Two Screens, No Watching

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Even wired people need their fix of reruns and bad made-for-TV movies. New research from Media Metrix shows that more than half of PC households have a television in the same room as their computer. Of those households, 95 percent say the TV and computer are on simultaneously some or most of the time. So is Junior watching cartoons while Mom surfs the Web in the living room? Maybe, but it's not likely, says Bruce Ryon, senior vice president and chief technology analyst at Media Metrix. More than 68 percent of households keep their computers in "non-shared" rooms, places like the home office or spare bedroom, where people can work alone. Now the research shows that these rooms are also equipped with televisions. Who's most likely to watch two screens? Mainly light computer users - people surfing the Web, playing games, using financial software to balance the checkbook, and so on. "They're not doing things that necessarily require a lot of concentration," Ryon says. Good thing: ! They might miss the fight on Jer ry Springer.

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