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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 24, 2008

Report: Global DVR Homes to Quadruple in Five Years

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

On the heels of a study that ranked digital video recorders as the second-most essential home technology, behind only mobile phones, an IT market research firm based in southern England today is reporting that global DVR homes will quadruple over the next five years.
With equipment prices falling rapidly enough that more and more operators are offering free or subsidized DVR boxes, Byfleet-based Informa Telecoms & Media (News - Alert) is calling for 208 million homes with the devices in 2013
According to the Simon Murray, who authored the firm’s report, competition among operators who offer DVR services is intensifying. The service providers are vying to provide features such as the most capacity, high-definition compatibility and video-on-demand. In the United States, most platforms provide high-definition DVRs as standard, Murray said.
“DVR take-up works best where there is intense digital TV competition,” Murray said. “Platforms will not want to be left behind if a competitor is attracting new subscribers through DVR promotions.”
The firm says that there will be about 56 million DVRs installed around the world by the end of this year – or about 5 percent of all TV households and 18 percent of digital TV homes. Informa is calling for an additional 25 million DVR homes in 2009, and says that the top-five nations will account for the 208 million total DVR homes it’s forecasting by 2013.
Here’s a chart representing the firm’s forecast for worldwide DVR growth by region (in the millions):

Informa isn’t the first research firm to call for such dramatic growth for TV-recording devices. According to Middlesex, England-based NDS (News - Alert), a digital TV solutions provider, seven out of 10 DVR owners say they can’t live without the device.
Here’s how NDS’ statistics break down: 89 percent of Americans, 81 percent of British, 80 percent of Australians and 78 percent of Italians all reported that the DVR has improved how much they enjoy watching television.
According to Informa, North America will contribute three-quarters of the 2008 total, down from 81 percent in 2007, and the continent’s share will continue to fall – reaching 48 percent by 2013. Even so, its 99.4 million DVR homes by 2013 will be more than double the 2008 figure.

Western Europe will grow from 8.6 million at the end of this year, to 48.2 million in 2013, according to the firm. The United Kingdom will remain the top nation in the region, with 13.2 million DVR homes by 2013, followed by France (7.9 million), Italy (6.8 million) and Germany (6.3 million).

As the IT world has seen in other markets, growth rates in the Asia Pacific region overtake Western Europe, rising from 3.1 million at the end of this year 2008 to 45.1 million in 2013. The Asia-Pac region is expected to overtake Western Europe in 2014.

By 2013, Japan will have 13.8 million DVR homes – making it second in the world in total DVRs. Other major Asian contributors include China (11.9 million), Korea (6.5 million) and India (4.3 million).

Here's a chart from Informa showing DVR homes, by region, as a percentage of total TV households:

“Despite a fast-growing installed base, DVR penetration is only expected to reach 5 percent of TV households by end-2008, meaning that it still has some way to go to reach mass market adoption,” Informa officials say. “It is already at this point in North America, with a third of homes having a DVR.”
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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan