DVD+RW group sets road map
By Zachary Shess
For OEMs, integrators, and end-users preparing to migrate from CD to DVD, there`s more than one road to take. The DVD+RW Compatibility Alliance (DCA) recently announced plans for its next-generation rewritable optical format, which is expected to compete with the rival DVD-RAM format. Headed by Hewlett-Packard, Philips, Ricoh, Sony, Verbatim and Yamaha, the group has agreed on specifications for a 4.7GB-per-side DVD+RW format for submission to international standards organizations later this year.
The announcement comes as some vendors, including HP and Sony, are expected to begin shipping over the next three to six months DVD+RW drives and media in the 3GB format. The 4.7GB format retains all the primary features of its predecessor, including both Constant Linear Velocity (CLV) and high-performance Constant Angular Velocity (CAV) recording; the use of a disc that does not require a caddy or cartridge; and the industry-standard UDF file system. To meet growing storage needs and to make a smooth transition to DVD, DCA members plan to work toward making DVD-ROM drives compatible with DVD+RW and CD-RW.
Announcing a road map for DVD+RW makes it clear to developers and others that DVD+RW will be a viable storage format, according to Bob DeMoulin, a marketing manager with Sony`s value-added products division. "This year you`ll start to see more public awareness of DVD as a data
storage medium, but it probably won`t be in the forefront until late this year or early 2000, when it becomes affordable like CD-RW."
The DCA was formed last June in an effort to promote the DVD+RW format, encourage compatibility with other DVD standards, and guide manufacturers through a common road map. For more information, visit the DCA Web site at www.dvdrw.org/dca.