Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

U.K. the Leading European Nation for DVRs

The United Kingdom is the first European nation to adopt digital video recorders (DVRs) in significant numbers. Over 35 percent of U.K. broadband households own a DVR, according to a market study by Parks Associates.

Their five-country study examined entertainment trends across Europe and found over one-third of U.K. broadband households own a DVR. British households are also more likely than other European DVR households to record programs and skip commercials.

At the same time, DVR use has not completely replaced use of broadcast TV. Even young U.K. consumers with a DVR continue to watch broadcast TV more often than recorded programs, part of the overall trend in Europe where households are less receptive than their American counterparts to television services.

"If Americans are wedded to their TVs, Europeans are just dating," said John Barrett, director of research, Parks Associates.

He pointed out that while U.K. adoption rates are strong by European standards, they still fall behind the U.S., where over 40 percent of broadband households now own a DVR.

Barrett adds "Europeans have traditionally been less enthusiastic about in-home entertainment than Americans. Pay TV, DVRs, and VoD have been harder sells as a result. These findings show how, at least in the case of the United Kingdom, we're seeing some traction."

A number of factors explain this gap between the U.S. and Europe.

For example, strong public broadcasting has left less room in Europe for private, pay-TV services. In the U.S., poor free-to-air reception and a weaker public broadcaster sector have created a market for premium pay-TV services.