Freeview has celebrated its 10th birthday conducting research into the biggest developments in TV since it launched in 2002.
In a poll of the best shows that have launched, ITV1 period drama Downton Abbey topped the list, ahead of E4 comedy The Inbetweeners.
Sherlock finished third, in front of The Apprentice and The X Factor.
Channel 4's Come Dine With Me finished sixth, followed by Gavin & Stacey, Planet Earth and Dancing on Ice.
Meanwhile, Doctor Who star David Tennant was voted the favourite new TV talent.
The most important technological development, according to the survey, has been the introduction of TV catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD and the availability of digital TV recorders such as Freeview +.
Ilse Howling, MD of Freeview, said: "From Downton to Dragon's Den, Sherlock to Shameless, the last ten years have been a golden era for TV viewers. Now that Digital Switchover has completed, the whole country can receive Freeview and Freeview HD which means universal access to the most-watched TV shows without the need for a subscription.
"The rapid pace of technological change has offered viewers greater choice in how and when they choose to watch their favourite programmes, and dramatically improved the viewing experience. Our focus for the next decade will be to continue to bring people vibrant and high quality TV for free, in the format they want by making technology accessible."