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Thinking of Divorce? Get a DVR

by David Mercer | 9月 03, 2008

New research from NDS suggests that digital video recorders have improved relationships for nearly 80% of couples. In NDS's survey of DVR owners in the US, UK, Italy and Australia, the question was asked: If you have a DVR, has it improved your relationship with your partner? The responses were: If you have a DVR, has it improved your relationship with your partner? United States Yes 79% No 21% United Kingdom Yes 62% No 38% Italy Yes 78% No 22% Australia Yes 78% No 22% The survey offers no explanation as to why fewer UK DVR owners feel their relationships are improved than in other countries. Perhaps UK couples already exist in such a state of cohabiting bliss and harmony that nothing, not even the miraculous ability to record television programmes, can possibly improve their sense of well-being. Unfortunately the official divorce figures would suggest otherwise. You may be wondering why this motley selection of international markets was chosen for the survey. Not entirely coincidentally, they happen to mirror the leading countries in which NDS’s DVR software is deployed, namely on the Sky (UK and Italy), DirecTV (US) and Foxtel (Australia) platforms. The survey’s other findings highlight the relative importance of different household gadgets and appliances. The report says the DVR is second only to the mobile phone as something people could not live without. The iPod and games consoles are ranked amongst the items people are least likely to want to keep. These surveys are always good for press headlines, but the results should be treated with great caution (hence the general tone of this entry). The survey respondents were all owners of DVRs, who represent much less than half of the population in each of the countries surveyed. They are not representative of the population in general and the results should be treated accordingly. A survey of all iPod owners would undoubtedly find that a majority would want to keep their iPods, while I know of few children who use games consoles who would be happy to see them banished from the house. I imagine we are some way from DVRs being mandated in every household by governments and regulators anxious to reduce the impact of family breakdown on social security budgets, although we should never underestimate the ingenuity of our policy makers, and I’m sure DVR manufacturers would welcome such an initiative. Putting cynicism to one side, there is no doubt the digital video recorder has helped to transform television usage for the minority of people who own one, and it is one of those technologies from which there is no going back. Having used Sky+ for seven years, I am still bemused every time I have to watch television where a DVR is not available – pausing and rewinding live TV quickly becomes second nature and is sorely missed. Whether it saves marriages or not, I had better refrain from further comment… Visit us at IBC: Web TV and Virtual Worlds Analyst Presentations Add to Technorati Favorites
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