The study shows that while there is a polarisation of use, with 15- to 34-year-olds being the prime movers in taking up the technology, by 2007 more than a quarter of UK adults will have a PVR system.
Most worrying for advertisers is that, according to MEC research, this increases to 42 per cent of adults when it is explained that PVR set-top boxes can be used to screen out ads. Among the 15- to 34-year-olds who already own a PVR, 68 per cent admit they change channels to avoid ads.
However, MEC claims that the growth of PVRs provides new opportunities for advertisers to exploit on TV.
David Fletcher, the head of MEC's MediaLab, said: "Scaremongers may herald PVRs as the death of commercial television but the brave among us will perceive the creative opportunity through interactive developments and the increasing use of media sponsorship as a very real alternative to traditional 30-second spots."
The report also warns that the Government will struggle to meet its proposed deadline for analogue switch-off, with 28 per cent of adults maintaining fervently that they will never go digital.