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DVD burner sales on fire

Retail sales of laptop and desktop computers with DVD recorders jumped 550 percent in unit terms in the first half of this year, according to research from NPD Group.

Retail sales of laptop and desktop computers with DVD recorders jumped 550 percent in unit terms during the first half of this year, according to research from NPD Group.

The number of laptops and desktops with internal DVD recorders sold by retailers in the first six months of the year hit 209,959, up from 32,297 in the first half of 2002, according to NPD. DVD burners in home decks--devices that plug into TVs--are also gaining in popularity. The number of home DVD recorder units sold in the first half of 2003 reached 58,000, up 316 percent from the first half of 2002, NPD said.

The dramatic increase in sales of laptops and desktops with DVD recorders relates to computer makers bundling DVD burners into their higher-end products, NPD analyst Tom Edwards said. He expects the sales trend to continue as DVD recorder prices fall.

Plunging prices also help explain the sales spike in home-deck DVD recorders. The average selling price of such decks was $2,300 in the first half of 2001, $936 in the first half of 2002, and $568 in the first six months of this year, according to NPD.

Also appealing about home-deck DVD recorders, Edwards said, is that they can be used for more than just recording television shows and the like. They can hold digital pictures, for example. "It's not necessarily a niche market," he said. "A lot of things can be stored on them."