DVD videoplayers to reach 485,000 in Europe in 1999

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LONDON--The number of DVD videoplayers in Europe will rise from 125,000 at the end of 1998 to 485,000 in 1999 and to just over one million in 2000, according to a new study from Screen Digest. France is taking the early lead with the largest installed base to date, followed by Germany and then the U.K.

On the software side, market forecasts for 1998-2000 are that DVD Video disk sales will hit almost 15 million in the year 2000 from an estimated 1.4 million in 1998.

The survey also estimated that the major Hollywood film studios and other international distributors had released 135 different movies and music videos on DVD across Europe by Christmas 1998. A further 250 titles are estumated to have been released by 30 or more leading home-grown video publishers, making a total of about 400 titles available on the format in European stores.

The report also highlights a number of issues to address, such as the comparatively low consumer awareness of DVD, the disparity in pricing between DVD players and the still relatively limited choice of software.

Copyright December 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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