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Tuesday, March 04, 2003
HDD-equipped DVD recorders boost overall sales of DVDs in 2002


Fujiwara-Rothchild Ltd, a specialist firm that conducts market research in the optical disc sector, on Feb. 25 revealed its analysis of the current state and the future outlook of the global market. The announcement was made at a press event held by Hitachi Maxell Ltd to herald the launch of a new DVD medium capable of high-speed recording...

According to Fujiwara-Rothchild, the global market for recordable DVD products -- which didn't see much growth up to 2001 -- has now taken off, thanks to the popularity of HDD-equipped DVD recorders and to the fact that more PC manufacturers have started using recordable DVD drives in their products.

Three Times as Many DVD+R/DVD-R Discs as DVD+RW/DVD-RW on Market

Fujiwara-Rothchild announced its figures for global recordable DVD production in 2002. According to this data, 5.2 million drives were manufactured for use in PCs and 1.7 million drives for use in household DVD recorders. Slightly fewer than 120 million DVD+R/DVD-R discs were produced during the year, compared with 39 million DVD+RW/DVD-RW discs, which means that production of DVD+R/DVD-R discs outnumbered that of DVD+RW/DVD-RW by three to one.

A breakdown of the figures for DVD drives in different disc formats in the world in 2002 gives DVD+RW at 36.9%, DVD-RW at 47.4%, and DVD-RAM at 15.8% as far as PC DVD drives are concerned. The DVD+RW format is becoming more popular because firms like Dell Computer Corp have adopted it for use in PCs for the US and European markets.

As for drives used in home DVD recorders, DVD+RW accounts for 15.4%, DVD-RW for 15.5%, and DVD-RAM for 69%. DVD+RW recorders are only produced by one firm, Holland's Philips Electronics NV, so growth was limited, and market share of DVD-RW products from Pioneer Corp dropped rapidly over the course of the year.

In contrast, sales of HDD-equipped DVD recorders from Toshiba Corp went very well in 2002, and DVD-RAM drives from Toshiba and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, Ltd dominated the market.

More DVD-Capable Notebooks to Become Available in 2003

Trends in recordable DVDs for 2003 are likely to be seen in development of multi-format drives, in faster write speeds, and in more widespread use of DVDs in notebook PCs. In particular, development of a super multi-format drive capable of operating with any DVD format is much awaited.

Other future developments will likely see a DVD format that can handle high-quality HDTV format data. The compression technology used will probably be either BD (Blu-ray Disc) MPEG2, as used for DVD video, or AOD (Advanced Optical Disk) MPEG4, as used on the Internet. As to which of these two formats will become the future norm for DVD image compression, will depend on which DVD formats become dominant.


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