Traditional TV Still King With Viewers Despite Digital Device Deluge

According to a new Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) user study, even with proliferation of portable digital devices in the market, most consumers are still prefer watching television in their homes. This cuts across most age groups, the study found, suggesting that the variety of "cord cutting" online services are being used in addition to, rather than instead of, traditional television programming.

"Access to faster Internet speeds and dramatic advances in mobile technology have changed the face of video content delivery and consumption," said Kevin Tillmann, senior analyst, CEA. "Digital content is not necessarily a substitute for traditional content sources, but instead an additional source from which U.S. consumers can quench their insatiable thirst for video content."

The study, entitled "Video Content Discovery and Purchasing Trends," looked at video content viewing behavior, discovery, acquisition and format ownership preferences. It found that while the vast majority (79 per cent) of those who use online devices watch video content from traditional television programming providers such as cable, satellite or fibre-to-the-home, a significant number of viewers are also turning to digital sources.

In addition to traditional television programming, DVD/Blu-ray discs (66 per cent), free video streaming services (47 per cent) and paid video streaming services (37 per cent) are also common sources of video content, the study says.

The study also found that while more than half (53 per cent) of consumers say they skip commercials, traditional television programming is critical to the discovery of new video content, for both movies and TV shows:

- The sources consumers use most frequently to discover new movies are channel surfing (44 per cent), on-screen program guides (44 per cent), previews at the movie theater (39 per cent), commercials on TV (39 per cent), and word of mouth (37 per cent).

- The leading ways consumers discover TV shows are channel surfing (50 per cent), on-screen program guides (47 per cent), TV commercials (47 per cent), word of mouth (34 per cent), and network web sites such as or (27 per cent).

For watching streaming or downloaded video content, laptops (52 per cent), desktop PCs (44 per cent) and HDTVs (40 per cent) are the most commonly used devices. A third of consumers view video content on smartphones (32 per cent) and tablets (31 per cent).