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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 14, 2012

Majority of Tablet Users Watch Video on their Device

By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor

Tablets have become one of the most rapidly adopted consumer technologies in history and are drastically changing the way people engage with the digital world on-the-go and at home.

comScore (News - Alert), Inc. has released new insights on the U.S. tablet market from comScore TabLens, its forthcoming monthly syndicated service providing insights into tablet ownership and usage. The report found that tablets have quickly reached a mass in the U.S. with one in every four smartphone owners using tablets during the three-month average period ending April 2012. The study also found that tablet users were three times more likely to watch TV and video on their device compared to smartphone users, with one in every 10 tablet users viewing video content almost daily on their device.

"It's not surprising to see that once consumers get their hands on their first tablet, they are using them for any number of media habits including TV viewing,” said Mark Donovan (News - Alert), comScore SVP of Mobile.

According to the report, tablets are being used by one in every four smartphone owners in just two years since the launch of the iPad, the first tablet to reach a meaningful market penetration. The tablet adoption has exploded fueled by the introduction of new devices that appeal to various price and feature preferences.

In April, 16.5 percent of mobile phone subscribers used a tablet, representing an increase of 11.8 percentage points in the past year. Growth in market was even more apparent among the smartphone population with one in four using a tablet device, an increase of 13.9 percentage points in the past year. Only 10.4 percent of feature phone owners use a tablet, suggesting that smartphone ownership is highly predictive of tablet adoption in the current market.

The study showed tablet and smartphone audiences closely resemble one another in terms of gender composition, with tablet users just slightly more likely to be female than smartphone users. For both devices, the heaviest audience concentration was between the ages of 25-44. Compared to smartphone owners, tablet users were 28 percent more likely to be in the 65 and older age segment, and 27 percent less likely to be age 18-24.

Looking at content consumption on tablets, the study found that over half of tablet users watched video and/or TV content on their device, compared to just 20 percent of the smartphone audience, with larger screen sizes making tablets more conducive to video consumption than their smaller-screen cousins. Not only were tablet users more likely to watch video, but they were more likely to view video habitually with 18.9 percent of tablet users watching video content at least once a week, and 9.5 percent watching video nearly every day on their device.

Silicondust, Inc. a cable services provider, has introduced a product called HDHomeRun Network for digital TV users. HDHomeRun products allow viewers to watch and record digital and HD television from any computer within their home network. The design connects TV tuners to the home router allowing access from any computer, anywhere in the home.

HDHomeRun is used in multi-computer homes, by field technicians in the broadcast industry, and for many commercial applications including Multi-Dwelling locations and where Multicast viewing is required.

“HDHomeRun essentially takes television RF signals. We receive the RF and convert it to IP and distribute it over the network. It sends native broadcast television to users on a computer,” Theodore Head, president and CEO of Silicon Dust, told TMCnet at The Cable Show 2012 in Boston. “We were able to create a device that now allows you to work with the access controlled content and now be able to stream that over your home network as well. “

Silicondust is not supporting cable from an app standpoint, instead it is supporting cable from a network standpoint. “That’s the space we like to be in, giving that freedom across the whole home,” said Head.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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