A cross-media survey report by Nielsen shows live viewing in the second quarter of 2012 averaged 4 hours and 18 minutes a day, down 5 minutes a day from the second quarter of 2011.
In contrast, average DVR playback -- watching time-shifted programming -- was at 22 minutes a day, up from 20 minutes a year ago, Media Daily News reported Thursday.
And almost 40 percent of Americans say they indulge in device multitasking, using their tablets or smartphones while watching TV, at least once a day.
That figure rises to 50 percent in 18- to 24-year-olds who are dividing their attention while watching TV, Nielsen said.
A significant use of smartphones while watching TV is shopping, the survey found, an activity indulged in by almost 30 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds.