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DVRs Show Changing Tastes Of British TV Viewers Says Ofcom

Ofcom's sixth Communications Market Report highlighted the growing trend of UK homes to consume television content asynchronously using a number of techniques.

More TV viewers can choose how, where and when to consume television programmes thanks to ever more available services like online video on demand as well as digital video recorders (DVR).

Research carried out by Ofcom (opens in new tab) shows that more than a quarter of UK households have a DVR by the end of March 2009, that compares favourably with 21 percent six month earlier.

Most of these are sold as part of bundles like Sky+ boxes which account for nearly 60 percent of the nine million DVRs sold in the UK.

The concept of time shifting is gradually catching up. 15 per cent of TV viewing was timeshifted in 2008 in those households which had DVRs with Sky+ users time shifting more than those users on Virgin Media V+.

For those who are not on either paid-for services, they can either use Freeview DVRs or go online to watch video on demand services. More than 5 million people have now watched BBC's iPlayer service.

Around a quarter of households have watched catch-up TV online in 2008 with 15 percent of UK internet users having watched BBC's iPlayer.

By the end of the year, this number is set to grow significantly as average broadband speeds gradually inch up and other broadcasters like Sky, Channel4, ITV and Five market their online presence better.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.