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DVD Recorders Approaching Mass Market Appeal

23 Feb, 2004 By: Kurt Indvik

Only time will tell if DVD recorders have any significant impact on the home video business. Recording programming legally and otherwise will become more and more affordable in the next 12 months, with some analysts expecting DVD recording units to be available for less than $199 by this holiday season.

Research firm In-Stat/MDR has predicted that sales will ratchet up quickly in the next several years so that by 2007 DVD recorder units shipped worldwide will exceed 50 million units.

But whereas the analog generation could never figure out how to convince their VHS machines to record (and gave up trying years ago), things will be different for the digital era we are in now. Users, mostly younger in age, are already burning CDs by the millions, and in general are much more attune to manipulating technology than people were 15 to 25 years ago. Add to this the fact that DVD recording devices are starting to be paired with other media management services, such as personal video recorders, and you have the convergence of technology that could usher in a new era of digital entertainment creation in the home. Some DVD recorders will have electronic program guides and network connections this year.

Industry pundits see the high-definition format as the packaged media industry's response to these developments, but most don't expect high-definition DVD to be a significant factor until about 2007.

I don't think the baby-boom generation, which is still the greatest force in consumer spending and will be for some time, will be the ones jumping on the digital media management bandwagon. This is still a generation with a packaged goods collector's mentality. But the generations to follow will have to be given ample reasons in terms of higher quality and more content if we hope to convince them to choose packaged media over a personalized media program created by the user, for the user.

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