DVDs taking over the living room

Approximately 420 million systems containing DVD drives will ship in 2006, an annual growth rate of 31.4 percent, according to Jon Peddie Research, a Tiburon, Calif.-based consultancy. That figure, which includes PCs and home players, is fairly high for the consumer electronics market.

The rising popularity is also being matched by price declines. The average selling price for DVD players for televisions fell from $504 in July 1998 to $129 as of December 2002. Some units sold for as low as $39, according to the firm. DVD drives first appeared in Japan in 1996. The first title for the technology was "A Hard Day's Night." To date, DVDs have been more rapidly adopted than any other consumer electronics technology, the firm added.