DVD-Video Gains Momentum
In addition, sales of DVD players are taking off. Research firm InfoTech predicts that 1.2 million machines will be sold this year---an increase of 140% over last year---and that 6.5 million DVD-ROM drives will find owners as well.
Declining hardware prices, attributable in part to the Asian economic crisis, are aiding DVD's rapid growth. Entry-level DVD players can be found below the $400 retail mark. DVD-ROM drives are available to PC makers at less than $100 each and should appear in many mid-priced computers this year.
"All the required elements for success---competitive pricing, title availability, advertising, and distribution---are being put into place," according to InfoTech CEO Julie B. Schwein. "Companies that invest now should be well-positioned to reap the rewards in 1999 and beyond," she says. Infotech projects an installed base of 70 million DVD-ROM drives within 18 months. As the format gains popularity, the company further predicts that DVD-ROM drives will also appear in many video-game consoles and TV set-top boxes.