Americans are increasingly preferring to watch videos on the computer rather than on TV, according to a recent study conducted by marketing research group Ipsos.

Among U.S. digital video users, the amount of video consumed on television declined to 70 per cent in February 2008 from 75 per cent a year earlier, while the amount of video consumed on personal computers nearly doubled to 19 per cent, up from 11 per cent in the same period, according to Ipsos MediaCT's Motion quarterly, which studies digital video usage and behaviours in the United States. 

Ipsos said the data was conducted online among a representative U.S. sample of internet users 12 and older in February 2008.

"Streaming video online has become an activity many Americans aren’t just experimenting with, but enjoy on a regular basis," Ipsos MediaCT director Adam Wright said in a release.

"The growing sophistication of home PCs, as well as the ubiquity of high-speed internet connections in the home and outside, really facilitated the experimentation process with the digital video medium, and subsequently caused many to adopt the PC as a channel they rely on for video entertainment."

About one out of every five hours spent watching movies, TV shows and other videos is done on a PC by the 52 per cent of Americans 12 and older who are web streaming and downloading, he added.

Wright said those in the entertainment industry should pay attention to these gains in non-traditional video channels, adding that the upcoming Apple TV and Roku’s Netflix Player playback devices are aimed at trying to bridge the gap between traditional viewing habits and the growing demand for more convenient access and management of digital video content.

In contrast, watching video content on other portable devices, such as DVD players and mobile phones, remains a niche activity for most adult digital video users — many of whom have invested in outfitting their living rooms with HDTVs and subscribe to cable or satellite television.

Teenagers were the only age group in the study that are watching a greater percentage of their video content on portable devices, Ipsos said.