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Global Upside for Digital Video Recorders

The long-anticipated DVR boom is finally happening. Equipment prices have fallen rapidly. Operators want their subscribers to take DVRs as they register very highly in consumer satisfaction indexes -- and thus help to ensure loyalty.

DVR competition between operators is intensifying, according to a market study from Informa Telecoms & Media. Who can offer the largest capacity, with HD compatibility and push VOD services too? Most U.S. platforms now provide HD DVRs as standard.

Simon Murray, author of the report, stated "DVR take-up works best where there is intense digital TV competition. Platforms will not want to be left behind if a competitor is attracting new subscribers through DVR promotions."

By end-2008, Informa forecasts 56.1 million installed DVRs around the world. The Global DVR Forecasts report states that this represents 5 percent of TV households and 18 percent of digital TV homes. The forecasts claim 20 million added DVR homes in 2008, and 25 million more in 2009.

Informa predicts 208 million DVR households by 2013. The top five countries will account for two-thirds of this total.

North America will contribute three-quarters of the 2008 total, down from 81 percent in 2007. Its share will continue to fall -- reaching 48 percent by 2013. However, its 99.4 million DVR homes by 2013 will be more than double the 2008 figure.

Western Europe will record impressive growth, up from 8.6 million at end-2008 to 48.2 million in 2013. The UK will remain the top nation in the region, with 13.2 million DVR homes by 2013. It will be followed by France (7.9 million), Italy (6.8 million) and Germany (6.3 million).

Growth in the Asia Pacific region will be even more impressive than Western Europe, rising from 3.1 million at end-2008 to 45.1 million in 2013. It is likely to overtake Western Europe in 2014.

By 2013, Japan will have 13.8 million DVR homes -- ranking it second in the world. Other major Asian contributors include China (11.9 million), Korea (6.5 million) and India (4.3 million).

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