Pioneer Passes 5 Million Unit Sales of DVD Writers As DVD-R|DVD-RW Format Secures Clear Market Leadership

Pioneer announces that it will ship its 5 millionth DVD-R/DVD-RW writer this month, a landmark that establishes the company as the clear number one manufacturer of DVD writers. The performance of Pioneer's DVD writers has contributed to the prominence of the DVD-R/DVD-RW format, which, according to TSR, accounted for 62 percent of the DVD writers shipped worldwide last year.

Pioneer offers both internal and external DVD writers in the aftermarket at retailers like Best Buy, Fry's Electronics and CompUSA. The drives are built into the company's jukebox archival systems for mass storage applications. Pioneer drives also have been used by major computer manufacturers such as Apple, Compaq, Medion, Micron, NEC and Sony.

"Pioneer DVD-R/DVD-RW drives are extremely popular in the consumer and OEM markets, which has enabled us to reach this landmark sales figure in a relatively short period of time," said Andy Parsons, senior vice president of the business solutions division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "We were the first manufacturer to ship recordable DVD drives in 1997 and have maintained a leading market share by consistently focusing on value, innovation and reliability in our products."

The DVD-R/DVD-RW specification was designed with three key criteria. The first was that the format should be highly compatible with other DVD devices. It also focused on creating the optimum platform for working with the particular demands of video - the principal application for recordable DVD technology. Finally, the format should be easy to work with as a general-purpose data storage system.

The format has been well received by professional users and consumers as a result of its technical strengths and compatibility performance. Global sales of DVD-R media in the second quarter of this year secured 54.9 percent of the market.  This is 23 percent ahead of +R according to Santa Clara Consulting Group's DVD Tracker Q2 2003.

As well as leading the market in terms of sales volumes, recent research undertaken by CDR-Info has revealed that DVD-R is the most compatible DVD format available. CDR-Info used more than a thousand combinations of media, DVD-ROM drives, writers, DVD players and recorders to conclude that content written to DVD-R was compatible with almost all (96.1 percent) of the playback devices used in the research. This compared to 87.6 percent for +R discs.  For more information about the study, see CDR-Info.com.

Pioneer was a founding member of the DVD Forum, an industry body that aims to improve compatibility of DVD formats. It is this interest in the consumer that led the company - despite its clear market leadership in terms of both writers sold and the sales of DVD-R/DVD-RW compliant writers - to include support for +R/RW media in its latest DVR-A06 DVD writer.

"Concerns about the existence of various DVD recording formats are understandable. But, we maintain that ultimately, the consumer decides which format will dominate. In our view DVD-R/DVD-RW is the optimum DVD recording specification from a technical and compatibility standpoint. Consumers seem to support this perspective, as evidenced by the numbers of DVD-R/DVD-RW writers that have been sold to date," Parsons said.

Pioneer has a strong heritage in the optical storage market. The company introduced the first laser disc player in 1979; the first 4x CD-ROM changer in 1992; the first home DVD player in 1996 and the first consumer DVD recorder in 1999.

Pioneer's most recent DVD writer is the DVR-A06. Capable of writing at 4x speed on DVD-R, the drive also supports the +R/RW format and comes bundled with a wide variety of software. Typical applications include the authoring, editing and storing of video files, developing digital music catalogs, building image libraries and backing up data.

About Pioneer

Pioneer's Professional Video Group is the leader and technical innovator in optical disc technology for the industrial market. It is a part of the Business Solutions Division, which provides professional business-to-business products across a wide range of markets including cable television, professional video/audio, educational, medical, legal and banking.

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