Rising DVR use will hit DVDs, not TV

The rising popularity of digital video recorders seemed to spell doom for prime-time TV because the technology lets viewers skip ads, but a study has shown DVRs are probably replacing DVD viewing, not TV.

More than 90 per cent of people surveyed in May by Knowledge Networks Inc., a market research firm, said they typically watch TV during the prime-time hours of 8 p.m. to midnight, a rate similar to what the company found four years ago. But 19 per cent of respondents now have DVRs, five times the proportion in 2004.

“Increased DVR usage seems to come at the expense of watching purchased video,” said David Tice, director of The Home Technology Monitor at Knowledge Networks, who noted that DVD sales have been falling for several years. Tice says viewers are not as tied to broadcast programmes or schedules as before. People want to be entertained, usually having just had dinner and before going to bed, and if they can’t find anything on TV, they’ll watch video on their DVRs and from other sources.

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