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Survey: Americans Can't Live Without Washers & DVRs
Sep 4, 2008
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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, a 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 U.S. 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. About 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%).

Other report highlights include:
-- 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

Comparisons with the results from the same survey that was conducted simultaneously in the UK, Italy, and Australia also make for interesting reading. The results include:

-- 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.

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