According to a new report from Sandvine (http://www.sandvine.com) — a company that makes “network policy control solutions focus on protecting and improving the quality of experience on the Internet” — we’ve entered a post-PC era.

In this era, the majority of Real-Time Entertainment traffic on North America‚Äôs fixed access networks is destined for devices other than a laptop or desktop computer. Game consoles, set-top boxes, smart TVs, tablets, and mobile devices being used within the home combine to receive 55% of all Real-Time Entertainment traffic. Real-Time Entertainment is described as “]applications and protocols that allow “on- demand” entertainment that is consumed (viewed or heard) as it arrives (think streamed audio and video and specific streaming sites such as Netflix and YouTube).

However, that doesn’t mean that the computer is being left out of the picture. Far from it. According to Sandvine, 45% of Real-Time Entertainment is being delivered to desktop and laptop computers. Which is why that Apple needs to — and certainly will — figure the Mac into any future audio and video plans, streaming or otherwise.

Subscribers are watching Real-Time Entertainment on an increasing number of screens. As noted by Sandvine, many households you could very easily find a laptop or desktop computer, a smartphone, a tablet, and a TV with direct (smart TVs) or indirect (via a game console or set-top) Internet connectivity.

When subscribers watching online video are free to choose between screens, they generally choose to watch content on the largest screen available to them. A TV offers a better viewing experience than a computer, a tablet is preferred over a smartphone, and a smartphone is superior to nothing at all.

In other words, a Mac would come in second to the TV for Real-Time Entertainment, but ahead of an iPad, iPod touch or smartphone.

— Dennis Sellers