DVD Deja Vu

DVD Deja Vu

Let me see if I really understand Steve Hammond`s article regarding rewritable DVD [March, "Deja Vu All Over Again?"].

1. Hollywood wants, and their DVD Advisory Group requests, one standard to replace the aging and costly VHS and laser disc delivery mechanism.

2. Members of the computer industry form an alliance for the next generation technology for data and image storage

3. Ten of the major players--Hitachi, Matsushita, JVC, Philips, Mitsubishi, Pioneer, Times Warner, Sony, Thompson and Toshiba--develop a cooperative/competitive forum to meet these requirements

4. The members reach an agreement and approve the standard and the specification. Members of the DVD Forum approve the standard and specification. Everyone is happy.

5. OSTA develops a standard that will ensure backward read compatibility with all of the software and content that is available.

6. "Suddenly," dissidents feel everyone is wrong, so they develop a solution the market really wants and needs. Oh, and the "better" solution is based on their patents and not those of the DVD Forum.

Now we come to the heart of the issue: the 125-member DVD Forum`s DVD-RAM standard and a DVD+RW, or PC+RW, standard backed by a handful of manufacturers. DVD-RAM manufacturers are shipping product while DVD+RW advocates show us laboratory models and promises. IBM used to do that. Microsoft continues to do it. It`s called preannouncement, or "let`s stall the marketplace."

I don`t believe the computer, motion picture, audio and other industries that want rewritable DVD are impressed by the few who are concerned about protecting a 25-year patent cash flow. Ultimately, the computer and other industries will have to choose between the companies who sat down and hammered out a single solution, or give in to those who`s first concern is cash flow...not customers.

Someone forgot...sometimes, the customer is right!

Andy Marken

Marken Communications



Stay tuned. Our July cover story focuses on DVD and the rewritable format controversy.

This article was originally published on June 01, 1998