice of the Listener and Viewer chairman Jocelyn Hay
Jocelyn Hay chairs the Voice of the Listener and Viewer
We know we'll be watching television in many different ways and in totally new ways - not just at home but on the move, through our computers in the office, through mobile phones, in all sorts of ways.

This is already happening so the process is going to accelerate and I should imagine in 10 years time there will be nowhere where we cannot watch it.

What does the future hold for traditional TV channels?

There's still a substantial and significant demand for the traditional channels and although their demise has been forecast by many people for many years, there's no sign of that happening.

I think a lot of people will continue to turn to the brands that they know and trust. They will rely in many cases on the skill of schedulers to produce programmes that they'll wish to watch. And don't let's forget the serendipity factor here - you get programmes that you may not have sought to watch but enjoy.

Will TV programmes be changed by how we watch them?

One of the biggest dangers at the moment is the pressure that competition, particularly competition from channels with no public service obligations, are putting on the traditional public service broadcasters.

VLV views with great concern the relaxation in regulation in many areas, particularly to do with advertising, sponsorship, product placement and other ways of funding, particularly commercial channels.

It's at great risk of interfering with the integrity of editorial decisions and our concern is that once you break the trust that viewers have in the broadcasters, you'll never get it back again. That trust is a very, very precious commodity.

Greater competition is leading to huge pressure on budgets. For the last 10 years, VLV has been concerned about the future of children's television and it's now reached a crisis point. If the British industry goes, it's going to destroy a whole skills base but ultimately it will threaten the cultural identity of our country as younger generations are submitted more and more to other cultures, in particular the American culture.

How will the viewing experience and viewing habits change?

For a huge number of people, their only leisure activity and relaxation is to watch something on the box at home at the end of the day's work.

Their only access to leisure, to the arts, to entertainment of all kinds, is via the television screen, and that need and demand will continue. It may be changed by video-on-demand, when people have access to an archive of programmes, or extra digital channels.

But I'm sure there will still be a demand, provided the quality is there, for that form of mass entertainment - even if it's accessed on an individual basis.

What role will user-generated video play in mainstream viewing?

I think it will provide a challenge for a lot of programme-makers. It's a new phenomenon, it's not been well tested yet, but it's already proving popular with some people.

There are difficulties with it - one is quality. The other point is that it's quite difficult to find. With the millions and millions of individual broadcasts that are now being made and transmitted via the internet, it's very difficult to find the one that you want to particularly watch.

It obviously is now an important new element in the game - but how it will actually develop in the future is difficult to predict. But like everything else, it will depend very much on the quality.

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