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 DVD recording will become mainstream consumer product in 2003, head of DVD+RW Alliance predicts
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Message Text: DVD recording equipment will become a mainstream consumer product in 2003 as lower prices and increasing supply spur consumers to add DVD recording capability to their home entertainment centers and computers, the chair of the DVD+RW Alliance predicted today.

And Maureen Weber said three issues will play a key role as consumers decide which of the competing DVD recording formats to pick when they're buying DVD recording equipment -- functionality, simplicity and compatibility.

"All three are major strengths of the Plus format," said Weber who heads the DVD+RW Alliance that supports the Plus format for DVD recording. Weber spoke at a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Weber noted that the research firm In-Stat/MDR predicts DVD recorder sales will approach one million units in the United States for the first time this year and more than four million units worldwide, with triple-digit growth in sales expected through 2005.

Weber said mass-volume manufacturers are beginning to build DVD recording equipment, another sign that sales of DVD recording equipment will increase dramatically this year.

Three leading mass-volume manufacturers -- Daewoo Electronics, Tae Young Telstar and Mico Electric -- displayed DVD +R/+RW. recorders at CES.

"It's significant they've picked +R/+RW for the equipment they're bringing to the mass market," Weber said. "It's a vote of confidence in the market appeal of the Plus format."

The sharp increase in the sales of DVD recording equipment comes at a time when the Plus format is making huge gains in market share for DVD recorders and DVD drives.

Weber said third-quarter sales figures (latest available) for DVD recorders for home entertainment systems showed Plus format recorders with half of the sales in the United States, three-fourths of the sales in Europe and two-thirds of the sales in the Asian-Pacific market outside of Japan.

She noted that Plus-format DVD drives for computers quadrupled in worldwide market share during the first nine months of last year -- from 10 percent in 2001 to more than 40 percent at the end of September 2002. With computer giants Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq beginning to put Plus-format drives into their machines the Plus format's market share is likely to increase significantly, she said.

"Other formats were in the market before us," Weber said. "The fact that we've increased our share of the market so quickly is real testimony to the appeal of the Plus format."

"The three criteria consumers are likely to use in selecting a format for their DVD recording equipment -- functionality, simplicity and compatibility -- all represent areas in which the +R/+RW format is exceptionally strong," Weber said.

"An independent study by IntelliKey Labs in September shows +R/+RW with a compatibility advantage in all categories tested," she noted. "And the Plus format has by far the most robust and easiest to use recording and editing features on the market. The differences are startling."
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