The DVD Entertainment Group used the opening day of the Video Software Dealer Association Expo here to announce it is expanding its mission and changing its name to the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG).
Under its new charter, which took effect Aug. 1, the DEG will continue to advocate and promote the DVD format and will also "offer opportunities for member companies" to discuss, develop and promote "other new digital technologies that may emerge in the future."
"The fact that the Digital Entertainment Group is comprised of both hardware and entertainment software companies gives us a unique forum for the discussion of such future potential technologies," stated Bob Chapek, Buena Vista Home Entertainment president.
The group reported more than 427 million DVD units shipped to retail so far in 2003. According to figures compiled by Ernst & Young, the total number of units shipped in North America has reached nearly 1.8 billion since launch.
The group also cited CEA market research, which showed factory sales of more than 10 million DVD players in the first half of 2003, a 44 percent increase over the year-ago period. More than 66 million DVD players have sold since launch, bringing the number of DVD households to over 46 million (adjusting for households with more than one player), the DEG said.
Those numbers include set-top and portable DVD players, home-theater-in-a-box systems, TV/DVD and DVD/VCR combination players.
The DEG also said consumer intent to purchase DVD players continues to be stronger than all other electronics products, according to a recent report from CEA. Nearly a third of all non-owner households expect to purchase some type of DVD player in the next year.