DVRs On the Rise


A report released Thursday says nearly half of U.S. homes will have a digital video recorder in five years, with cable DVRs expected to overtake their satellite counterparts.

At the end of last year, 7 million households had a DVR. By 2010, that number should climb to 55 million, or 47% of all households, according to market research firm JupiterResearch’s report on digital television. (At the moment, DVR penetration stands at about 12%.)

While TV networks and advertisers are nervous about the impact of DVRs, satellite and cable operators stand to benefit from increased deployment in the next two of three years, says JupiterResearch’s Todd Chanko, the lead analyst on the report.

"Cable multiple system operators appreciate the DVR as a key customer-acquisition tool and revenue driver while the two satellite operators see ever-more-robust DVRs as their answer to video-on-demand,” Chanko said in a release.

The report also predicted that cable DVR homes would surpass satellite DVR homes in 2007, despite satellite’s current lead in deployment.

The number of homes receiving and watching HDTV will increase from 10 million in 2005 to 69 million by 2010, the report states—hinting that current HD production will not meet future demand.

"Television networks and pay-TV operators alike are unsure of consumer demand for HDTV," Chanko said. "Behind closed doors, the executives are still measuring the real costs to produce and distribute HDTV against the benefits. That's why there are only 26 hours of HDTV programming a day across seven broadcast networks - and almost half of those hours are supplied by PBS."