The co-location of a laptop or PC with a television has been studied for years. Back in the late 1990’s Jeff Morris, an executive at Showtime Networks called my attention to a research study which he and Showtime commissioned on the use of PCs in the same room as a TV. His research showed that more than 50% of his premium channel subscriber base had a PC located in the same room as the TV. Jeff wanted to know more about what consumers were interested in doing on their PCs while watching TV. Jeff was ahead of his time in seeing the possibility for marriage of the TV and the PC. He often joked that he was a "convergaholic".
More recently we’ve seen an increase in the number of PCs and TVs located in the same room. Additionally, more is known about what consumers are doing on their PCs while they watch TV. One recent study indicated that approximately 50% of males were actively using their PC while watching TV, while approximately 25% of females were multi-tasking. However, it’s often difficult to know whether or not the user is more focused on the TV or the PC or are these two actually a shared experience?
Lately I’ve been wondering about this area of co-location. What types of applications make sense on the TV, on the PC, available on either, or converged as a complementary experience? As you may have seen in Comcast Voices back in April, Mark Hess wrote about Interactive TV. He and the team here at Comcast are working to bring new forms of interactive media to the television. We’re also bringing you Fancast.com, a phenomenal Web-based entertainment site where you can deep-dive into your favorite programs to get more information, watch full length TV programs and movies.
I’d like to hear from you. How often are you in front of your TV with a laptop, or a PC? Are you multi-tasking with non-related activities, or are you "deep diving" with the program you’re watching (fantasy football, voting, polling)? What would you like to be doing on TV tomorrow that you need to do on your PC today?
Update: I updated this post with a new picture (Go, Phillies!).