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Downloading movies, music and other media content onto computers in the comfort of your own home is more popular than ever, but people are simply not prepared to pay for it.

Olswang, an entertainment and media law firm, surveyed 1,500 people and found a third of this group downloaded media content from the internet, but very few were willing to cough up cash for the service.

The survey also found that people were tending to use their computers in their living rooms more, with 49 per cent subsequently watching downloaded content on their PCs.

It said that "the most popular reason for streaming and downloading is the control it gives consumers over what they watch and when."

But others continue to watch television “the way it is” from a comfortable chair, with downloading and streaming content considered by some to be impractical.

Sky+ got the thumbs up in the survey as a “desirable device” second only to mobile phones, with 58 per cent of Sky+ owners claiming to watch a 50-50 split of live and recorded programming.

It also found that television via the mobile phone continues to be an unpopular concept among consumers.®

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