Almost a quarter of UK households own at least one tablet computer, according to new research published by Ofcom.
The telecoms regulator says the growth of smartphones, now owned by 51% of UK adults, and tablets has helped increase the amount of time families spend watching TV together.
The devices mean family members are able to sit in the same room while each doing something different – be that streaming video, playing games or messaging friends.
As a result, teenagers are no longer taking to their bedrooms and abandoning the living room.
The emergence of new, portable computing devices appears to be behind a reduction in the number of children with a TV in their bedroom – in the first quarter of 2013, just over half (52%) of 5-15 year olds had a TV in their bedroom, compared to seven in ten (69%) in 2007.
Ofcom’s research also shows that the number of homes with just one TV has risen from 35% in 2002 to 41% in 2012 while the proportion of UK adults viewing via the main TV set has increased from 88% in 2002 to 91% in 2012.
James Thickett, Ofcom’s Director of Research, said: “Our research shows that increasingly families are gathering in the living room to watch TV just as they were in the 1950s – but now delivered on bigger, wider and more sophisticated sets.
“Unlike the 1950s family, however, they are also doing their own thing. They are tweeting about a TV show, surfing the net or watching different content altogether on a tablet.