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Digital TV the way of the future

Staying in is new going out - official

We are a nation of homebodies who believe digital TV will be the interactive choice of the future, according to two studies conducted by cable company Telewest.

Two in five people questioned think digital TV, rather than a PC, will be the way they shop, bank and browse the internet in the future.

But despite digital TV's growing uses, the PC still rules web access for now.

"Other PC devices are evolving but [for the foreseeable] future they will not offer the same richness as the PC," said Edwin Van Der Haarst, analyst at Forrester Research.

Telewest quizzed 30,000 of its subscribers to get an idea how people are using interactive TV and what they think of it.

"We're on a mission to show to a wider audience just how much people are doing with technology," said Telewest spokeswoman Rachel Turner.

The second survey revealed that staying in really is the new going out. Despite this hyperbole, the survey showed a 40 percent drop in the number of people who go out at night. Half of those questioned said they go out less than they used to, preferring a night in front of the internet or interactive TV.

Nearly a quarter of people (21 percent) surfed the internet in the evening for pleasure, with interactive shows such as Big Brother and Who Wants to be a Millionaire more appealing to 44 percent of people than a night on the town.

"People are also finding that the things they go out for - to see friends they share an interest with - can [be done] just as well, and probably more comfortably at home," said Turner.

"Where people used to pop down the pub for a chat, they can now do it over the internet curled up on the couch," agreed a spokesperson at Microsoft's internet portal MSN. "Technology will not make people less sociable because they will still go out, but it enables people to take advantage of technology where before they could not."

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