DVDs feeding VCRs

IRMA prez: Format lifting vid biz in general

HOLLYWOOD — Rapidly growing DVD sales are reviving interest in homevideo in general, with year-to-date sales of VCRs up 7% in 2000, according to Charles Van Horn, president of the Intl. Recording Media Assn.

In a speech to be delivered this morning at the DVD Entertainment 2000 conference at the Hilton Universal City & Towers, Van Horn will also note that DVD has generated 10 times the sales numbers of CDs in the same introductory period and four times that of the VCR.

Later this year, 10% of all U.S. households will have a DVD videoplayer and/or a computer DVD-ROM drive capable of playing a DVD movie, Van Horn said. He estimated that more than 500 million DVD discs will be manufactured this year.

Future growth

By the end of 2004, an estimated 175 million households worldwide will have one or more DVD videoplayers or DVD-enabled PC. By then, more than 2.7 billion DVD discs will be replicated, with enormous growth in overseas markets dropping the U.S. market share down from 63% this year to under 40% in 2004.

Also at the conference, the third annual DiVi award winners were announced Wednesday night, with Warner Home Video’s “The Matrix,” which is the all-time bestselling DVD, judged to be the best overall release in the format.

Leonard Maltin hosted the awards, which were judged by selected industry executives and members of the press.

Other winners: standard release, “Dracula” (Universal); special edition, “Terminator 2: Ultimate Edition” (Artisan); music release, “Pink Floyd: The Wall” (Sony Music Entertainment); educational/documentary title, “Rome: Power & Glory” (Questar); video compression, “Fight Club” (Fox); audio compression, “Saving Private Ryan” (DreamWorks); menu design, “The Abyss” (Fox); special features, “Men in Black” (Columbia TriStar); authoring, “Terminator 2”; DVD-ROM support, “The Matrix” (Warner); and presentation-packaging design, “Repo Man: Limited Edition” (Anchor Bay).