Las Vegas - 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 takes effect Aug. 1, the DEG will continue to advocate and promote the DVD format and will also 'offer opportunities for member companies' 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,' said Bob Chapek, Buena Vista Home Entertainment president.
The group reported DVD 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 showing factory sales of more than 10 million DVD players in the first half of 2003, a 44 percent increase over the same period last year. 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 inclue 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 (32 percent) of all non-owner households expect to purchase some type of DVD player in the next year, a higher percentage than those with intent to buy them last year (28 percent).
Regular members of the DEG are 5.1 Entertainment Group, Artisan Home Entertainment, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, DreamWorks Home Entertainment, DTS Entertainment, EMI Recorded Music, Funai Corporation, HBO Video, Image Entertainment, JVC Company of America, MGM Home Entertainment, New Line Home Entertainment, Panasonic Consumer Electronics, Paramount Home Entertainment, Philips Consumer Electronics, Pioneer Electronics (USA), Sony Electronics, Sony Music Entertainment, Thomson, Toshiba America Consumer Products, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Universal Studios Home Video and Warner Home Video.
Associate members are Alta Resources, Blink Digital, Clear-Vu Products, Crest National, Deluxe Media Services, Digital Video Compression Corporation, InterActual Technologies, Macrovision, Media Copy, Metropolis DVD, MX Entertainment, Muze, Sonopress, Sony Disc Manufacturing and Technicolor.