twice connect
careers

Panasonic Goes On DVD-RAM Offensive

7/08/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Panasonic made the push for DVD-RAM and DVD-R with the introduction of two new recordable decks, a new DVD camcorder, a DVD multidrive and aggressively priced blank DVD-RAM media during PC-Expo, here.

"We expect sales of DVD recorders to grow explosively," said Mike Aguilar, Panasonic senior VP of merchandising. "It will exceed 200,000 units this year and grow to 7 million units in 2005, accounting for 20 percent of all DVD sales in that year."

Of all the competing media formats, Aguilar claimed that DVD-RAM currently holds the No. 1 spot in sell-through market share.

Panasonic VP Jeff Cove claimed that DVD-RAM offered the best rewritable format due to its random access memory and, when coupled with DVD-R, offered the widest compatibility. Seeking to emphasize compatibility, Cove claimed that 10 of its 14 DVD players on the market this year will be able to play back DVD-RAM.

The company announced its first DVD recorder with a 40GB built-in hard drive, the DMR-HS2. The unit will ship in October, and according to the company, the target suggested retail price will be $1,199.95. The model is similar to Toshiba's fall arrival, the RD-X2, which sports an 80GB hard-drive and a suggested retail price of $1,499.

The HS2 can read and write to DVD-RAM and DVD-R discs and features an IEEE1394 input for recording video from a digital camcorder onto a DVD-RAM or DVD-R disc. It features "relief recording" (also know as relay recording), which automatically switches from disc to hard-drive if the disc runs out of space during recording.

The unit does not come with an associated service program, as other PVR devices like TiVo and Replay TV. A Panasonic executive at the conference said the issue of charging subscription fees on top of the cost of the device would be a turn-off to most consumers.

The HS2 also features a PCMCIA card slot to accept digital stills saved on flash memory cards. The unit can then produce slide shows and burn JPEG image files to DVD-RAM/R discs.

Hoping to spur adoption, Panasonic announced that it will break new price point ground for the category in August, when it will ship a sub-$1,000 third-generation recorder, the DMR-E30.

The DMR-E30 will have a suggested retail price of $799.95. It carries over a number of features from its predecessor, the E20, including the ability to record and play on DVD-RAM and DVD-R discs, Time Slip, progressive scan, as well as playback of CD-R and CD-RW discs.

To complement the recorder decks, Panasonic will ship the VDR-M20 DVD camcorder in September for a suggested retail price of $999.95. The M20 records video onto an 8 cm DVD-RAM and/or DVD-R discs and features a 1.1 megapixel CCD that records a million pixels for still images and 720,000 for video.

The camcorder also features a built-in USB port, and a 12x optical/240x digital zoom. It does not feature a 1394 interface to digitally connect with the new DVD recordable decks.

Moving from living room to computer room, Panasonic also unveiled a new recordable DVD drive, the DVDBurner II, which will ship in October for a suggested retail price of under $500.

The new drive meets DVD Multi specifications and can read/write to all recordable DVD formats approved by the DVD Forum, as well as to CD-R/RW discs. When writing to a DVD-R General disc, the drive hits 2x speeds and plays back DVD-R at 6x. It can write to CD-Rs at up to 12x and to CD-RW at up to 8x speed.

PHOTOS
ProSource Meeting Filled With Optimism

San Antonio — Optimism reigned at ProSource’s

Ingram Draws 500 To Spring Vendor Expo

Scottsdale, Ariz. — Ingram Micro Consumer

CEA Holds ’14 Digital Patriots Dinner

Washington — CEA held its annual Digital Patriots’

8 Technology Accessories For a Greener Earth

An Earth Day review of Earth-friendly products, by

BrandSource Shows Diverse Product Selection

BrandSource’s Summit show at the Marriott World

Scenes From Toy Fair

By Lisa Johnston

ADL Honors Morales, Bilas, Paull, Weedfald At Annual Dinner

New York — The Anti-Defamation League’s National