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Wednesday, January 08, 2003
Pioneer projects its DVD recorder shipments to grow four-fold next fiscal year

Pioneer projects shipping 700,000 DVD recorders in fiscal year 2003 (April 2003-March 2004), up from an estimated 170,000 units this fiscal year, citing its popular HDD (hard disk drive)/DVD recorders, reported the Japanese-language Business Line.

Pioneer launched a new HDD/DVD recorder, the DVR-99H, featuring a built-in 120GB HDD for a maximum of 153 hours of recording, in Japan in late December. The model followed earlier DVD-77H (with an 80GB HDD) and DVR-55 and DVR-3000 recorders (both without hard drives).

The DVR-99H offers 4x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW speeds. The company claims the product can achieve 24x recording speed, dubbing a one-hour TV program in EP mode from HDD to DVD-R disc in less than three minutes without deterioration in picture or sound quality.

Pioneer is tied with Toshiba for second place in Japan’s DVD recorder market, behind Matsushita Electric Industrial. However, its HDD/DVD recorders have sold well in Japan, and the company even had trouble keeping up with demand. It will release HDD/DVD recorders in Europe and North America this year.

According to the report, worldwide DVD recorder demand may reach 2.5 million units in fiscal 2003. However, prices are expected to continue sliding, so Pioneer is considering cutting prices by about 20% to deepen its penetration of worldwide markets. In November, Pioneer estimated that 900,000 DVD recorders will be sold in Japan this fiscal year.

Business Line pointed out that Pioneer spent a large sum designing its HDD/DVD recorders and has not finished amortizing the R&D expenses. The company may report a net loss for this fiscal year but expects to show a profit in fiscal 2003 on increased shipments.

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