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CEA: Surge Seen In Digital Video Recording Sales

ARLINGTON, VA. — Factory unit sales of digital video recorders (DVRs) and DVD recorders saw significant growth in the nine-month period of January through September, according to market research released by the Consumer Electronics Association.

Unit sales of hard-drive-based DVRs rose 304 percent compared to the January-September 2003 period. Total unit sales surpassed 1 million units for the first time, CEA said. Dollar sales in the period grew 233 percent to $345 million.

Factory unit sales of DVD recorders climbed 44 percent to 463,000 units, compared to the same period in 2003, while sales of recordable DVD discs rose to 324 million units, representing a 569 percent growth year-over-year, CEA said. For comparison purposes, unit sales of recordable CD discs average 1.9 billion annually.

The CEA also said digital camcorder unit sales rose 12 percent in the January-September period compared to 2003, totaling 2.6 million units. Sales reached 2.3 million units during the same period last year.

Total camcorder sales, which include standard analog and digital camcorders, fell 8 percent to 3.6 million units — a trend CEA attributed to “a transition period between the analog and digital alternatives.”

Meanwhile, sales figures for analog recording media and technologies are beginning to demonstrate the impact digital technology is making on America’s CE purchases, the CEA said.

VHS tape sales are down 20 percent to 161 million units compared to 2003, and audio cassette tapes are down 13 percent to 97 million units.