Case Study: Using Quantum's hard drives in the new Panasonic/Replay Networks Hard Disk Recorder

The arrival of hard disk recorders heralds a new opportunity for PC hard drive manufacturer Quantum and consumer VCR supplier...

The arrival of hard disk recorders heralds a new opportunity for PC hard drive manufacturer Quantum and consumer VCR supplier Panasonic

Founded in 1980, Quantum Corporation is a diversified mass storage company. It is the highest volume global supplier of hard disk drives for personal computers, a leading supplier of high capacity hard drives and all classes of tape drives. Quantum sells a broad range of storage products to OEM and distribution customers worldwide.

The company's hard drives have been selected by Panasonic for the new Panasonic/Replay Networks Hard Disk Recorder (HDR). HDRs are the newest consumer product category and have the potential to become the "fastest growing category in history," according to the Envisioneering Group of Seaford, New York.

Hard Disk Recorders offer viewers the ability to control what, when and how they watch television. The key enabling technology in these TV set-top boxes is the hard disk drive, and Quantum is the leading supplier of hard drives for HDRs.

"Panasonic believes that there is a very large potential market for this kind of product that uses hard disk drives as the key enabling technology," says Andrew Nelkin, general manager of video for Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. That belief is shared by Richard Doherty, director of Digital Technology Services Testing and Market Research at Envisioneering, a market research firm.

"To millions of consumers, increased program and time-shift capacity translates into more consumer choice," Doherty says. "Consumers we've worked with love the ability to digitally pause, time-shift and organise their programs.

"HDRs are literally video time-machines, able to give TV viewers unprecedented ease of use for enjoying TV whenever they want it. Viewers' acceptance of these features will translate into increased demand for A/V-capable hard drive storage solutions."

John Gannon, president of Quantum Corporation's Consumer Electronics Business Unit, says the agreement between Panasonic and Replay Networks is good news for consumers and for Quantum. "Panasonic is one of the world's most well known brands," he says. "The Panasonic/Replay announcement corroborates our vision that Hard Disk Recorders using Quantum QuickView technology will soon be widely available to consumers who desire more control over the TV programs they watch."

Quantum QuickView is digital recording technology based on the way hard drives work in computers. Installed in a TV set-top box, television set or HDR, Quantum QuickView makes random access recording and playback possible. The technology enables recording, instant replay and even pause of live broadcast television.

A recent study by Quantum and Nielsen Media Research revealed that a majority of television viewers want simple ways to record their favourite television shows, making the new HDR a very appealing device. The study also found that consumers are especially interested in viewing features such as broadcast pause and personal instant replay, which Quantum QuickView enables. The findings were supported by consumers who saw Quantum QuickView demonstrated with Panasonic at the1999 National Association of Broadcasters Show. Other partners have been involved in demonstrating Quantum QuickView at the1999 International Consumer Electronics Show and at the1998 Western Show.

Forrester Research, a Boston-based analyst firm, concluded in their 1999 report entitled TV Viewers Take Charge that "...consumers will embrace a new device, the personal video recorder, to take control of TV viewing." The report also states that "...choice and convenience will drive 14 million consumers to adopt personal video recorders by 2004."

Compiled by Ajith Ram

(c) 1999 Quantum Corporation

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