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Study: DVRs Are A Cable Weapon

Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. — DVRs installed into cable-served TV households (TVHHs) recently grew beyond the number of those in satellite-served homes, according to a new study released by market research firm, The Carmel Group.

The firm’s annual DVR study, entitled, “Digital Video Recorders 2007: Time In A Magical Box,” included a nationwide survey of nearly 2,200 U.S. DVR users and non-users, to determine what most appeals to or aggravates consumers about DVR usage and related digital services.

According to the study, nearly half of all U.S. TV homes will be equipped with a DVR system by 2010. Currently, The Carmel Group estimates nearly 26 million U.S. DVR users.

In addition to indications that the cable industry “can’t live without” the time-shifting DVR technology, the Carmel Group notes three key trends:

·         receptivity of subscribers, especially women, to relevant and interactive ads;

·         the indication that DVR users tend to be early adopters of bundled multichannel services; and

·         privacy concerns are limited among DVR users.

“The data supports advertisers moving toward relevant, interactive and pin pointed advertising, especially if they can ally with technologists capable of matching the specialized ad to the individual, wherever and whenever,” The Carmel Group said.

The study also found that more than half of DVR users surveyed would be receptive to searching for interactive ads related to the products and services they are interested in buying through their DVRs.

The cable TV industry recently passed the satellite industry in 2006, and now claims the majority of DVR users at 56 percent, followed by satellite at 38 percent, the telcos at 1 percent, and stand-alone providers, such as TiVo, at 4 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal.

For cumulative DVR revenues, the industry has generated more than $13 billion since 1999. By 2008, the study projects the top four manufacturers in the DVR industry will be Scientific Atlanta [SFA], Motorola [MOT], EchoStar’s DISH Network [DISH] and TiVo [TIVO].

The top multi-channel TV operators installing DVRs today include: Comcast, DirecTV, EchoStar and Time Warner.

Other areas covered in the study include the effects of DVRs on women and advertisers, and consumer demand for related digital services, such as broadband, HDTV and the local delivery of TV stations.