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Are DVD Recorders Ready for Prime Time

Boot Camp feature for Friday, July 12, 2002

Are DVD recorders ready for prime time? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. DVD players have become the fastest growing consumer electronics product in history. DVD recorders... that let you record onto discs the way you can record on your VCR... have been inching into the marketplace... .but Panasonic VP Reid Sullivan says...

"We've learned a lot over the last couple years and we expect that we're right on the beginning of an explosive growth for the DVD recorder market."

The first models that came out were selling for about three thousand dollars... .the latest arriving in stores this month... will sell for under 800 dollars. Another model... which ads a hard drive to the box... .allowing users to record programs temporarily and then save the keepers onto DVD... will sell for about four hundred dollars more...

"It includes a 40 gig hard drive as well as a PCMCIA slot. So what the benefit of that is you can import all kinds of digital content whether it's from a digital still camera or whether it's from a DV camcorder. We also have a 1394 digital input so you can transfer your digital video seamlessly at a high digital quality into your DMR HS2 for editing, archiving and playback capabilities."

About the question of whether DVD recorders are ready for prime time... .. from a technology viewpoint the answer is yes. Blank discs have dropped in price as well. But until the recorders themselves drop below five hundred dollars... most consumers aren't likely buy. Sullivan believes it is only a matter of time...

"But I can say that the consumer is definitely ready to switch over to the digital world completely and certainly once the awareness increases they're going to be ready to turn in their VCRs, as much as that pains me to say, since I'm also in charge of VCRs."

Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.