The Associated Press poll on home entertainment was conducted Jan. 22-26 among a random sample of 1,001 adults in the contiguous 48 states.
Interviewing was done by telephone by ICR Survey Research Group of Media, Pa., part of AUS Consultant Cos.The results were weighted to represent the population by key demographics such as age, sex, region and education.
Chance variations in the sample should not cause the results to vary from the answers of all Americans by more than 3 percentage points more than one time in 20. This margin of sampling error is larger for responses of subgroups, such as a region or age category.
Other sources of potential error in polls include the wording and order of questions. Here are the AP poll questions: (Because of rounding, sums may not total 100.)
1. As you know, there are more choices of what to watch now than there used to be before cable TV and videocassette rentals. Would you say that finding something you LIKE to watch at home is getting easier, getting harder, or is not changing much at all? Easier: 42 percent. Harder: 20 percent. Not changing much: 33 percent. Don't know-no answer: 5 percent.
2. Have you personally ever used a VCR, or videotape machine, to record a television program and watch it later? Yes: 65 percent. No: 35 percent.
3. Thinking back about the past seven days, even if it was not a typical week, how many hours would you estimate you spent watching television or videos? None or less than an hour: 3 percent. One to five hours: 23 percent. Six to 10 hours: 21 percent. 11 to 20 hours: 23 percent. 21-50 hours: 25 percent. Over 50 hours: 4 percent. Mean average: 17 hours. Median: 12 hours.
The next two questions are about books of the kind people read for pleasure.
4. Thinking back again about the past seven days, how many hours, if any, would you estimate you spent reading a book or books for pleasure? None or less than one hour: 31 percent. One to five hours: 34 percent. Six to 20 hours: 28 percent. Over 21 hours: 6 percent. Mean average: 6 hours. Median: 3 hours.
5. If you wanted to read or reread a book for pleasure right now, would you happen to have a collection of books in your home, or would you have to go out to a library or store? Have books at home: 64 percent. Have to go out: 33 percent. Both (volunteered response): 2 percent. Neither, no time or desire to read (volunteered) 1 percent.