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Survey: DVR Makes Homes Happier

The digital video recorder (DVR) has become a must-have appliance, according to a survey released by NDS, a digital pay TV technology solution provider. More than 70 percent of consumers who currently own a DVR told surveyors that they could not live without it.

Researchers queried more than 1,000 DVR owners in Australia, Italy, the UK and the U.S. in July 2008, asking them to rank the DVR in terms of relative importance among their household appliances.

Internationally, respondents put the DVR in the No. 2 spot as their most indispensable technology item, behind the top-ranked mobile phone.

Just over 80 percent of American owners said they could not live without their DVR; UK owners followed with 78 percent. Slightly fewer owners in Australia (75 percent) and in Italy (73 percent) also found the device indispensable.

The Digitally Connected Family

People who own a DVR typically watch one hour of “live” television and four hours of recorded content. Daytime programming is the most frequently recorded with shows during prime time viewing hours among the least.

Dramas are the most-often recorded type of show.

Owning a DVR affects men and women differently, said Steve Tranter, vice president of broadband and interactive at NDS.

“The No. 1 advantage to owning a DVR for men was that they didn’t miss any TV programs,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Guys are very focused on the TV content and intent on not missing anything. With women, the No. 1 [impact] of the DVR was that the TV didn’t infringe on their regular daily lives.”

Women with DVRs are still able to engage in their day-to-day non-TV activities and don’t feel they have to plant themselves in front of the boob tube lest they miss a particular program, Tranter explained.

One reason respondents gave for the DVR’s essential status was that it improves family relations.

Eighty-two percent of Italians and 81 percent of Americans said their family lives improved post-DVR. Nearly 40 percent of families surveyed in Italy said they argued less about what to watch since purchasing a DVR; 33 percent of families in the U.S. gave the same response.

Better Love Lives

Perhaps the most interesting finding from the survey was the revelation that owning a DVR improved respondents’ relationships with their significant others.

Nearly eight out of 10 DVR owners in the U.S. said their relationships were better than before they owned a DVR. Seventy-eight percent of Australians and Italians, and 62 percent of Brits reported similar improvements.

American, Australian and British partners said that the DVR allowed each person in the relationship to enjoy their programming of choice. It also enabled them to share their favorite show with one another. Many Italians attributed their improved relationships to being able to plan their prime-time viewing better.

In the U.S., 89 percent of consumers with access to a DVR said the device improved their enjoyment of watching television. In the UK, Australia and Italy, 81 percent, 80 percent and 78 percent respectively said they enjoyed watching TV more after acquiring a DVR.

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