DVD continues to gain ground

18 Dec 2002

Sales of DVD players grew by 61pc in 2002, according to analysts In-Stat/MDR.

A lot of this growth is attributable to the increasing range of devices in which DVD is now present, according to the firm. In addition to TV sets, cars and home theatre systems, DVD players have been added to cable set-top boxes and personal video recorders. As a result, In-Stat MDR is predicting that the DVD player market will hit 84 million units by 2006.

“The increased form factors and low prices are keeping interest in purchasing DVD players up, though the DVD player market is maturing and the worldwide shipment growth rate is slowing down,” said Michelle Abraham, senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. The firm is predicting that by 2005 and 2006, DVD recorders will be purchased in place of DVD players, reaching 32 million units in 2006.

In-Stat/MDR has also found that though growth is slowing in the US, it will still be the largest region in unit shipments through 2004. The growth rate in Europe will be higher than that of North America through 2005. Europe has been one year behind the US in terms of the market’s unit shipment growth rate. China’s domestic market will surpass that of the US in unit shipments in 2006.

It is also predicting that the first blue laser DVD products are expected in late 2003, but their high prices will put them out of reach for most consumers. Blue laser DVD is a revamp of the format which will allow for greater data storage capability per disk. It is anticipated that disks will be able to hold in the region of 20 GB (Gigabytes) of data.

With regard to DVD recorders, it is predicting that as more manufacturers move to produce DVD recorders, pricing will drop to under US$400 by the end of 2003, possibly under US$300, with fierce competition. It is anticipating that at less than US$300, more consumers will purchase DVD recorders. Already, it is forecasting that DVD recorders will ship over one million units in 2002.

By Dick O’Brien