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UK consumers are gradually increasing the amount of time spent watching TV content over the internet, according to one broadband provider.

Virgin Media said its customers watched 14 per cent more content online during 2011 than in the previous year - with a total of 1,004,447,198 TV On Demand views.

The firm's subscribers sat down to watch On Demand content for a combined total of approximately 490 million hours.

Long-running ITV soap Coronation Street was the most watched catch-up show, while The Vampire Diaries was the most popular complete series.

Virgin Media claimed the advent of its TiVo service is also causing "dramatic changes" in how people are watching television.

Launched last year as the UK's first next-generation entertainment platform, TiVo boxes combine the live TV schedule with On Demand content, and programming available on the web.

According to Virgin Media, the service is enriching the entertainment experience for households across the country, as well as bringing new and niche content to the awareness of wider audiences.

It features a highly intelligent recommendations engine which learns to predict and suggest shows that a household will like.

Consumers can select 500GB or 1TB of recording capacity available, depending on how much content they want to save for a later date.

Cindy Rose, Executive Director of Digital Entertainment at Virgin Media, said people are watching more TV - whether it is on demand, suggestions recorded for them or as a result of new and exciting interactive experiences.

"We know TV On Demand is incredibly popular as it's watched more than any channel except for BBC1 or ITV1 but we far surpassed our expectations in 2011," she commented.

"We've led the development of On Demand and we're now doing the same with TiVo, which takes the entertainment experience to another level."

Ms Rose claimed that TV world is changing, with TiVo's "powerful functionality" and ease of use giving people even more control over what they watch and when.

"The advocacy we're seeing from users is vociferous with over half telling us they're recommending the service to their friends and family," she added.

"Together with the UK's fastest widely available broadband, Virgin Media is putting the power of the digital world in the hands of our customers."

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