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August 13, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:18pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Thought the Digital Versatile Disk-Random Access Memory (DVD-RAM) standard for next-generation read/write optical memory storage in computers was a done deal? Think again. Sony Corp, Philips Electronics NV and Hewlett-Packard Co, three of the ten major electronics companies to agree on a common DVD-RAM format in April (CI No 3,141), have applied to the European Computer Manufacturers Association for approval of their own format of DVD-RAM. The European approval is likely to take from six months to a year. Sony said it will remain a member of the group of ten, which also includes Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd and Hitachi Ltd, but said it will not now introduce products based on the common format. The three companies claim their format is more compatible with DVD-ROMs, which are already used in personal computers, than the common format. The three are offering storage capacity of 3 gigabits, compared with the common format’s 2.6 gigabits. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports the companies are unhappy with the common standard and are at odds with the other seven makers over patent policies. The formats will not be compatible because the recording methods will differ. Before April’s DVD agreement (CI No 3,141), Sony and Philips were competing with Matsushita and Toshiba. All sides finally agreed to an compromise proposed by Hitachi, but Sony and Philips were reportedly not satisfied with the standard, and claimed it was too similar to the proposal from Matsushita and Toshiba. DVD-ROMs are already in use in PCs and consumer electronic devices.

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