Toshiba Offers Optimistic DVD Road Map

Toshiba Offers Optimistic DVD Road Map

Zachary Shess

While DVD is discussed more in consumer electronics stores than in IT shops, DVD drive and media manufacturers such as Panasonic and Toshiba America continue to build their commercial vendor coalitions by first delivering product, then addressing vertical markets and offering road maps. Toshiba, for example, last month divulged its rewritable DVD (DVD-RAM) technology road map and introduced a DVD-ROM kit for VARs and system integrators. (Toshiba`s 4.8X SD-M1202 DVD-ROM drive has been shipping since late June.)

Company officials acknowledge that momentum for consumer applications is building, but significant growth in commercial acceptance will not be seen until well into 1999.

Vertical markets with high-capacity, video-oriented storage requirements--such as the medical, communications and security industries--will be among the early DVD-RAM adopters, according to Kathy Longfellow, senior optical product manager with Toshiba. "We`re focusing on vertical markets initially because it`s a new technology and we want to make sure it`s working and the bugs are worked out before we blast it out in volume shipments," says Longfellow.

One group considering DVD is security companies that use cameras at automated teller machines. "People in the security area are excited because with DVD there`s a growth path for storing videotape and, eventually, falling prices will make it affordable," Longfellow adds.

In the first half of 2000, Toshiba expects to be shipping DVD-RAM drives that can read 4.7GB-per-side media. Longfellow believes those capacities will be high enough for autoloader and library vendors to begin implementing the drives into their products.

This article was originally published on October 01, 1998