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News in Brief

PHILIPS INDIA, a subsidiary of Netherlands-based electronics company, increased its share in the DVD market to 52% during 2004 on the back of its recent price-cut strategy. The company sold around 40,000 units in 2003, but sold over five 500,000 units last year. The key strategy was to convert existing users in the VCD market to the DVD market and price cuts triggered that paradigm shift among customers, said Suresh Sukumaran, senior general manager in Philips Consumer Electronics.

PEAK ENTERTAINMENT GROUP changed its corporate name to PKG Entertainment, Inc. CEO Sandy Krolick says: "We have decided to change our name to avoid confusion in the market with other entertainment companies using the name Peak." PKG will be conducting its CD and DVD marketing and distribution through a new subsidiary acquisition to be announced later.

FUJIFILM 16X DVD media will incorporate a brand identifier for the unique, patented Fujifilm OXOLIFE recording dye also being showcased at CES. This new recording layer dye offers significant improvements in light fastness, moisture protection and compatibility while lowering the impact on the environment by introducing an organic compound to the DVD manufacturing process.

UK ONLINE DVD SPECIALIST Filmnight has bought a local video rentals chain, Apollo, in a deal thought to be the first time a high street chain has been acquired by a web-based competitor. Apollo ranks third in its sector and has 65 branches as well as a franchise operation in 200 stores. Price is understood to be in the region of £10m and was funded by a mixture of cash and shares.

TOSHIBA, SANYO, NEC and Memory Tech have formally opened the HD DVD Promotion Group, positioning the consortium head to head with the Blu-ray Disc Association in the battle for the hearts and minds of content providers, hardware suppliers and consumers.

CLARION, a Japanese company, is to sell a car audio and video system next year that will be compatible with Apple's iPod portable music player. Users can connect an iPod to the system and select songs and artists by touching the seven-inch monitor. Clarion will introduce the iPod-compatible car equipment in Europe by the middle of 2005 and also plans to manufacture the parts for automakers on an original-equipment-manufacturer basis.