Recordable DVD set to boom

A major recordable DVD disc maker says that disc sales will soar next year as consumers flock to the technology despite confusion over formats

In a new measure of the growing popularity of recordable DVD drives, a major optical storage manufacturer has said it expects worldwide sales of recordable DVD discs to reach at least 320 million in the next year. Ritek, which dominates the market for CD-R and DVD+R discs, also said that the DVD+R standard for recordable DVD is closing in on its rival, DVD-R.

DVD recording has taken off more slowly than it might have, according to some industry observers, because of competing, incompatible formats from the DVD Forum and the DVD+RW Alliance. Despite some consumer confusion, however, demand for DVD burners has continued to increase: IDC projected in a report earlier this year that three million recordable DVD drives would ship this year, rising to 50 million in 2006.

Ritek said sales of recordable DVD discs could hit 400 to 500 million units next year, by its more optimistic projections, according to a report in Taiwan industry journal DigiTimes. Ritek chief executive Gordon Yeh said that DVD-R would account for for 160 million units, with DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM formats making up about 40 million discs each.

Ritek has the largest market share in CD-R and DVD+R formats, according to the company, and also has more than a 20 percent share in DVD-R and DVD-RW discs. Ritek entered the DVD+RW market in March, saying that DVD+RW disc sales were expected to hit 206 million units by 2005.

Recordable DVD sales are being driven by computer makers such as Apple, Sony and Compaq, who are bringing the technology into the mainstream, and by the attractiveness of using DVD to timeshift and archive television programmes, according to IDC.

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