Last week?s agreement of a standard for DVD RAM drives by a consortium of vendors has been hailed as a breakthrough and could pave the way for the first appearance of recordable drives as early as the end of this year.
Little has been announced on the details of the standard but the consortium members are believed to include Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, Pioneer Electronics, Matsushita Electric and Time Warner. Sony and Philips Electronics, which both have interests in other CD technology were reported to have abstained from the vote.
DVD RAM will enable users to record sound and imagees as opposed to DVD ROMs can only play back. DVD will likely appear first on PCs for business users since many issues have yet to ironed out in the consumer market For instance developers have to decide whether to support either or both the NTSC or PAL television standards.
Toshiba is reported to be planning a launch of a DVD-RAM drive by the end of the year for the business market. DVD ROMs for PCs are already available in the US and Japan.
The company recently announced two DVD reference design tools, a DVD evaluation kit and a DVD design kit for PC OEMs and add-in card manufacturers. The evaluation kit includes a full-featured DVD decoder based on Toshiba?s DVD chipset as well as a DVD-ROM drive, a DVD sample disk and software device drivers.
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