This is about to change.
Freeview has moved over 8 million customers on to digital TV in two and a half year because they offer a digital TV solution for a one off purchase. They have just announced the Freeview Playback brand - designed to build awareness of digital video recorders and push adoption before the 2008 analogue switch off.
It launches in September. If they can deliver similar results in this market - the only barrier would be the price point and hardware costs are crashing - we could be seeing significant UK penetration by the end of next year.
Some estimates put PVR penetration at 30% by the end of the decade - which seems like a long way away but is only 3 and half years from now.
What if the passive massive stop being passive? Are we ready?
There is an even bigger question: how will this technology overlap / interact with IPTV? Thinking about TV and the Internet as different channels makes no sense once you can access the same content via either.
The picture above is of the BBC Interactive Media Player [iMP]. When it is up and running it will allow users to legally download any BBC content using peer 2 peer technology, for consumption on any device.
From Time Shifted to On Demand.
And in an on demand world, there are no ad breaks, because no one demands them.