Are Televisions Disappearing From US Homes?

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After years of televisions in every home’s den (and maybe some bedrooms, too), this trend may soon either come to an end or see a significant drop.

This week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) put out a new research report, Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), which shows a decrease in televisions inside homes across the country. While there were an average of 2.6 televisions per house in 2009, that number dropped to 2.3 in 2015.

What’s causing this change in U.S. citizens’ lifestyles?

Connected devices may be the culprit here for televisions’ decline in numbers. The RECS shows that of the 188 million homes included in the survey, younger households have a lower amount of televisions and a higher amount of portable devices like laptops and smartphones. At the other end of the spectrum, this research shows older households are likely to have more desktop computers.

This research, which included more than 200 energy-related items from more than 5,600 households, had a new introduction to its questions from years past. As smart devices have not been around as long as televisions, that’s likely the reason the 2015 research was the first time it could include questions about tablets, smart thermostats and light-emitting diode lighting. Coincidentally, this same research was the first time it was made available to the public through a combination of an online questionnaire and a mail-in paper survey.

Is this the beginning of the end for televisions in American homes?

At this time, there isn’t any strong evidence to suggest so. With portable connected devices and online streaming services like Amazon and Netflix upping their television series game, it’s more likely that laptops and smartphones will become the new television set.



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