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Tech Industry

DVD players finally arrive

The world will be inundated with digital video disc drives and players this spring, judging from announcements from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

    The world will be inundated with digital video disc (DVD) drives and players this spring, judging from announcements coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

    Sony (SNE), Zenith Electronics (ZE), and Akai were among the companies who made DVD player announcements at the show.

    DVD is a new disc technology that looks like a CD-ROM, but can store up to 4.7GB of data, compared to a CD-ROM's limit of 640MB. A DVD-ROM drive also supports the MPEG2 video standard and can play high-resolution audio, which means a user can play up to 133 minutes of full-motion, high-quality video, such as movies.

    The new Sony DVD-s7000 video player will debut in April at a cost of around $1,000, according to Sony officials. The player includes a 32-bit RISC processor and a 10-bit video D/A converter. The company will begin to ship a sample unit of its DVD-ROM drive to OEM PC manufacturers this month. A Sony DVD-ROM drive will be available this summer.

    Zenith, with the DVD2000, and Akai, with its DV-P1000, are among the other vendors who will take advantage of the technological advances of DVD this spring by introducing players.

    The DVD market got a boost earlier this week when Microsoft pledged to include DVD device drivers and application programming interfaces in future versions of its Windows 95 and Windows NT operating systems.

    A recent study indicates that the market for DVD drives and players will generate $349 million in revenue for companies in 1997. By the year 2000, the market is expected to grow to $4.1 billion.