DVRs No Big Deal Yet
Indeed, the number of folks with DVRs in their homes is certainly on the upswing. In a new survey, Leichtman Research Group Inc. (LRG) found that about 12 percent of U.S. households have a DVR. That's up from a mere 3 percent just two years ago, before most cable operators were actively hawking the machines.
Likewise, a recent study by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) found that 17 percent of cable homes have a DVR, up from a modest 7 percent only a year earlier. Even more impressively, the study found, 30 percent of digital cable subscribers now have one of these newfangled digital recorders.
So DVRs really are a big deal, eh? Uh, not really. Even though they may now be in close to 15 million American homes, they haven't exactly revolutionized the way that most of us watch TV just yet.
Consider some other LRG study tidbits. Despite the jump in DVR take rates, the consulting group found that recorded DVR programs still account for an extremely tiny share of all TV viewing. In fact, DVR and video-on-demand programs together accounted for less than 4 percent of all U.S. TV viewing, up from about 2 percent a year ago, as viewers tend to watch them only as a last resort.
So let's not jump the gun yet on DVRs, OK? Come back in three or four years and then we'll talk.
— Alan Breznick, Site Editor, Cable Digital News