In a significant step aimed at wresting control of the U.S. DVD recorder market, Philips announced it would sell a DVD+RW recorder under its mass merchant Magnavox brand, beginning in the second quarter.
Model MDV-630R will carry a $499 suggested retail price and will be positioned as a "basic" level DVD recorder/player. It will omit an IEEE-1394 (i.LINK) interface for direct digital connection with digital camcorders, but will have a full compliment of analog inputs purchasers can use to transfer home videos from analog and digital camcorder tapes to long-lasting DVDs.
Philips executives would not announce names of the volume chains they expect to carry the Magnavox model, but added that accounts will be offered informational kiosks to help sell the relatively new technology on highly trafficked selling floors.
Apex Digital announced plans for a $699 DVD+RW recorder at CES, and Thomson will offer a model at $599 under the RCA brand. Panasonic recently announced a $599 suggested retail price on its new entry DVD-RAM/DVD-R recorder, model DMR-E50.
Philips announced at CES that it will also offer new models under the Philips flag — the DVDR75 ($699, April) and the DVDR80 ($799, June). Both of those models include front mounted i.LINK interfaces, while the DVDR80 will add GemStar's new TV Guide On Screen subscription-free electronic program guide and will add an 8-hour recording mode.
National advertising for the DVD+RW category due later this year will stress Philips branded product, executives said.