April 12, 2012 at 5:49 PM ET
A new report says many of us with tablets are using them to stretch out and either watch TV with a tablet nearby, or even watch TV on our tablets, relegating the boob tube to a more secondary role.
"Analysts and press have paid much attention to the cannibalistic relationship of tablets and PCs — but there’s another screen whose relationship to the TV is worth considering," said Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps on a Forrester blog about a new report on the relationship between tablets and TVs.
Tablets are taking the place of laptops and smartphones as the "couch computer" of choice, she says: 85 percent U.S. tablet owners "use their tablets while watching TV, and according to Nielsen, 30 percent of total tablet time is spent while watching TV."
The tablet’s "complementary nature to the living room TV gives a raison d’etre to 'second screen' apps like Miso, GetGlue, and Viggle that engage consumers in conversation and content related to what’s on the big screen."
And, smart TVs be (practically) damned; "As much as Samsung and others have promoted 'Smart TVs,' the reality is that consumers with tablets think their tablets are even smarter, and at least some of the time prefer to watch the content from their small device on the big screen," Epps wrote.
Using the tablet more and more as TV also means those consumers who might have considered smaller TV sets are leaving that notion behind.
"Thirty-two percent of tablet owners say they won’t buy a small (less than 24-inch) TV in the future, compared with only 7 percent who say the same about large TVs," Rotman wrote. "But they also say they watch more online video overall since getting a tablet. Consumers are using tablets as personal TVs where they had none before: the kitchen, bathroom, and airports, for example."