Canadians are spending more time online than they are in front of their television sets, the first time Internet usage has jumped ahead of TV watching, a new survey by the Ipsos Reid polling firm suggests.

But they’re still watching TV on their computers as more shows migrate online, said Mark Laver, associate vice-president of Ipsos Reid.

“We’re not necessarily watching less television,” Laver said.

“We’re watching television in a different form in a different medium. Some of that increase in Internet usage is coming from people watching shows online.”

Overall, Canadians are now spending more than 18 hours a week online, compared with 16.9 hours watching television, says the Interactive Reid Report.

Jordan Shabtai, 22-year-old Vancouver resident, said the Internet has made life easier.

“(It’s) more convenient being able to pull up shows whenever, sometimes before it even airs (on the West Coast),” he said.

Some industry watchers also noted that the cost of watching TV is rising as cable TV companies and satellite operators raise the monthly cost of service. As that happens more people are watching TV online for free.