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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 18:07 GMT 19:07 UK
DVD players 'to double' in US homes
CD close-up
American DVDs are cheaper than those sold in Europe
Sales in the US of DVD players, used by millions to watch digital-quality films at home, are expected to double in 2001 to about 13 million units, according to a report.

The popularity of the Digital Video Discs is thought to be being driven partly by falling prices, and some 4.3 million were sold in the US in July.

Market research firm NPD Intelect, said its figures suggest that 2001's total should easily exceed last year's 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 average selling price for a player fell to $192 (130) in July 2001, compared with $504 (343) in July 1998.

'Commonplace'

The discs, which also allow viewers to watch extra features such as trailers and behind-the-scenes footage, feature 550 lines of resolution compared with 240 lines of resolution for video cassettes, providing superior quality.

Mr Edwards added that he thinks the DVD, which was introduced in 1997, will be commonplace in US living rooms within 12 years. This is less than half the time it took for video recorders to do the same.

Leading video rental chain Blockbuster has already begun to pave the way for DVDs, by beginning plans for getting rid of about 24% of its tape library to make way for the fast-growing DVD format.

NPD added that its data does not include game consoles made by companies such as Microsoft and Sony, which can be equipped to play DVDs.

See also:

11 Jun 01 | Business
EU to probe DVD pricing
26 Mar 01 | New Media
Stopping the copying
26 Jan 01 | Business
CD price fix probe launched
26 Mar 98 | Sci/Tech
DVD players to hit home
28 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Big digital disk debuts
19 Dec 00 | Europe
France restricts Hollywood DVDs
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