LONDON: Early adopters of web-connected television sets are engaging in a diverse range of media activities using these appliances, new multimarket research has shown.

Futuresource Consulting polled 4,000 people in France, Germany, the UK and US, and found 71% of the French sample owning one of these TVs went online via this route, the highest national score.

Totals on this metric slipped to 56% for the UK, but the analysis suggested the introduction of more WiFi enabled products should drive figures up across the board.

In all of the featured countries, utilising catch-up TV services, watching videos on YouTube and streaming movies from sources such as Netflix and Lovefilm were the most popular specific pastimes.

Social networking sites were accessed by a further 40% of the panel, reaching 24% for listening to music and 23% for browsing personal content libraries.

A 62% majority of interviewees engaged in simultaneous media usage when watching television. Laptops and mobile phones were the most commonly used second devices, the report added.

However, while 25% of participants surfed the net to find out more information about a show they were watching, most were "doing completely unrelated activities".

More broadly, 33% of contributors played video on "connected devices" and are thus purchasing fewer DVDs. Similarly, 20% now consume less linear television programming.

Elsewhere, the study revealed that laptops were the most widely-used media channel among children. Some 44% of the same demographic has also used smartphones, standing at 20% regarding tablets.

"Companies that have realised the importance of content to help develop brand loyalty have been the clear winners," it said.

"Organisations such as Apple, Samsung, Amazon and the like have developed comprehensive content ecosystems, which have been fundamental in helping to lock in consumers and grow market share."

Data sourced from Futuresource Consulting; additional content by Warc staff