DVRs poised for take up outside US

Falling prices of home digital video recorders are fuelling a long-anticipated boom in sales that will see Western Europe and Asia Pacific start to catch up with the USA.

A new report from Informa Telecoms & Media predicts that 20 million homes will get DVRs during 2008, bringing the world total to 56.1 million. That number will increase by a further 25 million in 2009 and by 2013 will stand at 208 million. Global penetration is forecast to rise to 17% by 2013, with North America reaching three-quarters of TV households. Western Europe will remain second-placed, though it will be far behind at 28%.

Despite a fast-growing installed base, Informa’s Global DVR Forecast anticipates that worldwide DVR penetration will still only be at 5 per cent of TV households by the end of 2008. The technology still has some way to go to reach mass market adoption outside North America, where a third of homes have a DVR and most operators provide high-definition DVRs with SD recording capability as standard.

The US accounted for 81 per cent of DVR homes in 2007, but by 2013 that share will be down to less than half of the global total. At the same time, Informa expects Western Europe to record impressive growth, rising from 8.6 million this year 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 dramatic, rising from 3.1 million at the end of 2008 to 45.1 million in 2013. Japan will have 13.8 million DVR homes – ranking it second in the world. Other major Asian contributors will include China (11.9 million), Korea (6.5 million) and India (4.3 million).

Even with that rate of growth, however, penetration will still only be 7 per cent. Despite falling equipment prices, DVRs are just too expensive for many households in the region. Furthermore, the absence of significant digital TV competition in many of the region’s countries means that DVRs will remain expensive for consumers.

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