Further signs of factionalism which threaten to rip apart agreement on DVD standards emerged yesterday when NEC said it will produce its own competing optical solution.
Two days ago, Sony and Philips lined up against Matsushita, Hitachi and Toshiba and said they would develop their own DVD standard.
And yesterday, NEC, also a member of the DVD forum, said it would introduce its own proprietary optical drive next year with twice the recording capacity of DVD drives.
That looks set to make the situation irretrievable as different factions pursue their own proprietary optical drive solutions in an attempt to capture the potentially lucrative market.
It is also likely to prove a setback to Hollywood's plans to sell films on optical platters until the dust settles.
The implications for the PC industry are that until one de facto standard emerges, CD-Roms are likely to continue in their present form.
Manufacturers like Mitsumi are already making 24-speed CD-Rom devices but DVD read-only units are still not widely used.
NEC's device to be introduced next year, will hold nearly six gigabytes of data, amounting to two hours of video. That would make it suitable for storing films.
Under pressure from Hollywood, the DVD consortium earlier this year agreed that film would be limited to one hour. Very few feature films are that short.
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