Nielsen Media Research has forged a deal with digital video recorder firm TiVo to assess how consumers use the technology.

Digital video recorders allow viewers to store TV shows and watch them at their leisure. The most worrying feature for advertisers is 'time-shifting', whereby programmes can be paused or moved forward and back -- allowing viewers to fast-forward through the commercial breaks.

Nielsen's deal with TiVo, which now has over a million subscribers, aims to answer some of the questions surrounding the technology. The research giant will release monthly reports studying individual shows, based on an 'opt-in' panel of between 5,000 and 10,000 TiVo homes.

"This will be the first independent verification of time-shifting the industry has seen," declared Nielsen spokesman Jack Loftus.

Data sourced from: (US); additional content by WARC staff