Still life in digital homes for VCR

Still life in digital homes for VCR

A stunning 35 years since they first became available, the video cassette recorder (VCR), the first time-shifting device in today’s argot, is still widely used in UK homes.

According to research from the UK’s TV Licensing authority, nearly three tenths of UK households (29%) say they still have a working machine as part of their home entertainment ‘ecosystem,’ despite the proliferation of personal video recorders (PVRs) and the withdrawal from sale of VCRs by mainstream retail chains.

Ownership of VCRs peaked in 1998 when more than 84% of UK homes had one before being superseded by digital offspring such as the Sky+ box or Virgin TiVo. UK licensing calculates that the latter are now present in 47% of UK households. PVR owners are also said to have amassed 455 million hours, or nearly 52,000 years, of television programmes stored on their devices ready to be watched.


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