DVD Information

NOTE: Well, actually, after it was clear the machines were not going to be released in 1996 I stopped following DVD for awhile. After they start settling on a real release date I'll start updating this page with equipment availability and release dates again. In the meantime I'll put interesting news releases on the page.

January 9, 1997 Sony Announces DVD Products - Sony Corporation has announced its plans for launch of DVD players and computer DVD-ROMs. The consumer electronics giant said its first DVD video player will be available from March and its DVD-ROM player will be available later this month.

January 7, 1997 - "DVD To Be Previewed In US This Week"

After several months of delays, American consumers will get their first chance to see DVD Video player machines this week as several manufacturers preview their products at the 1997 Winter Consumer Electronics Show, which begins on Thursday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. [TOKYO:6752][NYSE:MC] and Pioneer Electric Corp. [TOKYO:6773] [NYSE:PIO] have both already announced they will have DVD players on show.

December 4, 1996 - Some news is starting to show up on DVD in Japan:

Time Warner Announces December DVD Software Launch
TOKYO, JAPAN, 1996 DEC 3 (NB) -- By Martyn Williams. Just in time for the year-end sales period, Time Warner has announced plans to release movie titles onto the new DVD-Video standard. When the company begins selling the disks in Japan on December 20, it will become the first Hollywood studio to release material onto DVD.

Toshiba Says 30,000 DVD Players Shipped
TOKYO, JAPAN, 1996 DEC 3 (NB) -- By Martyn Williams. In its first month on sale, Toshiba Corp. [TOKYO:6502] has shipped an estimated 30,000 DVD players, a company spokesman told Newsbytes. The figure represents shipments of the machines to stores and not actual sales, data for which is unavailable.

November 22, 1996 - This press release about sums up the latest news:

****Matsushita To Delay US DVD-Video Launch
TOKYO, JAPAN, 1996 NOV 22 (NB) -- By Martyn Williams. Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. [TOKYO:6752][NYSE:MC] is expected to follow Toshiba Corporation in delaying the US launch of its DVD-Video players until early 1997. While officially still aiming for a year-end launch, Matsushita says the system will be delayed due to worries about an initial shortage of software.

This information comes from the February issues of AudioVideo International magazine, an industry trade monthly. It came out just after Winter CES so there was lots of information. It is really beginning to look like DVD is coming in a big way. Essentially all the Japanese A/V manufacturers either showed equipment or announced it.

They also had lots of pictures which I have here as well.

Pioneer Elite DVD/LD/CD Player - Planned for fall 1996 in the US. Plays DVD, Laser Disc and CD's.
Another Elite Picture
Pioneer said they expect coexistence of DVD and laser disk for years to come and will continue to to make laser disc software as well as DVD software. They also said they plan DVD-R recordable units.
Toshiba XV-3006A - Count on Toshiba being amoung the biggest in DVD. Toshiba was the first company to announce list pricing and actual model numbers. The first two models are XV-1006A at $599 and the XV-3006A at $699. Both are due before Labor Day. Also, look for Toshiba to bring out retail desktop computers that integrate DVD with innovative home computers.
Another Toshiba Picture
RCA's Player Design - Thompson is going to initially buy OEM units from Matsushita to sell under its RCA brand name. They say their entry level unit will sell for $499. An advanced RCA model is planned to have AC-3 and six outputs. They also plan to release a G.E. brand and follow that with a ProScan model. After 1996, Thompson will begin to manufacture their own units.
Sony's Working Prototype - Sony has said they will have DVD players later in 1996, along with 50 titles from Columbia Tri-Star Home Video initially with 150 planned.
Panasonic's Working Prototype - They didn't say much but it is due later this year, and did not announce a price.
Philips/Magnavox Engineering Working Prototype - Late 1996 is the planned availability date for Philips and Magnavox brands at prices between $500 and $800.
Pioneer's SCD-M001 Working Sample
Akai's DVD-1000 Design Sample
Goldstar's DVD-1000 Prototype
Samsung's SD10 DVD Prototype Player

Other manufacturers announcing were Onkyo, Denon (although I read they are going to offer their own version of DVD called DVD-X, whatever that means),

These pictures come from the February 1996 issue of Consumer Electronics Marketplace, an industry trade monthly.

Toshiba DVD
Samsung SD10 Prototype
March 1, 1996
In this weeks issue of Video Business magazine, they report that the developers of DVD hardware and software are near an agreement that would make the software and hardware different for different regions of the world. This is being considered so that they will have control over distribution throughout the world. For example, a DVD player sold in the US would only play discs released for the US market.

I think this is a horrible idea. We don't have this kind of ridiculous control on CD's or laser discs today. They have figured out how to control the distribution there without it, why can't they change the way they do it with DVD's as well??

This information comes from the January 1996 issue of Video Software Magazine, an industry trade monthly.

Many announcements were made at the Winter Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas in January. Most industry observers agree that DVD won't have mass appeal until 1997. Toshiba America has said they will release its first players before Labor Day, at a suggested retail price of $599 for a base model and $699 for a more sophisticated version.

Thompson Consumer Electronics said it would release a $499 player under the RCA brand name late this summer.

Pioneer Electronics, Matsushita (under its Panasonic brand), and Zenith all said they will bring their DVD video players to market in September. Pioneer said it will continue to support laser disc and will market an audio-CD/DVD/laser disc player later this year.

Philips Consumer Electronics said two DVD video players, under the Philips and Magnavox brands, will be launched by the end of the year, in time for the 1996 holiday shopping season. Their pricing is not announced but Philips has suggested they would fall between $500 and $800.

Sony is planning to bring its first player to the market during the third quarter.

Packaging - The Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) had a DVD Packaging Task Force which made recommendations on package size, features, disc durability, labeling and more. The picture here is of a preliminary package from a company called WEA Media that takes these recommendations into account. It is the same height as a VHS cassette sleeve, the same width as a CD jewel box and a depth of about 1/2".

Of course for those of us that collect laser discs, this doesn't get us excited. There is little enough room today for the information about a disc on the large 12" jackets, much less on this new size.

For all the bits and gigabytes, check out the Toshiba DVD techincal page.

For Toshiba's main DVD page, go to main Toshiba DVD page.

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