PVRs now mainstream, says In-Stat

Digital TV recorders have become 'mainstream' technology, seven years after their introduction, according to a new study from American research group In-Stat.

The devices, otherwise known as personal video recorders or PVRs, were once regarded as a 'niche' product but are now enjoying continuously growing popularity—particularly in the US and Japan.

According to In-Stat's latest findings, PVRs experienced a 60% increase in demand between 2004 and 2005, with worldwide shipments increasing from 11.9m to 19m. The technology research company predicts that this figure will rise to 42m by 2010.

Meanwhile, global PVR product revenues reached $6.6bn in 2005—up from $4.5bn in 2004—with North America and Japan accounting for 82% of all unit shipments.

In-Stat claims there are currently 12.3m households in the US with PVR products—a national penetration level of 11%—while customer satisfaction is high, with 86% of users being at least satisfied with their digital TV recorders.

In-Stat senior analyst Mike Paxton explained the devices' success: "TV viewers like the PVR's ability to record programming with the push of a button. Pay-TV service providers like PVRs for their ability to create new revenue streams, while at the same time providing bandwidth-constrained service providers with an on-demand service option".