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Thursday, June 27, 2002
Recordable DVD Council reports groundswell of interest in DVD Multi

The Recordable DVD Council (RDVDC) provided an update on the DVD Forum's DVD Multi specification Tuesday, emphasizing that the new recordable DVD drives preserve the investments made in DVD Forum-compliant DVD players and drives purchased before the specification was established. Developed to enable users to move seamlessly from business and personal computing to home entertainment and digital video recording, DVD Multi puts an end to the compatibility issues by ensuring support for all formats developed by the DVD Forum-DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW.

RDVDC members will be demonstrating DVD Multi drives and players at the Recordable DVD Pavilion, Booth #2422 during TECHXNY/PC Expo 2002. The show will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City June 25-27.

With DVD Multi, consumers have the assurance of media interchangeability across all DVD Multi products. Hitachi and Panasonic have announced new DVD Multi drives that read and write to CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R General, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM discs. They can also play DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio and CD-ROM discs. The DVD Multi drive unveiled by Panasonic at CeBIT also offers an unprecedented 3x write speed for DVD-R General discs, the format that can be read by most of the DVD drives an players in use today.

Members of the RDVDC, a coalition of nearly 95 leading DVD technology developers and manufacturers, announced support for the DVD Multi specification in January of this year at CES 2002. The Technical Coordination members of the DVD Forum who participated in developing the DVD Multi specifications include:

Hitachi, Ltd. Pioneer Corporation
IBM Corporation Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Industrial Technology Research Institute Sharp Corporation
Intel Corporation Sony Corporation
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. Thomson Multimedia
LG Electronics Inc. Time Warner Inc.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Toshiba Corporation
Mitsuibishi Electric Corporation Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.
NEC Corporation

The DVD Multi specification covers all current formats which have been approved by DVD Forum, including: DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, DVD-Audio, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-Video Recording. Formats created outside the DVD Forum are not covered.

"One of the reasons the DVD Forum formats have been so successful is they provide strong, consistent platforms for software developers, OEMs and end users," said Tony Jasionowski, RDVDC North American Program Director. "Recordable DVD formats were defined to accommodate the differences in application requirements. Now, DVD Multi ensures disc compatibility and cross-device support without making the original recordable DVD formats obsolete."

The DVD-ROM and DVD-Video specifications that were established in 1997 were followed by the write-once DVD-R and rewritable DVD-RAM standards after a three-month evaluation of drive and media compatibility by more than 20 personal computer and storage media manufacturers from around the world. In 1999, the Forum adopted a second rewritable standard, DVD-RW, to meet the streaming (sequential) recording requirements of content developers.

The 4.7GB rewritable DVD-RAM drives that began shipping in 2000 can read/write the 2.6GB and 5.2GB DVD-RAM discs that have been available since 1998. The 4.7GB DVD-R/RW drives, which have been available for two years, read/write the earlier 3.95GB DVD-R discs. The combination DVD-RAM/R and DVD-R/RWdrives that have been available since 2001 and the new DVD Multi drives all provide backward compatibility.

"Several members of the RDVDC have announced that they will be shipping DVD Multi drives in volume before mid-year," said Jasionowski. "With the new drives, users have a single DVD/CD storage solution that provides the broadest compatibility and security of write-once, the flexibility of rewritable, backward compatibility, cross-device compatibility and a growth path to the future."

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