A warning for the cleaners and pizza shops that deliver: Here come the couch potatoes.
According to a new survey
of U.S., U.K., Australia and Italy residents, digital video recorders now rank as the second-most essential home technology, trailing only mobile phones.
The recorders, such as TiVo (News
) or cable TV’s DVR boxes, are seen as more important than clean clothes from washing machines or hot meals from a microwave, according to Middlesex, England-based NDS (News
), a digital TV solutions provider.
According to NDS’ survey of 1,000 people, seven out of 10 DVR owners say they can’t live without the device. Here’s how the statistic breaks down: 89 percent of Americans, 81 percent of British, 80 percent of Australians and 78 percent of Italians all reported that the DVR has improved how much they enjoy watching television.
“Intriguingly, Italians surveyed also ranked the hairdryer higher than a DVR,” NDS officials say. “And when it comes to essential technology gadgets, the DVR is second only to the mobile phone as the item they can’t live without. Intriguingly, the vast majority of respondents would rather give up their landline phone, dishwasher, radio and MP3 player than their DVR.”
It isn’t clear whether one of those surveyed was TMCNet’s own Dave Rodriguez (News
), who says in his “Cable Content Connection” blog that his family – owners of both DVR and TiVo systems – tape nearly everything they watch.
“The greatest challenge I experience with my DVR’s is the fact that I’m forced to plan my viewing in advance since I can only view time shifted content that I have already decided to record,” Rodriguez says in a recent entry
Like other fans of DVR systems, Rodriguez says he was excited to read TMC (News
) columnist Steve Shaw’s account of a recent court ruling regarding a network-based DVR application.
“The RS-DVR functions like a traditional DVR, but all storage and playback is delivered from the network-based application,” Shaw writes. “Users simply receive a remote control with DVR functions . . . For Cablevision, the attraction of this application is that it lowers the cost of offering DVR capabilities to subscribers. Rather than providing a physical box to subscribers, Cablevision can centralize the DVR functionality and deliver a virtual DVR service.”
Imagine the possibilities.
As Rodriguez writes: “Not only will this concept allow me to go back and tape the content I forgot to record but it has the capability for me to potentially view that content remotely. This will truly be a disruptive technology to my productivity when I’m home or on the road. Cablevision please sign me up!!!”
If that sounds like it may be a bad thing for someone’s personal life – such as a finding that DVR owners watch more than four hours of live and recorded TV each day – then consider this: The NDS survey says that 60 percent of DVR owners with a partner say that the device has improved their relationship.
“In the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, respondents attributed this improvement to having the ability to watch their own programs while sharing their favorites with each other,” the firm says. “Surveyed Italians feel that their improved relationship happiness is due to the DVR allowing them to plan their evening’s viewing better.”
Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael�s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan