The majority of consumers want to be able to watch online content through their TVs. While 17% already can do this, a further 58% say they would like to be able to do this.

The Digital Entertainment Survey,  from Entertainment Media Research and Wiggin, reveals a demand for on-demand programming delivered online, though not many people want to actually pay for it. People would consider paying for movies, adult content, and music and sporting events, but little else.

Thanks to the popularity of the iPlayer, people don’t want to pay for TV content when there is so much available free of charge:

There are opportunities for companies that can deliver movies and content that people are willing to pay for. This is also another reason why Microsoft’s Xbox strategy looks to be paying off.

While the Xbox has had reliability problems along the way, and has taken a loss on the hardware, Microsoft now has a foothold in the living room with a machine that can deliver online movies and more direct to TV sets. It is also linking up with Sky to provide the broadcasters’ online TV content, including sports, to Xbox Live users.

While the majority are unwilling to pay for on-demand programming, consumers are willing to receive advertising in return for free content, which at least offers the hope for broadcasters that they can make these services pay through advertising income.

While 46% said they would be likely to download more content to their PC if they could watch it on their TVs, there are obstacles to overcome, which puts companies with set top boxes and internet enables consoles in people’s living rooms in a strong position.

The perceieved difficulty of linking PCs to TVs is a problem; 49% said they didn’t know how to do this, or considered it to be too difficult.

Other highlights from the survey:

With the notable exceptions of Twitter, the number of profiles on social networks appear to be in decline:

The fact that Facebook fell by only 1% compared to 18% for MySpace suggests that it has a relatively loyal userbase. According to the survey, 46% of Facebook users check their profile on a daily basis.