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Reality check: Are DVRs doomed? Depends what you mean by 'doomed'

James Careless | June 18, 2014
The days of the DVR are numbered. And DVD players and cable TV set-top boxes are slated to join them in history's recycling pile. At least that's where Roku CEO Anthony Wood thinks the digital entertainment industry is headed.

And as for cable TV set-top boxes, they'll likely be replaced by some other form of set-top boxes — we never seem to be able to escape having set-top boxes anymore than one universal remote ever truly replaces all others once and for all.

So if we were to run this through the Reality Check machine, Anthony Wood is right in a broad context — increasingly, people are turning to digital content on demand. But DVRs and DVDs should remain around for a while yet, at least in some format. Technologies evolve, merging each other's best qualities. Take DVDs, where a growing number now come bundled with a digital copy because studios don't want you to dither over formats. DVRs like TiVo Roamio are also packing in OTT channels like Netflix, and maybe cable boxes will merge with streaming boxes or game consoles in a more profound way.

So don't ask your DVR to clear out just yet; chances are, it wouldn't listen to you anyhow.


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