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Third Unaware of DVD Recorder

11 May, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

Many people don't know what a recordable DVD player is, but those who do are poised to buy, according to a new consumer study from TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.

Thirty-seven percent of 2,000 adult consumers polled said they had never heard of the machine, but of those who had, 13 percent said they plan to buy a DVD recorder in the next year.

“When you consider that DVD recorders are pretty new (manufacturers only really began entering the market in 2003), relatively expensive, use formats that lack clear and universal standards and present a bit of a mystery when trying to fully differentiate between competing formats, I'm actually more surprised that nearly two out of three American consumers are actually aware of DVD recorders,” said TechnoMetrica analyst Constantine Kambanis.

Sean Wargo, director of industry analysis for the Consumer Electronics Association, said he disagrees that consumers aren't aware of recordable DVD players.

Manufacturers have shipped 147,000 DVD recorders to market as of April this year, he said. To be sure, that's still a small amount compared to the overall DVD market, but it almost triples the 56,000 units shipped at the same time last year.

Wargo agrees with TechnoMetrica's findings of a slow uptake with regard to consumer sales. He attributes that fact less to a lack of awareness of DVD product and more to pricing.

“The real driver here is the price disparity between a player and a recorder,” he said. “Once the [recordable] technology hits closer to $200, it will really start to take off.”

And that could happen as early as Christmas of this year for entry-level recorders, Wargo said.

Price is definitely the sticky point, Kambanis agreed.

“Prices are expected to fall, which should spur demand, which should spur more production,” he said.

He also said lack of strong marketing and advertising campaigns from manufacturers is contributing to the slow rollout as well.

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