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Report Bigger TVs, DVR and Wi-Fi among Hot U.S. Home Technology Trends

2 minute read | October 2010

As Americans’ voracious appetite for home entertainment and technology continues to expand and evolve, so do the devices, gadgets and accouterments to support the craving. Nielsen’s Q2 2010 Home Technology Report identifies the key technology trends that are hot and the ones that have cooled based on a two-year trend review of self-reported survey data.

The survey is based on a sample of 1,372 households. Telephone interviews, using a computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system, were used to collect the information from the sample households. Interviews were conducted with a randomly selected household member at least 12 years old.

Hot Trends:

  • Bigger and Better TVs

    Upgraded television sets in the form of bigger screen sizes larger than 41 inches and better resolution continue to outfit in-home theaters. Specifically, HDTV sets have increased 26.9% and LCD flat screens are up 48.2% from Q3 2008 to Q2 2010.

  • Home Internet Access

    Internet and broadband access in the home continues to rise – up 2.5% and 3.8%, respectively between Q1 2010 and Q2 2010. Currently, 85.3% of Americans have some kind of Internet access either through home and/or work.

  • Home Wi-Fi

    The freedom of untethered connectivity helps the trend to go wireless continue. Having a wireless network in the home increased 8.2% from Q1 2010 to Q2 2010 and 24% over eight quarters.

  • Digital Video Recorders

    Demanding schedules have made time-shifted viewing a must-have for 40% of U.S. homes who currently have a DVR device. And DVR adoption continues, increasing 14.5% from Q1 2010 to Q2 2010.

  • MP3 Players

    Almost half (46%) of all U.S. homes now have at least one MP3 Player. Apple’s iPod is still the dominant player in this category, capturing 63% of all MP3 Player-owning households.

  • Apple iPad

    The Apple iPad launched on April 3, 2010, and was added to the Nielsen Home Technology Report survey shortly thereafter (May 2010). According to the Q2 report, 3.6% of U.S. homes now own an iPad and this hot trend will be closely followed.

Cooling Trends:

  • Satellite Radio

    While crystal clear audio, uninterrupted playlists and anywhere access make Satellite Radio an enticing experience, it experienced only modest growth over the past eight quarters, up just 5.5%.

  • Video Cassette Recorders

    VCRs continue to disappear from U.S. households as DVRs and DVD players provide both greater functionality and better playback clarity at an increasingly affordable price. Add the fact that U.S. movie studios are no longer releasing movies in the VHS format and you can expect the VCR to become just another trivia question for a digital generation no longer familiar with yesterday’s analog technologies. Currently, VCR ownership within U.S. homes is 70.2%, down 10.6% from Q3 2008 when it was 78.5%.

  • Digital Video Disc Players

    DVD players are down 0.6% from Q1 2010 to Q2 2010.  With 87.9% of U.S. homes already owning a DVD player, the “hot” growth phase for DVD players has long passed.

  • Personal Digital Assistants

    The PDA is also becoming a rare sight these days within U.S. households. PDA ownership has declined 25.5% since Q3 2008 and will likely continue. Credit the Smartphone that provides both handheld computing capability and a phone for much of the PDA’s steady market share decline.

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