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Thursday, 20 December, 2001, 10:15 GMT
DVD player sales rocket
Graphic, BBC
Two million DVD players have been sold in 2001
DVD players have become the UK's fastest growing consumer entertainment product ever.

The Digital Versatile Disc player has sold almost three million units in its first three years, according to a Warner Home Video report published on Thursday.

The compact disc (CD) player and video recorder achieved similar sales in seven years.

DVDs offer higher quality pictures and sound than video recorders, plus extra features.
DVD Success Story
2m sold in 2001
3m sold since 1998
Price halved since 2000
Owned by one in 10 families

Chris Jenkins, editor of Total DVD magazine, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's a technology that people want.

"You can't sell people something that they don't want and there's a long history of failed systems and formats that just goes to show that if people are buying DVD, it must be giving them what they want.

"The VHS (video recorder) is 20 years old and looking pretty lame compared with the sort of technology you see at the cinema, and the DVD is basically offering the equivalent of the cinema experience in your own home."

500m revenue

But Professor Harold Thimbleby, director of University College London Interactive Centre, speaking on the same programme, said: "The problem I can see is that the DVD is much better, that people will probably end up throwing away their old televisions, old two-channel amplifiers and old CD players.

"And it's a very complicated system. It would be easy to go to a shop and get confused by all the options there and end up spending an awful lot of money on a system that makes everything you've got at home obsolete."

In 2001 two million DVD players have been sold and the price has halved since last year to an average of 180.

One in 10 households now have a DVD player.
Current top 10 DVDs and videos
1: Bridget Jones's Diary
2: Cats & Dogs
3: Shrek
4: Pearl Harbor
5: The Mummy Returns
6: The Grinch
7: Billy Connolly - Live Greatest Hits
8: Ali G - Bling Bling
9: Lara Croft - Tomb Raider
10: Doctor Dolittle 1 & 2
Source: Radio 1 Top 40

Of the DVDs themselves, 26.5 million have been bought so far this year, which is twice as many as the same period last year.

There are 6,000 titles to choose from and Bridget Jones's Diary is among the top sellers.

This month alone, there will be 10 million discs sold and the estimated revenue from the sale of discs this year is 500m.

In the US, sales of DVD players outstripped videos for the first time last month.

Sales of players in the US are expected to reach 14 million this year.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Karen Bowerman
"One in ten UK homes now has DVD players"
The BBC's John Moylan
"Companies are delivering the products at a price we can afford"
See also:

10 Dec 01 | Business
Demand for DVDs rockets
29 Nov 01 | New Media
Website silenced over DVD secrets
27 Nov 01 | New Media
Grinch steals DVD sales record
23 Oct 01 | Business
DVDs propel Blockbuster growth
27 Sep 01 | New Media
DVD boom in Europe
25 Sep 01 | New Media
DVD players 'to double' in US homes
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