Now that the first high-def DVD players are becoming available, ARS Technica reports that DVD players finally outnumber VCRs:
During the third quarter of 2006, 81.2 percent of all US households reported owning at least one DVD player compared to 79.2 percent for VCRs. That figure marks a 6 percent increase in DVD player ownership from the same period in 2005, while VCRs ownership fell. It's a far cry from 1999, when Nielsen first began tracking DVD ownership. At the end of the 90s, only 6.7 percent of households owned a DVD player, compared with 88.6 percent owning VCRs.
The recent surge recent surge in DVD ownership is largely due to falling prices. Early on, DVDs were very expensive compared to VCRs. (Those of us who are old enough to remember the introduction of the VCR in the late 70s and early 80s will also recall how expensive they were at first launch.) Now, shoppers looking for a new DVD are confronted with a dazzling array of sub-$50 players. DVD players are now less expensive than VCRs and DVDs far outnumber videotapes in the majority of video rental places, making the old stalwart VCR an even less-attractive option.