In this paper we report on a study conducted in 2007 and 2008 looking at the media use habits of 27 families in the Greater London area. The project builds on previous work studying media use within a similar group in 2006. The study investigated attitudes towards different types of media and the role television (TV) currently plays and could play within the home environment. To facilitate the study we rapidly prototyped an experimental home media device and asked participants to use and respond to it. We explored issues of interactional simplicity and sharing media using a TV and employed the experimental device as a focal point for discussion and the generation of new ideas. Our key findings indicate a strong desire for services which support media presentation and consumption through the TV (combined with a suitable control device) and cater for social interaction within the home such as sharing photos and videos with other household members. In addition we found a strong user preference for services that offer fast and immediate access to specialised online activities, such as quick checks of e-mail accounts and social networking services.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Entertainment Computing 2 (3), 2011, © ELSEVIER