Record shipments of nearly 1 billion DVDs were sent to retailers in the first nine months of this year, the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) reported today (Oct. 19) during the second annual TV DVD C

Record shipments of nearly 1 billion DVDs were sent to retailers in the first nine months of this year, the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) reported today (Oct. 19) during the second annual TV DVD Conference in Los Angeles.

More than 3.3 billion DVDs have shipped since the format launched in 1997.

In the third quarter, more than 340 million DVDs shipped, a 59% increase over the same period last year. The only quarter in which more DVDs have shipped was the fourth quarter of 2003, with 381 million units.

DVD hardware also experienced its strongest third quarter ever. About 6.6 million DVD players were sold, according to the Consumer Electronics Assn., an increase of 2% over the same time period last year.

About 110 million DVD players have been sold since 1997. More than 63 million U.S. households now have DVD players, and 42% of DVD households have two or more players.

The TV DVD Conference is presented by Video Store Magazine in cooperation with the DEG and The Hollywood Reporter.