Which DVD format will win?

The two groups striving to make their respective formats the standard for rewritable DVDs used this week's Consumer Electronics Show as an opportunity to demonstrate their progress.

At separate, simultaneous events at CES here, the Recordable DVD Council and the DVD+RW Alliance brought together partners to discuss their efforts so far. As the DVD rewritable market heats up, a lot is riding on which format, if any, becomes dominant.

"The price of drives is coming down after a big drop in 2001, so they're finally getting down to prices consumers are comfortable with," said Jon Peddie, CEO of Jon Peddie Research.

The Recordable DVD Council advances products approved by the DVD Forum, which consists of companies that manufacture discs and drives for the DVD-RAM, DVD-RW and DVD-R formats. The forum includes companies such as Hitachi, Pioneer and Panasonic.

Its rival, the DVD+RW Alliance, supports the DVD+RW format. Its member companies, which also manufacture discs and drives, include Hewlett-Packard, Dell Computer and Sony.

At the Recordable DVD Council event Wednesday, various members pointed to the shrinking cost of drives, discs, and a recent DVD Forum-approved specification called DVD Multi as signs that formats supported by their group will gain momentum in 2002.

Angel Cheng, a deputy sales manager for disc maker RiTek, expects that her company will continue to lower the cost of discs and predicts a big jump in disc shipments for all formats. Cheng estimated that this year DVD-R discs will fall from $8 each to $5, that DVD-RW will drop from $13 to $10, and that DVD-RAM will dip from $15 to $12. She expects volumes for DVD Forum-approved discs to increase from 33.9 million last year to 100 million in 2002 and 179 million in 2003.

News source: ZDNet News - Which DVD format will win?

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