Sales of DVD players are expected to double in 2001 to about 13 million units, driven by falling prices for the popular home film viewing devices, according to a recent study.
Some 4.3 million DVD, or Digital Video Disc, players have been sold in the U.S. through July, according to marketing research firm NPD Intelect, fast on a pace to bypass last year's total of 6.7 million.
``Despite the tentative economic consumer outlook, soaring sales of DVD players have not yet hit their potential,'' said NPD analyst Tom Edwards.
The rise of DVD as a mainstay in American homes has occurred at a rapid pace, Edwards said, particularly as prices fall sharply. The average selling price fell to $192 in July 2001, compared to $504 in July 1998. Also, DVDs, which feature 550 lines of resolution compared to 240 lines of resolution for videocassettes, are superior in quality.
NPD's Edwards notes that DVD, introduced in 1997, will likely be ubiquitous in U.S. living rooms within 12 years, less than half the time it took for VCRs to do the same.
Acknowledging that fact, leading video rental chain Blockbuster Inc. earlier this month set plans to get rid of about 25 percent of its tape library to make way for the fast-growing DVD format. NPD said its data does not include game consoles made by company's such as Microsoft and Sony, which can be equipped to play DVDs.