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Picture bright for U.S. digital TV industry

Half of all households will have a digital video recorder by 2010, JupiterResearch says.

Makers of high-definition television sets and digital video recorders are looking at a windfall, with nearly half the households in the United States expected to get a DVR by decade's end, a study says.

According to a JupiterResearch report released on Friday, that would take the total installed base of DVRs in the U.S. to 55 million homes, from 7 million at the end of 2004.

The market for HDTV will also witness a spurt in demand through 2010, JupiterResearch predicts. It projects that the number of installed HDTV monitors and households will climb to 74 million and 69 million, respectively, from 13 million and 4 million last year.

But that doesn't mean service providers such as television networks and pay-TV operators are convinced about HDTV's potential, says Todd Chanko, Jupiter Research analyst for digital TV.

"Behind closed doors the executives are still measuring the real costs to produce and distribute HDTV against the benefits. That's why there are only 26 hours of HDTV programming a day across seven broadcast networks," Chanko said in a statement.

Jupiter expects that the push, particularly for DVRs, will come from cable multiple-system operators who may regard DVR as an ideal customer acquisition tool, and also from satellite TV operators who are keen to rival Web-based video-on-demand service, which is gaining in popularity.