AfterDawn: Tech news

Cheaper DVD writers for Chirstmas?

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 29 Jul 2002 13:43

We all remember how the prices developed in the early days of CD-R drives, and there is no reason why this wouldn't be the case also with DVD recorders.
TAIPEI, Taiwan Cheaper DVD recorders may not be under the tree this Christmas, but Taiwan chip makers hope to make the consumer machines the stocking stuffer of choice by next winter.

Aiming to sharply lower the cost of DVD recorders, the island's top two optical chip makers are preparing chip sets that should make the machines more attractive to consumers by the second half of next year as greater competition and higher volumes drive IC prices down. "After that, there won't be any reason for recordables to be so expensive," said Chin Wu, president of ALi Corp., formerly known as Acer Laboratories Inc.

Currently, DVD recorders from Panasonic and Philips sell for between $600 and $1,000 at places like Circuit City. Once the Taiwanese enter the market, Wu believes that can come down to under $300 by the end of next year.

MediaTek Inc. plans samples for the third quarter next year. Its offering will be similar to ALi's, except that it will use a third-party MPEG-2 encoder/decoder.

Both companies will also spin their DVD-R IP into offerings for the PC market at around the same time. The new chips come at a time of increasing competition for MediaTek, which has seen ALi nip away at its DVD player market share and newcomer Via Technologies Inc. slash its margins on more mature CD-ROM chips.

EE Times

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