DVR explosion changing UK TV watching

Sky+ HD - a key performer as DVR's hit tipping point
Sky+ HD - a key performer as DVR's hit tipping point

More than a quarter of UK homes have a digital video recorder and 15 per cent of all television viewing is now 'time shifted' - according to latest research from Ofcom.

The communications watchdog has just released its sixth Communications Market Report, which shows a massive change in the way that Brits watch television.

By the end of March, 27 per cent of homes had a DVR – staggeringly, that's nearly a third more than did in September 2008 , just six months previously.

Around nine million DVRs have been sold in the UK, with Sky+ HD and Sky+ taking the lion's share with five million units shifted.

Viewing habit changes

This has obviously led to a big change in viewing habits; 15 per cent of television watching is now not traditional linear broadcasts.

Sky's DVR customers were the most likely to timeshift their television, with 19 per cent of all programmes viewed that way compared to 12 per cent of Virgin+ users and nine per cent of Freeview DVR homes.

Online viewing is also on the up, with 23 per cent of the UK watching catch-up TV online compared to 17 per cent in 2007. Unsurprisingly it is the 15 to 24 age group that are most likely to utilise the internet for their programme watching.

It is still the BBC's iPlayer that is dominant in terms of internet viewing, with 5.2 million viewers of the service – a 100 per cent increase on last year – with the ITV Player second, capturing three per cent of the market.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.