A worldwide shortage of CD-Rom drives will be exacerbated when Hitachi's newly announced DVD (digital video disk) player achieves volumes next month. Hitachi has achieved high speeds on its DVD technology, delayed from a pre-Christmas launch because Hollywood claimed encryption of film media was inadequate. But that has led consumers to delay buying machines that do not include DVD technology because of pre-Christmas hype. The company will introduce its players in a bid to wipe out opposition from other Japanese manufacturers, including Toshiba and Sony, thus giving it a clear lead, claimed Peter Scatchard, marketing director at Hitachi Europe. Scatchard said that Hitachi was also beating the opposition on hard drives, with its 2.5-inch offering making it the second biggest manufacturer of drives next to IBM. The players will be sold through the channel, Scatchard said. It was Kieran Sumner, manager of multimedia sales at Lucky Goldstar (LG), who confirmed there was a dearth of supply of CD-Rom drives in the face of high demand. He blamed grey marketing as the reason for shortfalls but said that factories in Korea were rapidly getting back to a position where they could meet demand.
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