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Study Says DVR Owners Are Happier

More Than 80 Percent of Americans with a DVR Can’t Live without It According to NDS Survey

Survey Highlights:
According to the NDS DVR Report, an international survey of over 1,000 DVR owners:

  • Americans rank the DVR as the third most indispensable household item (62%), after the washing machine (97%) and the microwave oven (86%)
  • Americans rank the DVR as the second most essential household technology item they can’t live without (81%), beaten only by the mobile phone (92%)
  • 3 out of 4 respondents with partners say that having a DVR makes for a happier home life

More than 80% of Americans say that they can’t live without a Digital Video Recorder (DVR), according to a new survey of DVR owners commissioned by NDS, the leading provider of technology solutions for digital pay-TV.

A DVR or personal video recorder (PVR) lets you record TV shows in digital format to a disk drive within the TV set-top box. NDS technology allows satellite TV subscribers to pause live TV, record, play back, rewind and fast forward their TV programs for viewing when they choose.

Other than the washing machine (97% of respondents) and the microwave oven (86%), no other household item is deemed more essential than the DVR (62%) in today’s US homes. And when it comes to essential technology gadgets, the DVR (81%) is second only to the mobile phone (92%), as the item Americans cannot live without. Intriguingly, the vast majority of respondents would rather give up their landline phone, dishwasher, radio, hairdryer and MP3 player than their DVR.

The survey also reveals that owning a DVR can make for a happier, less stressful home life. 81% of respondents with families believe that having a DVR has improved family life – allowing for more time to eat dinner together, fewer arguments over what to watch and more family time around the television. Having a DVR also seems to improve relations between the sexes, with respondents who have partners saying that using a DVR has improved their relationship with their partner (79%).

One respondent from Nevada commented: “My wife can watch all her shows during the day and record a Japanese movie at night, while we are watching something of mutual interest together.”

NDS is the global leader in DVR technology. Over 18 pay-TV operators located all over the world have chosen NDS solutions to bring the unique capabilities and flexibility of the DVR to their subscribers, and there are more than 13.1 million NDS-powered DVRs in households around the world today.

NDS wanted to know how DVRs are changing people’s lives. The statistics and trends detailed in the NDS DVR Report demonstrate the importance of the DVR’s role in the lives of American consumers of all ages.

Other Report Highlights

  • 57% of American DVR owners watch more than three hours of live or recorded TV daily
  • Male DVR owners watch more recorded TV on average than women (2.2 hours vs. 2.0 hours)
  • 67% think that a DVR is much easier to operate than a video cassette recorder (VCR)
  • 59% find that they are watching more interesting TV programmes since getting a DVR
  • 83% agree that since getting a DVR they are more likely to find something to watch, when they want to watch TV
  • More than half of DVR owners with a family found that they are now able to arrange more family TV time
  • Nearly nine out of ten DVR owners think that having a DVR has improved how much they enjoy watching TV
  • 52% of people who own just one DVR are so pleased with it that they would like to get a second one

“The results show how fast the DVR has become an indispensable part of many people’s lives in the US,” said Steve Tranter, Vice President, Broadband and Interactive Delivery, NDS Americas. “It’s one of those technologies that, once you use it, it makes you wonder how you coped before. Other than the washing machine, the mobile phone and the microwave, the DVR is now seen as the household item people would least like to give up, which means they would rather wash up their dishes and manage without a hairdryer than be parted from their DVR! And if having a DVR also makes relationships with partners and immediate family less stressful and happier, it’s got to be a good thing.”

Highlights: UK, US, Australia and Italy Comparisons
Comparisons with the results from the same survey that was conducted simultaneously in the UK, Italy and Australia also make for interesting reading. A few highlights are:

  • British DVR owners reportedly watch the least TV per day (3.7 hours), while the Americans watch the most at 4.7 hours a day. Americans in their 40s watch a whopping 5.4 hours a day
  • Italian DVR owners care more about their hair than their DVR: British (70%), American (62%) and Australian (67%) DVR owners all rank the DVR as the third most important household item, while the Italians ranked the DVR in fourth place (59%) after the washing machine, the microwave and the hairdryer
  • DVR owners with families in the other three surveyed countries place an even greater emphasis than the Brits on the power of the DVR to improve relationships between family members: 82% of Italians, 81% of Americans and 76% of Australians felt that this was the case, compared to 64% of Brits
  • Around half of Italian (57%), American (44%) and Australian (49%) DVR owners with just one DVR are keen to get a second one, compared to just 30% of British DVR owners.

Summary of Key Findings – All Four Surveyed Markets

Question UK US Italy Australia
Average number of hours of TV watched per day (live and recorded) 3.7 4.7 4.1 3.8
Agree that since getting a DVR they are more likely to find something to watch, when they want to watch 77% 83% 75% 72%
Those with partners who found that having a DVR has improved their relationship 62% 79% 78% 78%
Those with families who found that having a DVR has improved family life 64% 81% 82% 76%
Would like to get a second DVR 30% 52% 57% 49%
Ranked the DVR as the second most indispensable household technology item, after the mobile phone 78% 81% 73% 75%
Ranked the DVR as the third most indispensable household item after the washing machine and the microwave 70% 62% 59% 67%

Slides for key questions: US only
Here’s a list of eight popular pieces of today’s household technology – but you can only have four – which four have become a vital part of your life and which could you live without?

Keep Can Live without
Mobile phone 92% 8%
Radio 52% 48%
iPod 36% 64%
Digital video recorder for the TV 81% 19%
Landline telephone 42% 58%
Home theatre system 36% 64%
Photo printer 34% 66%
Games console 25% 75%

Here’s a list of eight useful household items – but you can only have four – which four have become a vital part of your life and which could you live without?

Keep Can Live without
Washing machine 97% 3%
Strimmer 12% 88%
Microwave 86% 14%
Digital video recorder for the TV 62% 38%
Coffee maker 40% 60%
Blender 12% 88%
Hairdryer 31% 69%
Dishwasher 59% 41%

Research methodology
The survey was carried out by UK-based Consumer Analysis Group in July 2008. The survey involved 1,012 people aged 18-70 years old who have a DVR at home. Consumers in the UK (256), US (252), Italy (251) and Australia (253), were questioned using a mix of phone, street and online interviews.

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About NDS
NDS Group plc (NASDAQ: NNDS), a majority owned subsidiary of News Corporation, supplies open end-to-end digital technology and services to digital pay-television platform operators and content providers. See for more information about NDS.

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