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Tuesday, November 19, 2002
New high-speed DVD burners, compatibility and low-cost DVD-R media set stage for explosive recordable DVD growth

Sharing the podium at the Comdex Recordable DVD Council (RDVDC) press conference today, Andy Parsons, senior vice president for Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., and Tony Jasionowski, North American RDVDC managing director, took a "no smoke, just fire" approach to presenting the facts about the new milestones that are driving DVD burner sales. After making their presentations, Parsons and Jasionowski left little doubt that the new DVD drives eliminate the performance, compatibility and price barriers to creating and sharing home movies and personalized videos.

In addition to providing read and write support for two or more recordable DVD formats established by the DVD Forum (DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW), the multi-format DVD burners also provide CD-R/RW read/write support and play back commercially recorded DVD videos. Recently introduced multi-format DVD burners also offer the new 4x DVD-R write-once technology (equivalent to 36x CD-R performance), a rewriteable format, and very aggressive pricing.

"Products incorporating the DVD Forum standards were available for nearly three years before proprietary formats emerged," said Jasionowski. "The majority of recordable DVD products in use today are based on DVD Forum formats. In addition, the DVD Multi drives are produced by five big-name manufacturers, not just one. And," he continued, "according to IDC reports on the first two quarters of this year, DVD Forum-based products are maintaining their lead. Delivering what we promise, when we promise it and ensuring backward compatibility with earlier format versions have been key factors in drawing new customers and building channel relationships."

Multi-function drives that support the DVD Forum formats are already on retail shelves with street prices below $300, and some media manufacturers are shipping DVD-R discs that retail for $1 or less. With 4x DVD-R support, the new drives can fill a 4.7GB 4x DVD-R disc to capacity in about 15 minutes. The recorded discs can be played by most PC and TV DVD players.

Parsons emphasized that the drives he and Jasinowski were talking about are actually shipping and aren't just reference designs. He also noted that DVD-R is the common denominator among the vast majority of DVD writers available now and those that are soon to enter the market. To illustrate his point, Parsons provided attendees with new data showing that DVD-R media represents 75 percent of all blanks manufactured.

IDC has predicted that shipments of recordable DVD drives will increase from more than 3 million drives this year to nearly 50 million in 2006. While video editing is one of the most popular home applications and the primary application used with DVD burners, part of the projected growth in recordable DVD sales will come from computer data storage applications, including high-speed backup and archiving.

After describing some of the applications and the worldwide support for the Forum-standard recordable DVD formats, Jasionowski encouraged press conference attendees to visit the Recordable DVD Pavilion, where more than 30 firms are displaying the latest advancements in DVD hardware and software solutions. Products range from DVD recorders, DVD drives and DVD camcorders to applications that include AV entertainment and business document/digital asset management.

The recordable DVD standards established by the DVD Forum and the logos that confirm compliance with these standards have been key factors in gaining support from Hollywood as well as the leading computer and software producers. The DVD Forum is an industry association whose 200+ members include all major DVD manufacturers as well as the leading DVD software developers and DVD media producers around the world.

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