Digital Video Recorder usage in the UK: a summary of recent Ofcom research

Colin Macleod

Research from Ofcom, the regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, shows that a digital video recorder (DVR) was present in around 15% of UK homes in the first quarter of this year – up from 8% last year and just 1% in 2000. Falling prices have clearly encouraged take-up of what are becoming increasingly sophisticated devices and the latest penetration figure compares with around two thirds of all households that have DVD players. Around 70% of homes have VCRs – although this number has fallen over recent years.

The DVR ownership profile has an upmarket bias with 28% of ABs in multichannel homes claiming to have one, compared with 19% of all multichannel homes. DVRs are also more likely to be present in households with children, and those who subscribe to Sky. Sky launched their Sky+ DVR in 2001; TiVo DVRs had appeared a year earlier, while the cable service, Virgin, and the digital terrestrial service, Freeview, also now offer them.