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TK's MORNING BUZZ: DVD Will Eventually Be Even More Ubiquitious Than VHS Ever Was

12 Jan, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

I'm going to furnish you with an addendum to my "predictions" column from last week. This time, the prognosticator will be me, and my prediction is this: That DVD will eventually be even more ubiquitious than VHS ever was.

I base this on what I saw at the Consumer Electronics Show and at the local Good Guys, where I stopped by yesterday evening on the way home from work. At CES, one of the star attractions was a mobile DVD unit that fits into your dash, where the car radio/cassette deck/CD player used to be. It comes with a pair of screens that are installed into the back of your headrests, so the kids or whoever else is in the back seat can be entertained while you drive.

At CES, I thought this was one of those futuristic contraptions that looks really cool, but that will never really catch on.

At the Good Guys, where it's displayed right in front bearing a hefty price tag of more than $3,000, I was immediately convinced this is going to be the way to go.

Of course, the price is going to come down. It always does, once these high-tech gizmos have been in retail stores for a year or so. And when you can buy one of these things for about $700, installation included, I expect to see them proliferate -- because by then the PlayStation 2 shortage will have been alleviated, more and more kids will be switching between games and movies on their PS2s, and everyone will be ready for the next step: DVDs in transit.

Just think about it. DVD will be so much more a part of our everyday life than the VHS cassette has been, despite the VCR's 93% household penetration rate. There's no reason why DVD players won't ultimately hit that plateau as well, but they'll also penetrate things the VCR never did. No one's got a VCR in their car, except maybe some motorhome owners. And by and large, watching a movie is still very much a family thing, although more and more kids have VCRs in their rooms these days.

With the advent of PlayStation 2, however, the DVD kid-room penetration rate is going to soar, and when you factor in the car as well -- not to mention all those computers with DVD-ROM drives -- the average American will have more opportunities to play one of those shiny little discs than he ever had in the VHS days.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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