SYDNEY: Consumers in Australia are increasingly taking to tablets and smartphones, but thus far these devices seem to be complementing television rather than replacing it, a report has suggested.

Nielsen, the research firm, partnered with OzTam and Regional TAM, the TV audience measurement bodies, and found 15% of households now contain a tablet, a figure predicted to hit 39% this year.

Turning to smartphones, the analysis stated that uptake has reached 48% among consumers aged 16 years old and above, an improvement of 13 percentage points on an annual basis.

Given the popularity of gadgets like Apple's iPhone and competing products running on Google's Android operating system, it was forecast that 64% of adults would own a smartphone by the end of 2012.

Elsewhere, 74% of residences have converted all of their TV sets to digital terrestrial services, with total penetration here nearing 100%.

Some 47% of Australian homes also use DVRs or similar technologies, which can be compared with 37% at the start of last year.

Looking online, 78% of households are connected to the web, and, on average, Australians enjoy video content for 3.3 hours via this channel per month, up from 2.1 hours just 12 months ago.

The study also showed 96% of video is seen on a conventional TV set. The typical consumer spends over 97 hours a month watching broadcast material in this way, 1.2 hours more than last year.

Included within this is the norm of 6.5 hours a month dedicated to playing back recorded content on time-shifting tools like DVRs.

Upon assessing wireless appliances, consumers commit 1.3 hours a month to watching video on a mobile phone, an increase from 35 minutes in the opening three months of last year.

The share of people exposed to this content on a tablet stands at approximately 5%, a modest return, but one that has grown from only 2% at the end of 2010.

"The rapid rise of these devices and new technologies is further extending Australians' TV viewing opportunities," said Matt Bruce, managing director of Nielsen's media group in Australia.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff