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Study: DVR Not in Competition With VOD

17 Jun, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A new study suggests that owners of digital video recording (DVR) devices are more likely to watch video-on-demand (VOD) programming than non-DVR owners.

The report, Fetching by Remote: A Survey of Video-on-Demand Users, from Lyra Research, Newton, Mass., would appear to conflict with some industry assumptions that the two media formats conflict.

“We had anticipated that the DVR users would particularly watch less free VOD than the non-DVR users because DVR users can readily time-shift and control their TV shows without using VOD,” said Steve Hoffenberg, Lyra Research's director of electronic media research. “Our findings may be because VOD offered content that was not available via broadcast or because the DVR users are more experienced than non-DVR users with time-shifting and more comfortable operating menu-driven systems for selecting programs.”

With its limited programming options and availability, VOD does not constitute an immediate threat to video rental or much consumer enthusiasm, Hoffenberg said.

“VOD is still a work in progress,” he said. “Short term, [VOD] is not a threat. I do believe there is a very real long-term threat.

Hoffenberg said many cable subscribers don't realize they have VOD, and unlike other technologies, it is being implemented as a non-tech feature.

“There's an unusual scenario for technology adoption in that the technology is basically being handed to people across the spectrum rather than waiting for the individual people to adopt it,” he said.

Hoffenberg believes the cable companies are gunning for video rental business and by including the service to subscribers it amounts to a “backdoor way” to get people to try new technology.

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