Back in the big-hair days of the 1980s, Americans wanted their MTV. Today, the public is clamoring for a technology that gives them control of when they watch music videos.

In other words, recent studies show that nationally, and globally, for that matter, "We want our DVRs."

For starters, according to Turner research (based on Nielson data), one-quarter of American homes have at least one DVR.

And now we’re hearing that 70 percent of DVR owners worldwide say they cannot go back. An international survey, commissioned by NDS Group, a supplier of digital pay-TV solutions to platform operators, indicated that the "vast majority" of the 1,012 respondents said they would give up their landline phone, dishwasher, radio and even their MP3 player before they let go of their DVR.

"(The survey) was a confirmation of what we already thought," said Steve Tranter, VP of broadband and interactive for NDS. "Once the viewer has the DVR in the home, (he) can’t do without it …. (The DVR) changes the viewing habits of the viewer and the way they are entertained."

Unlike competitor TiVo, NDS doesn’t sell directly to the end consumer. The company’s technology is in 90 million set-top boxes; its DVR software is integrated into 13 million of these. "The user experience is the platform operator’s look and feel," Tranter said.

"It is important to provide the right solutions and enable (platform operators) to extend and add on additional revenues from viewers," he said. More, networked, integrated The survey also indicated that more than half of respondents would like a second DVR.  "Once they’ve started watching on one TV set, they want to replicate the functionality elsewhere," Tranter said.

NDS, therefore, is moving forward with what it says is a cost effective solution for moving the content recorded via DVR to the viewer’s device of choice. "2009 will be the year of the home-networked DVR," Tranter said.

NDS will showcase related solutions at IBC2008 in Amsterdam next week. The company will highlight its security component, which decrypts content and conditional access business controls, not when a program is recorded, but viewed.

"DVR usage is so high because of how simplistic the guide is," Tranter added. With the home-networked DVR, guide usage will be common across devices so "the end user doesn’t feel alienated," he added.

DVR functionality also could be part of integrated digital TV sets (IDTVs), but Tranter doesn’t believe this will happen in the first production phase next year. "The tru2way devices coming out next year will start without DVRs," he said, noting the first functionality will be live TV and VOD. DVRs will come in phase two or three.

– Monta Monaco Hernon

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at

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