The French are known to love their movies. French movies are popular not only in France, but also in other French speaking countries in Europe as well as in Africa. Intense competition among players has resulted in slashing of high definition DVD players’ cost. DVDs as such are already available at relatively cheap rates. With more and more people opting to watch movies from the comforts of their homes, high definition DVD player sales have gone through the roof. The home theater technology hit France around the same time, as it had the rest of the world. The French embraced the new technology with open arms. Now, there must be seldom a home in France, without at least a basic home theater system in place.
With many high definition DVD players hitting the market in France, the sales are expected to further increase. This is in total contrast to the returns in other retail segments in France in recent times. The sluggish growth in other segments has been attributed to the strength of the Euro and the decrease in demand for other products. This in itself shows the French love for movies and now for high definition DVD players.
The demand for DVD players has been on the rise not only in France, but also in other parts of Europe too. The European markets are totally estimated to yield around $10 billion in revenue to the DVD industry, according to research analysts. It is predicted that the market will grow to around $17 billion by the end of 2009.
One factor which is driving the sales of high definition DVD players in France is the flooding of the market by Chinese manufacturers. France has seen a deluge of Chinese products, from digital cameras to computers to home theater systems, you name it and every conceivable Chinese electronic item is available in France. Even DVD players from leading brands like Sony, Philips, or JVC are actually made in China, apart from the number of other smaller players. China is reported to export around five million units of DVD players to France alone, every year.
DVD player sales constitute around 15% of the consumer electronics sales in France. Every year around ten million DVD players are sold in France out of which a significant percentage is that of high definition models. Most of the sales are cornered by globally renowned brands, while some part of the sales go to the ‘no name appliances’.
One good thing with France is that you can buy your high definition DVD player or for that matter any kind of DVD player, literally anywhere. Yes, you can buy them in hypermarkets, departmental stores, supermarkets, electronic dealers, you name it and they stock it full, with hundreds of models on display.
There are large specialist stores like Boulanger, Darty, and FNAC, which are leading names when it comes to dealing with DVD players. These specialists make up for around 40 % of the total sales of DVD players in France. Hypermarkets, supermarkets, and departmental stores gobble the rest of the percentage up.
While it is true that the Chinese made DVD players have made their mark in France, the French are known to prefer Japanese brands too, when it comes to higher end models of high definition DVD players. These higher end models typically cost around 1,500 Euros.
The leading brands of high definition DVD players in France include Schneider, Samsung, Thompson, Sony, and Philips. One can get a read-only player for an average price of around 80 Euros. One can get quality high definition DVD players for a price range of around $300 or more. One can also find French brands like Crealy doing brisk business in high definition DVD players.
Most of the leading brands offer excellent after sales service and this is one reason for the spectacular growth of high definition DVD players in France. Quality control standards are very high these days and it is common to find leading players give a guarantee on their high definition DVD players, which could be up to even five years. France follows the 230 volts electricity standards like most other parts of Europe and therefore it’s always better to check your DVD player’s specifications, before you plug it in.
Even low end high definition DVD players are finding takers, because generally even these models are manufactured with good components and people are buying these products with little expectations of after sales support.
Another habit with French is that many of them use their computers to watch DVDs. Another related product, which is witnessing a boom in the French market, is the DVD recorder. They are being bought left, right, and center by the French. It is expected that they will gradually take over from read only players, over a period of time.
In fact, most of the home theater systems available in France are already fitted with recorders and their market is increasing. Recordable DVD players are available for around a price ranging from 200 – 500 Euros, depending on whether they come with a hard drive or not.
One can easily find stores stocked with a huge variety of high definition DVD players. In France. One can in fact find an entire range of DVD players, recorders, and combo units. Certain terminology may differ though, for instance models which record from tapes are known as ‘DVD/magnetoscopes’ in France. Stores like FNAC and Virgin mega stores stock up the latest collections in large numbers.
Even though recordable DVD players are increasingly selling more, France has strict rules in place to avoid people making backup copies of their discs. Just as in the case of high definition DVD players, you can find DVDs almost everywhere in France. There is one problem though with French videos and DVDs. They sometimes don’t play in other countries, thanks to the video format. The French use the SECAM format, when compared to North American countries that use NTSC and Australia which uses PAL. France comes under the zone 2, as far as DVD regional coding goes. A code free DVD player would be able to play it though in other countries.
If you are a tourist looking for DVDs in France, you can check out the videos which say ‘Avez-vous cette film en NTSC.’ They could play in your country. The French are passionate about their movies. You must have surely heard of the French new wave directors, if you were an ardent student of world cinema. French film studios like Gaumont film studios are famous the world over. Almost all of us must have heard of the ‘Cannes film festival,’ yet another testimony to the refined taste of the French when it comes to cinema. DVDs are therefore a popular option for the French, giving them the ultimate home movie watching experience.
Most of the Hollywood DVD releases take place either simultaneously along with other countries or a week or two after the movie’s American release. The release again depends on various factors like the studio and who is having the DVD rights. The French appreciate both their films and foreign films. DVDs of movies of other languages like English sell like hot cakes in France, mostly with French subtitles. Such DVDs would bear the inscription VO denoting ‘version originale.’ The dubbed versions carry the inscription VF ‘version Françoise.’