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Video Viewing Up On Tablets and Phones, Down On PCs

The trend toward mobile video viewing will no doubt continue as more consumers buy tablets and cellular carriers upgrade networks.

Americans spend more time watching paid video services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus on their tablets and smartphones -- and less time viewing these services on their Mac and Windows PCs -- according to a new survey.

The 2012 U.S. Residential Pay-to-View Study by J.D. Power and Associates is based on responses from more than 4000 U.S. households in April 2012. It evaluates major video service providers, including Amazon, Apple TV, Blockbuster/Blockbuster Express, Google TV, Hulu/Hulu Plus, Netflix, Redbox, and local video stores.

Eighteen percent of respondents use tablets to view paid video content, up from 11 percent last year. Usage by smartphone customers rose slightly to 16 percent from 14 percent in 2011. Overall, 29 percent of video service customers watch paid content on a mobile device, the study found.

By comparison, 39 percent of respondents watch paid video on their Mac/Windows PCs, down significantly from 48 percent in 2011.

Of course, paid video services aren't designed to rival live television, which still is highly popular. The survey found that more than 50 percent of viewers watch live TV programming too.

The trend toward video viewing on mobile devices will no doubt continue as more consumers buy tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots proliferate, and cellular carriers upgrade their networks' speed and coverage areas.

And the blurring of boundaries between PC and tablet, as illustrated by Microsoft's new Surface for Windows Professional hybrid slate, may soon render video-viewing comparisons between computers and tablets meaningless.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci at Today@PCWorld, Twitter (@jbertolucci) or jbertolucci.blogspot.com, and follow Today@PCWorld on Twitter, too.

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