DVD makers look to cash in on Olympics

Major electronic manufacturers are putting new digital video recorders on the market to take advantage of an expected increase in demand before the Athens Olympics this summer.

Toshiba Corp. said earlier this week it will launch the RD-XS53 and RD-XS43 DVD recorders on Aug. 1. Both integrate a DVD recorder and hard disk drive and are able to record two television programs simultaneously.

The top-of-the-line RD-XS53 can record up to 570 hours of TV programs. “With the new products having convenient functions needed by users, we hope to maintain a 20 percent share of the domestic market” for DVD recorders, said Teruo Kiriyama, head of Toshiba’s digital audiovisual equipment division.

In late June, market leader Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. will release a machine integrating an HDD, DVD and videocassette recorder.

Involving other makers such as Pioneer Corp., Sony Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., the domestic market for DVD recorders is expanding rapidly.

Industry officials expect the demand for DVD recorders in Japan to grow to 4 million units in the current fiscal year, compared with the previous year’s 2.2 million.

Personal-computer makers are jumping on the bandwagon by releasing PCs that have TV tuners and recording functions on DVDs and HDDs.

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