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Living Without a DVR


A large portion of the American public is still living without a DVR – that was my stunning takeaway from a recent study by The Carmel Group. While Multichannel News focuses on the fact that cable providers have taken the DVR lead away from satellite operators (it was only a matter of time), I am more interested in the fact that DVRs are only in about 24% of US households today (26 million out of roughly 107 million). The Carmel Group predicts that number will rise to 46% by 2010. How does the other half survive?

Cheekiness aside, I am surprised that DVRs aren’t more widespread than they are. They’ve certainly created a major cultural shift in the last few years. The TV advertising world is in a tumult, we’ve added DVR to the dictionary, and wardrobe malfunctions are inflated in importance by the availability of instant replays.

On a call today I heard another example of how the evolving TV experience is changing our linguistic behavior. Think about what kids ask when they want to watch TV. The future is a “What I Want, When I Want” (WiWWiW) world.

Past/Broadcast world: “What’s on?”
Current/DVR world: “What do we have?”
Future/WIWWIW world: “What is there?”

8 Responses

  1. […] Living Without a DVR: Connected Home 2 Go […]

  2. Ich bin ein luddite.

    People are always asking me why I don’t have a DVR and I tell them because there is no room on my kitchen counter under my (only) 9″ television” for it. What I’ve discovered is that a 9″ television creates a wonderful incentive to go outside and ride my bike! :)

  3. Hooray for bike riding!

    If you truly don’t watch TV, or only watch the news when it’s on, then a DVR isn’t right for you. However, most people are spending a lot of time in front of the boob tube (as opposed to outside…), and to do that without a DVR seems madness.

  4. […] still retains significant power. Despite gloom-and-doom accounts, the reality is that only 24% of US households have DVRs today, and we won’t break the 50% mark until next decade. And, according to Nielsen, 93% of audiences […]

  5. […] to be in more than 69 million households by 2012. It still feels to me like DVRs have had a relatively long adoption cycle, but compared to VoIP service and even mobile phones, I suppose adoption is right on pace. I am not […]

  6. […] the number of US households with DVRs rose from 17.2% in May to 20.5% today. Hmm. Back in July the Carmel Group cited US DVR households at about 24% of the total population. So let’s split the difference between May and today and guesstimate […]

  7. […] That’s true at least for those Americans who already have them, according to a new survey by NDS (maker of DVR software). More than 80% of DVR owners in the US say they couldn’t do without them, and given adoption rates, that’s a lot of folks. The most current data I could find suggests that roughly 25% of US households have DVRs today, with a projected jump to 48% by the end of 2010. (Data from Convergence Consulting Group via an April Wired blog post) If percentages remain the same, by the start of 2011, nearly 40% of US households will find DVRs indispensable. Not hard to believe. I’ve had a DVR since 2001 and can’t imagine life without it. […]

  8. […] I the only one who does not have a DVR? I feel like it but according to a survey by the Carmel Group in 2007, 24 percent of households had a DVR. They predict it will go up to 46 percent in 2010. I […]

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