DVD players overtake VCRs

The popularity of DVD players continues to rise in U.S. homes while VCR ownership dwindles, according to survey.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The popularity of DVD players has surpassed VCRs in U.S. homes, according to a survey released by Nielsen Media Research.

The research company's third-quarter technology report said 81 percent of U.S. households own a DVD player, while 79 percent own VCRs.

"This study shows the culmination of a long battle for share of consumers," said Paul Lindstrom, senior vice president of custom research for Nielsen Media Research. "We now see that the popularity of DVDs has finally surpassed that of VCRs."

DVD ownership has risen 6 percent since last year and continues to increase while the use of VCRs has started to decline, the survey said.

When Nielsen began tracking DVD ownership in 1999, less than 7 percent of households owned a DVD player and nearly 89 percent of households owned VCRs.

The report showed that DVD households now rent DVDs twice per month, while VCR households rent VHS tapes only once a month.

The survey also reported that 73 percent of homes currently have a computer. Homes with children and teens are more likely to have a computer.

Ninety-five percent of consumers with Internet access go online at least once a week, and 37 percent of Internet users go online more than once a day, the survey said.

The No. 1 U.S. movie rental company, Blockbuster Inc. (Charts), announced earlier in December that it is offering free in-store rentals to subscribers of online rival Netflix Inc. (Charts)

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