Recordable DVD News This Week
The Working Group 5 of the DVD Forum, the body responsible for the DVD-RAM format, began formulating the 4.7GB format in November 1997, and in November 1998 released the Format Book, which detailed the v.1.9 specification. Round-robin testing was begun in February of this year and the spec moved forward for final confirmation. The group claims that the decision by the Steering Committee of the DVD Forum formally approving the 4.7GB physical format as the final format will accelerate the introduction of the next generation of DVD-RAM products.
Also last week, six companies---Hewlett-Packard, Mitsubishi/Verbatim, Philips, Ricoh, Sony, and Yamaha---representing approximately 75% of the worldwide CD-ReWritable market, unveiled product-shipment plans for DVD+RW (DVD Read/Write) at PC Expo in New York. The companies see the 3GB DVD+RW spec as a natural evolution of the CD-RW format. "DVD+RW technology is the best solution for rewritable DVD because of the link to CD-RW," said Robert van Eijk of Philips Optical Storage. "We are committed to providing DVD+RW products for both data and consumer video-recording applications."
HP, Sony, and Philips state that limited quantities of DVD+RW drives are currently being made available to industry partners, with worldwide volumes expected to begin shipping this fall. Mitsubishi/Verbatim verified that it would ship DVD+RW media in the fall. Ricoh and Yamaha did not make specific product-availability announcements, but confirmed their commitment to the DVD+RW format.
The companies claim that because DVD+RW discs do not require a cartridge, they potentially can be read by DVD-ROM drives at little or no additional cost. DVD+RW is expected to appeal to users of home and business PCs who use memory-intensive applications requiring high performance and capacity, such as multimedia, graphics, CAD, document imaging, digital photography, and video applications. In addition to DVD+RW media, DVD+RW drives can read DVD-ROM, DVD movie, CD-RW, CD-Recordable (CD-R), CD-ROM, and CD audio.