DVD in 1999: One Million and Counting

Last week, the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) reported that sales of DVD players have reached 1 million units so far this year. CEMA also announced its revised projections for total DVD-player unit sales in 1999, raising the previous prediction of 1.8 million to 3 million.

Gary Shapiro, president of CEMA, states that "DVD-player sales continue to vastly outpace introductory sales of VCRs and CDs. It has quickly become a mass-market product, demonstrating that consumers want the best possible picture and sound quality they can get. For this reason, DVD is a great harbinger for HDTV---people want theater-quality video and sound." Shapiro goes on to explain why the 1999 sales figures have been revised: "Typically, two thirds of industry sales are made in the second half of the year. If DVD stays on track, volume should reach 3 million before the end of 1999."

Shapiro notes that CEMA doesn't expect the absence of Divx to have a negative impact on sales of DVD players. "We saw Divx simply as a product feature." Currently, nearly two dozen companies manufacture or market DVD players.