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Demand grows for DVD players

Consumer electronics makers will bump up production as the market takes off.

Sony, Matsushita Electric, and other consumer electronics makers plan to increase production of DVD (digital versatile disc) and MiniDisc (MD) players to meet growing demand, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's largest business daily.

Sony plans to increase monthly production of DVD players from 60,000 units to 80,000 units by early 1999, according to the newspaper.

Monthly DVD production will be tripled to 100,000 units in 1998 at Matsushita, while Nippon Columbia plans to raise DVD player production from 2,000 units to 3,000 units per month.

Demand for DVD players in Japan is expected to increase to 300,000 to 500,000 units in fiscal 1998, and to between 800,000 and 1 million units in fiscal 1999, according to the report.

The DVD market in the United States, Europe, and other Asian nations is expected to grow to 2 million units in fiscal 1998, and to some 4 million units in fiscal 1999.

Matsushita plans to raise monthly production of MD players from about 60,000 units to 100,000 units during fiscal 1998 and to 150,000 units in fiscal 1999, according to the newspaper. Others such as JVC/Victor of Japan also plan significant increases.