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Putting Digital Photos on DVD

The Next Wave in Consumer Excitement

As sales of digital video cameras, digital video camcorders, and accessories continue at a record pace, new products and applications are entering the market to fuel this $11-billion-a-year market. According to recent reports by the Computer Electronics Association (CEA), camcorder sales for the year 2002 alone will total more than 5.3 million units and will bring the household penetration to nearly 40 percent. Photo specialty retailers looking for the next wave in consumer excitement will find numerous product opportunities in the digital video market.

An exciting new opportunity for photo specialty retailers has emerged with the widespread acceptance of DVD players. This year, the worldwide installed base of DVD players will reach nearly 200 million units; in two years, it will exceed 300 million units. Ernst & Young estimates that nearly 50 percent of U.S. homes will have DVD capability by the end of the year. DVD players represent a ready and capable platform for the display of photos and videos and promise to bring a level of quality and interactivity never achievable with film or tape-based systems.

Just as consumers determined that the time was right to make their own custom audio CDs of their favorite music, they are now exploring ways to go beyond Hollywood offerings to make their own custom DVDs using their digital camcorders and digital still cameras.

A Ready Market
Burgeoning digital camera and camcorder sales are driving the market for PC software to enable the manipulation of digital pictures and video. While editing, printing and emailing pictures have become commonplace, a new wave of applications is emerging that allows users to turn the digital pictures into photo slideshows and burn them to CDs or DVDs that play on DVD players. These applications generate new opportunities for add-on sales and after-market sales for photo specialty stores while helping customers maximize the benefits of their cameras and camcorders.

Consumers are using digital pictures and digital video to document family milestones such as weddings, graduations, and a baby's first steps; but after a while, just plugging the camcorder into the back of a TV and watching unedited video loses its appeal.

Customers that purchase a camcorder are prime candidates for video editing software sales. Many of these people have never created a video before, but they want their videos to have a professional look, so they need more than just the basic software that comes with today's camcorders.

Industry pioneers like Pinnacle Systems have taken the complexity out of selling and using video editing software by developing products like Express, Studio and Edition to meet the requirements of consumers with varying levels of video editing experience.

Regardless of their expertise, consumers want a complete, ready-to-use solution that takes the frustration out of cutting unwanted scenes, adding Hollywood-style scene transitions and background music. Software that lets them save their video to a CD or DVD that can be shared with family and friends.

A basic program like Express, that has the ability to incorporate both video and stills, simplifies the transition from digital photos to interactive slide shows and video; and from VHS tape, to DVDs.

After experiencing success, home video enthusiasts usually want to upgrade their software. With a solution like Studio 8, they can have more editing effects, and direct output to CDs, DVDs and the Internet.

Opportunities Go Beyond the Average Consumer

While the potential impact of the digital video revolution is most evident at the consumer level, the business and prosumer (people who produce corporate, commercial, wedding, event, multimedia or Internet videos) markets are also experiencing immediate and dramatic impact.

The ability to deliver customized digital video clips to individual viewers in minutes makes digital video enormously beneficial for a broad range of applications. Law firms use video to record depositions and to create animated courtroom illustrations. Schools use video for distance learning and video-on-demand (VOD) educational programs. Businesses use video for product demonstrations and employee training.

All of these vertical markets represent potential sales for photo specialty retailers.

No Need to Wait for DVD Market to Expand The number of CD burners will increase from 120 million in 2001 to 546 million in 2005, according to market research firm International Data Corp (IDC).

While consumers wait for lower prices on DVD burners, they can save their videos to CDs When you record DVD-quality video on a CD, it can be played on virtually any DVD-ROM drive or DVD player as well as computer-based CD-ROM drives.

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