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If a new survey proves correct, the TV business has reason to worry about the growth of personal computers in the home.

The "Interactive Home" survey from research company Inteco Corp., Norwalk, Conn., found that in homes with PCs, premium cable TV subscriptions are falling.

While overall household penetration of PCs in the U.S. is about 35%, Inteco found that penetration is 40% in households that have canceled premium channels.

Of those that canceled channels, 78% said part of the reason is that they weren't watching them enough.

"The research clearly shows that the future of interactive entertainment in the home is now," said Mark Snowden, analyst at Inteco. "The PC is already changing consumer behavior in the home, and the changes will accelerate as PC penetration grows."

For the "Interactive Home" study, Inteco surveyed more than 16,000 people in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. Written questionnaires were sent in two phases, April and June. The survey covers current usage of PCs, online services, CD-ROMs, videogames, pay-per-view and other media, and projects future attitudes toward new interactive services.

Inteco also confirmed that people are interested in using their VCRs to "time-shift," watching programs when they want to.

Of U.S. households with a VCR, 65% said they record at least one TV program per week. That compares with 48% in Italy, 57% in Germany, 67% in France and 89% in the U.K.

Although the figures indicate people are willing to watch programs on demand, paying for them is another matter. Of U.S. households, for example, 69% said they'd be interested in pay-per-view movies on demand-but only if the cost was no higher than current video rentals.M

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