T-send Logo

A National Study to Decode SET – TOP – BOX Usage Behavior In Digital TV Homes

T-SeND is India’s first and only comprehensive study on Viewer STB Navigation Behavior. T-SeND or TV Search, Navigation and Discovery study was conducted across 39 DAS1 and DAS2 cities, to understand viewer’s channel and program navigation via the set-top-box (STB) – especially for a large percentage of cable homes that had just acquired their box.

The questions that we all wanted to understand were –

  1. How is the STB changing viewer behavior from their Analog days?
  2. How are viewers locating and landing on their favorite channels and programs now that the STB has a structured menu as well as 4-5 times more channels?
  3.  What are the factors affecting Navigation patterns and how much of it depends on viewer demography, operator’s offerings and various channel genres?
  4. Do viewers remember channel numbers or use the STB menu to locate their preferred channels?

The T-SeND results and findings are stunning!

We have tried to represent the findings in the attached T-SeNDStratMap that plots all the key factors that influence viewer behavior on the STB when they select TV Channels and Programs.


How to read the T-SeND Strategy Map:

The T-SeND StratMap enclosed with this letter shows the key factors that have been revealed to influence channel and program navigation inside Digital TV Homes. The three key pillars that impact the viewer’sTV Search, Navigation & Discovery are:

  1. Operator Effects : Operator-induced bias on Navigation
  2. Viewer Effects : Effects caused due to Viewer types and viewer actions
  3. Effects caused due to Channels & Channel Genre

The intersection of these 3 pillars gives us various conditions and factors that have a direct or indirect effect on Viewer navigational behavior . For instance :-

Channel LCN & Competition within Genre:

Channel’s number in an Operator’s lineup has a very large impact on that channel’s discoverability. Early channels on the 1st page of the menu get sampled more than channels appearing later. Viewer’s landing on a channel is a function of the total number of channels of that genre inside the Operator’s menu. More channels in a section would mean lesser sampling per channel.

Operator UI Simplicity :

Complicated STB menus discourage viewer usage of the remote control forcing viewers to remember their favorite channel’s numbers in order to avoid the complicated menu UIs whereas simplicity of the UI results in building viewer comfort of the menus and the remote control.

Operator UI Richness :

Viewers respond well to rich & visual UI delivered in the viewer’s language of choice. So program images, film posters, channel logos and translated menus enrich user experience and fuel STB usage.

Genre Effects on Navigation :

Every TV channel genre has its own distinct way of intra-genre viewer search & navigation. Film viewing TV sessions are navigated differently from say Sports and Music and News. GEC planned viewing sessions, especially on weekdays are very different from other genres in terms of how viewers land on their intended destinations.

Viewer Preferences for Genre :

Affinity & Engagement of a viewer towards a genre will determine viewer’s navigational pattern within that genre. e.g. High Affinity with a channel genre would result in viewers remembering the LCN.

Receptiveness of Target Audience, Viewer Demography :

Comfort with Technology, comprehension of menus & remote control features affect viewer’s habits relating to channel navigation. Similarly, younger, educated viewers navigate differently compared to say older or less educated viewers.

Channel Choices on Operator :

The number of channels available on an Operator affects channel navigation & discovery. Greater choice forces viewers’ into very ‘deliberate’ Navigational patterns.

Operator EPG Quality: EPG Quality is directly proportional to EPG Usage & Adoption. Better EPG quality leads to greater menu usage leading finally to very structured viewer navigation.

Duration of STB Ownership : Stability of viewer’s navigational patterns of STB menus is directly proportional to the duration for which the STB has been with the household. Longer the ownership, better is the familiarity with the menu and their ability to locate their channels of choice.

Needless to mention we have seen different channels on different operators get affected in varied ways owing to the above mentioned factors. Our expert team at TV STREET MAPS share further insights from the T-SeND study with the clients.