DVD players now outnumber VCRs in American homes.

Considering the standard was only formalized in 1996, a mere 10 years ago, it’s pretty impressive that it’s now in the majority:

During the third quarter of 2006, 81.2 percent of all US households reported owning at least one DVD player compared to 79.2 percent for VCRs. That figure marks a 6 percent increase in DVD player ownership from the same period in 2005, while VCRs ownership fell. It’s a far cry from 1999, when Nielsen first began tracking DVD ownership. At the end of the 90s, only 6.7 percent of households owned a DVD player, compared with 88.6 percent owning VCRs.

The recent surge recent surge in DVD ownership is largely due to falling prices. Early on, DVDs were very expensive compared to VCRs. (Those of us who are old enough to remember the introduction of the VCR in the late 70s and early 80s will also recall how expensive they were at first launch.) Now, shoppers looking for a new DVD are confronted with a dazzling array of sub-$50 players. DVD players are now less expensive than VCRs and DVDs far outnumber videotapes in the majority of video rental places, making the old stalwart VCR an even less-attractive option.

I still have a ton of VHS tapes in my collection so the old VCR isn’t disappearing from my living room anytime soon, but it doesn’t get used anywhere near as much as it used to.

7 thoughts on “DVD players now outnumber VCRs in American homes.

  1. At least once you get them digitized, it’s easier and faster to transfer them to other digital media.  I figure I can stay ahead of the durability curve by consolidating my data to new media as I acquire it.  Though if that’s not really an option, I’d say find out who’s making media with the best estimated lifespan, and pay extra to get the good blanks direct.

  2. It had to happen eventually. I still have some VHS material, but I’ve mostly converted over to DVD now. It will be interesting to see if the HD-DVD/Blue-Ray formats truly catch on. I’m holding off for now because the quality of DVD is good enough for me to stick with until they stop selling them.

  3. Seeing as I don’t have a high-def TV my interest in either Blu-Ray or HD-DVD is minimal at the moment. My first concern is to land a job I keep for more than 2.5 months, then buy a house, then a second car, and then perhaps some form of HDTV. It’s going to be awhile before I have to worry about the new formats. wink

  4. We bought the cheapest VCR going just to play tapes on- mostly the kids- that we have. We wouldn’t replace them with the DVDs even if they are still on sale.

    Recording is done to PVR with 80Gb disk.  In the UK, although Sky has the publicity you can get Non-subscription digital TV through your ariel from as little as £25 for the decoder box.  I spent more (£160, but then Sky+ is £99 plus a minimum £15pm) to get the HD recorder with 2 tuners, so I don’t have to watch what I’m recording, and can timeslip programs.  OK so I don’t have the premium channels etc, but it doesnt cost me up to £50 pm.

    The only downside to DVD is they don’t let you fast forward past the boring stuff, like the copyright warning- 16 languages, it takes forever.

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