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DVD+RW Camp Reveals Expanded Ranks

HANNOVER, GERMANY -Backers of the DVD+RW recordable disc format attempted to add momentum to their forthcoming format at the recent CeBIT show here, by announcing that the newly renamed DVD+RW Alliance had added a handful of new members, including hardware manufacturers LG Electronics and Funai.

The group also announced that “a complete offering of DVD+RW products will be available this summer.”

The Alliance-which includes Hewlett-Packard, Mitsubishi Chemical, Philips, Ricoh, Sony, Thomson and Yamaha-said its members now include more than 17 independent software vendors, including recent additions Funai and LG. However, a recent statement from LG indicated the company would explore multiple DVD-recordable formats.

Among other Alliance members announced at the show were Ahead, BHA, Dazzle Digital Video Products, GEAR Software, MedioStream, MGI, NewTech Infosystems, Pinnacle Systems, Quantized Systems, Ravisent Technologies, Roxio, Software Architects, Sonic Solutions, Spruce Technologies, Ulead Systems, Veritas Software, Vitec and Zapex Technologies.

The DVD+RW Alliance is described as “a voluntary association of industry-leading personal computing manufacturers, optical storage and consumer electronics manufacturers that have aligned to promote and develop products that use the Philips and Sony-developed DVD+RW disc format.”

The DVD+RW Alliance “seeks to develop and promote a universally compatible, rewritable DVD format to enable true convergence between personal computing and consumer electronics products. The DVD discs written on a DVD+RW recorder can be read and played on almost all existing and future DVD-Video players and DVD-ROM drives. Among the competing rewritable DVD formats, only DVD+RW was designed from the start to have two-way compatibility,” according to a statement released by the group.

Forthcoming hardware products will include both data drives for PCs, DVD+RW video recording decks, media and software.

A number of Alliance companies used CeBIT to demonstrate both video and data applications based on DVD+RW formatted discs.

The companies stressed “the unique two-way compatibility of the DVD+RW format” between video recorders and legacy DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives.

Meanwhile, Pioneer made its statement for the rival DVD-RW camp at CeBIT by unveiling a DVD-RW disc drive for PCs, model DVR-A02, which will sell for around $890.