Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 05-08-2011

The death of linear TV viewing, which industry pundits have been predicting ever since the invention of TiVo and other early digital video recording (DVR) systems, is being postponed by the success of high-definition television (HDTV).

At the moment in the United States, DVR, video on demand (VOD), online video streaming and other forms of nonlinear TV programming account for just over 10 percent of all TV viewing. Come 2015, that figure is expected to grow only marginally to less than 16%, according to market research conducted by the IHS Screen Digest TV Intelligence Service.

UK predictions aren’t much different, with nonlinear TV forecast to account for less than 13% of television watching by 2015.

“Linear TV has not stood still as non-linear distribution mechanisms have developed,” said Richard Broughton, senior analyst of television at IHS. “Alongside the evolution of Internet video and DVR technology, broadcasters have introduced HD channels, now received by more than 40% of US households.

“In contrast, the Internet in many markets still struggles to cope with HD content and the high bandwidths required for its delivery. Streaming HD remains relatively rare, and downloading takes time, diminishing the appeal for consumers,” the analyst concluded.