How is Digital Video Recorder (DVR) Changing the Way We Watch Television

By Larry Ling-hsuan Tung.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Pioneered by TiVo, the digital video recorder (DVR) is leading a revolution in the television industry. Introduced in 1999, the DVR gives television audience more control than they have ever had, leaving the advertisers scrambling to keep up. The relatively new technology enables television viewers to record their favorite shows and watch them at a later time when it is convenient for them. Often time, commercials are skipped, which pushed Nielsen Media Research, the company that measures television ratings, to reflect this new trend in its surveys.
Although only an estimated 10 percent of all American households are equipped with digital video recorders, the percentage is expected to rise to 25 by 2007, according to Nielsen. Started in late December 2005, the company has been providing three numbers – The number of people who watch a show live, the number of people who watch it live or within 24 hours, and the number of people who watch it live or within a week. This gives the advertisers more accurate information on the effectiveness of their advertising dollars. It is surely going to be a factor in the negotiations between advertising agencies and television networks, but its significance remains to be seen.
The study will conduct preliminary analysis on the initial numbers of the new Nielsen surveys, and the response from the networks and advertising agencies. It will give insights into the DVR’s impact on the future of the television industry.

Keywords: Television, Media Technology, DVR, TV Ratings

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.69-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 480.023KB).

Larry Ling-hsuan Tung

Assistant Professor, Department of Media & Film, Kean University, Union, NJ, USA

Professor Tung is currently an assistant professor at Kean University in Union, NJ. His areas of research and interest include images of minorities in the media, Asian and Asian-American cinemas, documentary production and journalism. He has written papers in those areas and presented them in academic conferences. At Kean, he teaches Mass Media, Video Production, and International Cinema. Before moving to the United States, Tung was a reporter for the English-language Taiwan News and had covered Taipei City Hall and the Taiwanese Legislature. He is also a contributor for, a Columbia Online Journalism Award-winning news website, and has been reporting on the Chinese community in New York City. One of his documentaries, Daughters From China, has been featured in several film festivals, including Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Asian American Film Festival of Dallas, and was aired on Speech TV. He also received the Best Documentary Award in the Honolulu International Festival IN 2005. Tung is also a faculty fellow of the National Association for Television Programming Executives 2007.


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