An overflowing crowd of reporters and editors from around the globe gathered here today at the Recordable DVD Council (RDVDC) press conference to find out why manufacturers of seemingly competing DVD technologies would hold a joint press conference.
The RDVDC is a coalition of nearly 75 leading DVD technology developers and manufacturers who are working to expand the understanding of recordable DVD technologies (DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW) that comply with the recordable DVD formats established by the DVD Forum.
During the briefing, attendees heard engineers from Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi and Ritek discuss the current state of DVD Recordable technologies, their applications, what lies ahead and their commitment to the RDVDC.
At the end of the briefing, more than 30 hardware, software and solution providers showcased currently shipping products, systems and solutions that incorporate or support the DVD Forum-approved recordable DVD formats. The products on display spanned the complete range of applications—from consumer to business and entertainment to personal computer. Products ranged from tools for video development/production, graphic design, multimedia development, and Web design, to backup/archiving, Internet streaming video, and Terabyte-capacity libraries for data warehousing.
Dr. Paul Liao, president of Panasonic Technologies Company and chief technology officer of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, opened the press conference by introducing the speakers and announcing their topics of discussion. Confirming that Panasonic will play a major role in the RDVDC, Dr. Liao said, "Panasonic supports the recordable DVD formats specified by DVD Forum and will help make the DVD world a reality by supplying DVD drives, media and DVD-related products."
Following the introductions, RDVDC Council chairman Bon-Guk Koo, who is also senior corporate advisor and former executive vice president of Samsung Electronics, explained that the RDVDC provides education and stimulates new applications of the recordable DVD formats approved by the Forum. Koo explained that the organization also fosters the exchange of information and that many of its members belong to other groups such as the DVD Forum and the RW Products Promotion Initiative (RWPPI), an action organization that promotes DVD-R/RW products.
Koo started off the presentations by announcing the RDVDC's new U.S. office and introducing Tony Jasionowski, U.S. RDVDC Program Coordinator, who is also Group Manager of Panasonic Technologies Company's R&D Planning Office. "To support software and hardware vendors, we're launching the U.S. educational/informational outreach program at COMDEX this week," said Jasionowski. The program will promote all of the recordable DVD formats approved by the DVD Forum – DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW and will include outreach activities at major trade shows such as Comdex, information exchange among council members, and educational/informational programs for businesses and consumers.
Next up to the podium was Mr. Hisashi Yamada, Chief Fellow of Technology, Digital Media Network Company, Toshiba Corporation, who discussed copy protection and emphasized Toshiba's support for the RDVDC. "We at Toshiba, support the recordable DVD formats specified by the DVD Forum and will promote the related DVD products."
As part of his discussion on the DVD World, Takeshi Kitade, Hitachi's senior engineer for the marketing and products planning department, pointed out that Hitachi, Ltd. is a steering committee member of 230+-member DVD Forum and that Hitachi, Ltd. and its affiliates are members of Recordable DVD Council. "Hitachi, Ltd. promotes all formats approved by the DVD Forum with the collaboration of its affiliates," he emphasized.
Dr. Shyhyeu Wang, Director of Ritek Corporation's R & D Division, also confirmed Ritek's support for the RDVDC, saying, "As the largest recordable media manufacturer in the world, Ritek will dedicate its full power to support and promote the DVD recordable formats and will participate in the activities of Recordable DVD Council. Dr. Wang ended his presentation on DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW media by stating that Ritek will do its best to produce high-quality media and to reduce the manufacturing cost of DVD recordable media.
At the end of the presentations participants in the RDVDC Pavilion (Booth L5555) provided demonstrations of products featuring all three Forum-approved formats, including the new low-cost dual-technology DVD drives that IDC predicts will help recordable DVD drives increase from 1.4 million units this year to more than 30 million units in 2005.