DVDs overtake VCRs in homes


Proof finally has come that DVD has, in fact, entered the mature phase. On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the format's March 1997 launch, a new study shows that more U.S. households now own DVD players than VCRs.

As of the third quarter of this year, 81.2% of all households have at least one DVD player, while 79.2% of households have a VCR, according to Nielsen Media Research's Third Quarter Home Technology Report.

DVD penetration is up 6% from the previous year and continues to grow, according to Nielsen, while VCR penetration is declining. In 1999, when Nielsen first began tracking DVD ownership, DVD penetration stood at 6.7%, while 88.6% of all U.S. households had VCRs.

The Nielsen report also found that DVD households rent DVDs about twice a month, while VCR households rent videocassettes only once a month.

The Home Technology Report also found that 73.4% of U.S. homes have a computer, 26.7% own or rent an MP3 player, and 16.4% have a PDA. Of consumers with Internet access, 95.4% go online at least once a day, 37.3% go online more than once a day, 78.2% have made purchases over the Internet and 46.8% have used the Internet to download or stream music.