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Optical Storage

February 2005
Volume 2
Number 1

In This Issue:

• Preview of
Quarterly Meetings,
Feb. 28 - March 1 2005
in San Francisco
pgs. 1-2

• Save the Date:
OSS 2005 to be held
Sept. 12-14,
in San Francisco

• COSA Developing
Tests for Archive Media
with NIST and ANSI,
page 2.

• Nano-Optics:
Applications for Optical
Pick-up Units, pg. 4.

• MPV Broadcast TV
Profile, pg. 5

Specification, pg. 6

• First Digital Camera
Plugfest, pg. 6 – 7

• Photo Highlights
from OSS 2004,
pg. 8

• On the Horizon,
David Bunzel, OSTA
President, p. 9


OSTA Quarterly Meeting Preview

MPV Committee
MPV Committee Broadcast Television Profile Approved; Vote on
Interoperability Specs and Work on Additional Profiles Will Be
Focus of Two-day Meeting, Feb. 28-March 1

OSTA’s MPV™ (MusicPhotoVideo™) Committee will hold a two-day quarterly meeting, Feb. 28 and March 1, in San Francisco to allow additional time for the development of the specifications in progress. Action items for this session include formal adoption of the MPV Interoperability Specification, version 1.0; continued development by the working groups of the Camera Profile, Portable Storage Profile and Print Profile. The MPV Interoperability Specification, v 1.0 candidate is currently posted on the MPV website for member review and a summary can be found on page 6..

OSTA’s MPV Committee has also approved and introduced the Broadcast Television Profile, (see page 5) a new standard that sets a benchmark for the exchange of descriptive program content and increases compatibility between consumer electronics (CE) products, enabling consumers to easily access program information recorded on digital video recorders (DVRs). The Camera, Portable Storage and Print Profiles underway will further extend the range of devices that support the MPV spec. The general MPV Committee meeting and working group sessions will be held on Feb. 28 and March 1st at the Embassy Suites in SF.

Marketing Committee
March Meeting to Define Sessions for OSS 2005; Special
Presentation on Nano-Technology for Optical Storage

March 1 during OSTA’s next quarterly meeting, to help refine themes, sessions and multiple tracks planned this year at OSTA’s fourth annual Optical Storage Symposium. One track will address issues related to Commercial Optical Storage Applications, focusing on archival data storage, with sessions on archive compliance requirements and standards, and how optical storage fits into the overall data archival picture. A second track will explore advanced technologies, competing storage solutions and issues related to storage and data interoperability for Digital Home applications. OSS 2005 is scheduled for Sept. 12-14 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in South San Francisco.

In addition to OSS 2005 planning, a special technology presentation is planned on Nano-Optics. Find out how nanotechnology applies to optical storage and may make optical pickup units smaller, better and cheaper. For details on the presentation, planned for 3:30 p.m., see page 4.

A complete schedule for the quarterly OSTA meetings to be held Feb. 28- March 2 can be found on the web at

COSA is developing a
Media Life
Expectancy Test in
conjunction with NIST

A second test,
Verification and
Monitoring of Data on
Optical Media, is
being developed with
ANSI to help users
test whether data
already archived to a
disc is still safe, or if
it should be copied.

Blue Laser Technology Committee Forming

The OSTA Board of Directors has authorized the creation of a new "ad hoc" committee to address the growing amount of industry activity in blue laser technology based optical recording. Bob Zollo, OSTA Vice Chairman, is chairing this initiative pending appointment of a permanent committee chair.

The purpose of this committee is to provide OSTA members with a forum that focuses on the growing number of blue laser based technologies and issues that impact our industry.

Proposed functions include:

1. Publish a comprehensive roadmap of all blue laser technologies and stake holders to provide an OSTA overview of industry activity.

2. Publish FAQ's on blue laser technologies, related consortiums, and commercialized product categories to aid OSTA members and the editorial community in understanding how this important new optical technology is positioned relative to current optical recording technologies.

3. Provide a forum for blue laser product vendors and technology consortiums to inform OSTA members on their activities, products and plans.

Anyone interested in participating please contact Bob Zollo,: infoostaorg

COSA Committee
Tests Being Developed with NIST and ANSI for Archive Media

The archive and compliance storage market is one of the fastest growing segments in the storage industry, being driven by many new regulations worldwide. To help promote optical storage for archive applications, OSTA’s Commercial Optical Storage Applications (COSA) Committee, in conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), is developing two media tests to assist archival users. The Media Life Expectancy Test will validate certain optical media for long-term use for archival storage. A second test under development, called Verification and Monitoring of Data on Optical Media, can be run on optical media by the user or technician after data is written to it to verify how the data is doing and whether or not it needs to be copied to another disk.

The COSA committee meeting is planned for 1:00PM - 5:00PM on Monday, February 28th, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in South San Francisco. The committee will recap progress on the Media Life Expectancy Test, and form a working group for a second test for Verification and Monitoring of Data on Optical Media.

Fred Byers, from NIST, will discuss test data requirements for the Media Life Expectancy Test and finalize input from media suppliers. From this data, and any related discussions, he can then move forward to complete a proposed test paper to circulate for review.

For more information
on the activities of
OSTA’s Commercial
Optical Storage
committee, visit

White papers and case
studies on archival
storage are available on
- Army Optical Library
- CD Series Libraries
- Southwest Oncology
- Trustworthy Optical
- Optical Discs for

Presentations by Fred
Byers, NIST on Optical
Media Grade
Measurement Tests are
also available.

The resulting test will be a shortened version of the current ISO test that deals with media life expectancy. The goal of this work is to come up with a new test that media manufacturers will support and use, then work with ISO to make it the media life test. The end result would be some sort of sticker from NIST or OSTA signifying that the media has been through the test, which would sample media that is suited for archive applications.

Robert Blatt, ANSI/AIIM C21 Committee Chair will also attend the upcoming COSA meeting to provide ANSI/ISO project updates and lead an interactive discussion on ISO standards in process, including ISO Optical – Verification and Monitoring of Data on Optical Media, and the status of ANSI/AIIM TR 41 Optical Storage Technology TR Status. He will discuss suggested new ANSI/AIIM projects, upcoming meetings, and how COSA members can participate in ANSI/ISO activities.

All members of the OSTA COSA group are highly encouraged to participate in these discussions and share their thoughts on how to best share optical technology information with end-users and organizations through the standards program and COSA Marketing efforts.

Additional agenda items for the COSA meeting are new white papers to post, and planning the COSA track at OSS 2005. For more details on COSA’s activity, read on.

The COSA Committee includes members committed to being the global authority and information repository on optical data archival systems, applications, and solutions for regulatory markets that dictate long-term storage in a non-alterable format.

COSA evolved from the High Performance Technical Committee as a marketing and educational group to address the need for compliance storage products in the light of emerging new requirements in regulated industries such as Government, Medical, Financial and Legal.

COSA is helping manufactures to identify and address the needs of compliant, removable, non-alterable storage products such as optical drives and libraries. Optical technology vendors recognize the need to create a strong organized approach to introduce products that meet critical business needs and to educate technical resellers and service providers.

COSA’s charter is to promote storage solutions that incorporate optical storage technology to meet the growing need for regulatory compliance with regards to long-term data retention and/or in a non-alterable format; provide education and information about compliance storage technologies to the industry, resellers and end user customers; explain how these technologies operate; define the integration process that enables its use, and provide growth and development in markets for automated storage technology.

Information on implemented solutions in various regulatory vertical markets such as Government, Medical, Financial and Legal can be found in the COSA section of OSTA’s website, along with white papers on data retention requirements and technical updates.

Dr. Hubert Kostal
Vice-President for
Marketing and Sales,
NanoOpto Corp. will
present an overview
of nano-optics and
their applications in
optical storage at the
OSTA quarterly
Marketing Committee

Presentation March 1st
at 3:30pm.

This nano-scale,
wideband, achromatic
quarter waveplate has
applications in
entertainment, mobile
systems and computing.
The new technology
improves performance,
increases compactness,
improves reliability,
reduces assembly costs,
and simplifies the design
of DVD/CD read/write
combination drives.

Nano-optics: Smaller. Better. Cheaper.
Novel Applications for Optical Pick-up

Nano-optics are a new class of optical devices that take advantage of the unique physical behaviors observed when light shines through materials formed into nano-meter scale structures. These principles, which apply to any wavelength range, can be used to build discrete and integrated optics that exhibit smaller form factors, better performance, and greater robustness than many traditional optical components.

For optical pick-up units (OPUs), nano-optic devices can replace waveplates (shown below) and polarization beam splitters, either individually or in combination. These devices have advantages: ease of assembly, improved performance, improved environmental robustness, and size reduction for a number of OPU architectures and applications. Because nano-optics can be designed for any wavelength and to support broad wavelength ranges, they can be applied to standard CD and DVD drives, combo drives, and HD-DVD/Blu-Ray drives.

In a presentation to the OSTA Marketing Committee, Dr. Hubert Kostal, Vice-President for Marketing and Sales at NanoOpto Corp., will provide a short overview of nano-optics, the principles that they are based on, their application to OPUs, the improvements in assembly and performance they enable, and new developments and technology directions. Dr. Kostal is a 17-year telecommunications industry veteran, working for both startups and established companies. At NanoOpto, he is responsible for introducing the first commercial products based on nanotechnology to the communications industry. Dr. Kostal’s talk is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on March 1, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Francisco, as part of the Feb/ March OSTA quarterly meeting.

MPV Broadcast TV Profile
New Profile Now Available to CE Industry Allows for Easier Transport of TV Show Description Data in DVRs

OSTA has approved and introduced the MPV™ (MusicPhotoVideo™) Broadcast Television Profile, a new standard that sets a benchmark for the exchange of descriptive program content and increases compatibility between consumer electronics (CE) products. The intent of the Broadcast Television Profile is to enable consumers to easily access program information recorded on digital video recorders (DVRs) equipped to use the Profile metadata, thus enhancing their digital consumer electronics experience.

OSTA’s 53 member and associate companies, which include consumer electronics manufacturers and technology developers, created the MPV Broadcast Television Profile under the direction of development group chair, Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMST), the leading provider of television information and guidance. The MPV Broadcast Television Profile has been approved by OSTA members and is currently available to the industry for download via the OSTA website at

“The release of the MPV Broadcast Television Profile is a significant milestone in providing consumers with an outstanding entertainment experience,” said Felix Nemirovsky, chairman of the MPV Committee for OSTA. “With the growing popularity of DVR products in the marketplace, users need methods for better managing their recorded video content. We were able to design a consistent method for describing recorded programming, enabling exciting new applications for users to view, edit, archive, and further manipulate their rapidly growing libraries of television content.”

Added Eric Shalkey, director, Engineering, Personal Video Recording for TV Guide On Screen, Gemstar-TV Guide’s IPG for consumer electronics, “With this new ability to offer standardized broadcast TV show description data, consumer electronics manufacturers will add significant value to their products by allowing for greater product flexibility and the richest television description experience available to consumers to date. As the leading provider of interactive program guides to both the CE and cable industries, as well as quality metadata through a variety of platforms, Gemstar-TV Guide is uniquely positioned at the center of all these products and technologies to help drive the evolution of metadata standards. We’re very excited to be the voice for OSTA on this project and share this accomplishment with its members.”

Developed by OSTA, MPV is a standard for accessing and exchanging collections of digital music, photos, and videos among consumer electronics devices and PCs on CDs, DVDs, memory cards, hard disks, home networks, and across the internet. Using MPV, OSTA companies have implemented models for music, digital cameras, and DVD technology. The Broadcast Television Profile, the latest extension of the MPV paradigm, will serve as the basis of next generation DVRs and personal computer software solutions.




The objective of the
Specification is to
make consistent
MPV playlist
writing, reading and
playback to ensure
between devices
that conform to the

MPV Interoperability Specification
Formal Adoption Planned at Feb. 28 MPV Committee Meeting

The MPV Interoperability Specification, v 1.0 candidate is currently posted on the MPV website, and formal adoption is planned during the Feb. 28 quarterly MPV Committee meeting.

The MPV Interoperability Specification makes use of existing MPV specifications ([MPVCore], [MPVBasic], [MPVPresentation], [MPVMusic]) and combines them with additional specific requirements to define tightly the usage of these MPV profiles to guarantee interoperability between devices and applications that conform to the MPV Interoperability Specification. The MPV Interoperability Specification introduces no new schema or metadata. The entire MPV Interoperability Specification consists of practices that dictate how the other MPV specifications are used.

The objective of the MPV Interoperability Specification is to make consistent MPV playlist writing, reading, and playback. Notably, this is achieved in some cases by overriding or limiting the use of certain aspects of the referenced MPV specifications, where their capabilities are too broad, to imprecise, or otherwise unsuitable for broad implementation across a full range of applications and devices, including those with limited capacities, such as limited RAM and Flash ROM memory and CPU and I/O performance. These limitations and consistent practices enable writers and readers to be highly interoperable, enabling consumers to expect and experience compatibility and interoperability of MPV devices.

First Digital Camera Plugfest
Completed at OSS 2004

Well-Attended Event Demonstrated Need for Better Digital
Image Compatibility Specifications

OSTA’s MPV Committee hosted its first Digital Camera Plugfest at OSS 2004 in San Francisco last October. Plugfest participants included 14 manufacturers representing a diverse range of digital cameras, TVs, photo management software, portable media platforms, DVD players and other devices that take, manipulate or playback digital images.

The event was held as a first step in improving digital photo compatibility standards. Current compatibility standards are not robust enough to meet consumer needs in this high-growth market. In 2004, more than 300 million digital photo capture products were sold, and not all of these were digital cameras. New connectivity modes, outside of the traditional PC environment, have emerged, including USB OTG (device to device), wireless networking, and myriad


Goals of the Digital
Camera Plugfest:

1) Compatibility
Testing Forum for:
- Digital Still Cameras
- Photo Management
- Personal/Portable Media
- AC-powered Media
Players – DVD and STB
- Portable Storage and
Card Readers
- Photo Phones
- Printers

2) Forum for
- Twice yearly
opportunity to discuss
industry standard
compatibility issues

3) Opportunity for

OSTA’s first Digital
Camera Plugfest was
well attended and
provided an opportunity
to test compatibility and
transfer of digital
images among a wide
variety of digital
photography equipment,
software, storage and
rendering devices

forms of removable, HDD, and optical storage. The existing DCF standard is targeted only at digital cameras, EXIF provides limited metadata capabilities, and the PASS Initiative from Kodak, Fuji and Konica-Minolta targets a compatibility standard, but does not address all aspects. Collections and slideshows are in need of an industry standard.

OSTA’s first Digital Camera Plugfest was attended by Aiptek (cameras), Casio (cameras), Epson (Livingstation TV), HP (cameras and software), IDS (Portable Optical and HDD Player Products), iRiver (portable media player and camera), Kodak (cameras), Olympus (cameras), PortalPlayer (portable media player platform), Software Architects, Inc. (test software), Tatung (cameras), Thomson/RCA (portable media player and DVD player) and Trace Affex.

Felix Nemirovsky, MPV Committee Chair (shown at right) presented initial results that showed a need for continued Plugfest activity. Significant problems exist with about 20 percent incompatibility in rudimentary connectivity and transfer of photos, and about 80 percent incompatibility in transfer of overall experience, such as the ability to play slideshows or albums. There are a number of parallel activities from other organizations that seek similar results, but there is not another practical plugfest at this time.

All attendees agreed to future plugfests, targeting two per year, with one in the U.S. and the other in Japan. The goals of the future Digital Camera Plugfest are 1) to provide a twice-yearly forum for compatibility between new products including digital still cameras, photo management software, personal/portable media players, AC-powered digital media players including DVD players and set-top boxes, portable storage and card readers, photo phones and printers; 2) provide a forum for proposals to discuss industry standard-based compatibility among digital photography equipment, software, storage and recording devices; and 3) provide an opportunity for technical networking.

Longer-term goals are to support efforts to develop a compatibility specification that addresses file formats, connectivity requirements and suggestions, and includes a metadata format that enables transferable, compatible slideshows and collections. Additional goals are to identify and study use-cases for connecting digital cameras to compatible devices and software, and help participating companies greatly improve user experiences of their products.




Opening Keynote,
“ Customer-Driven
Innovation in the World
of CE,” presented an
overview of how Best
Buy, the nation’s largest
CE retailer, adjusts it’s
business to serve
different market

Closing reception at the
end of the two-day
symposium provided one
more opportunity for

Photo Highlights: Optical
Storage Symposium 2004

A joint OSTA/CEA session, “Blue Laser Goes to Market,” addressed the challenges of transitioning to next-generation DVD technologies from the retailer’s and distributor’s perspective. Perry Solomon, Aleratec, moderated the panel, which included Mike Shelton, Senior Director, Business Development, Ingram Micro, Inc. ; Gary Larson, Sales Manager, Century Stereo, and John Tonthat, General Manager, Direct Marketer and Retail Business Unit, Bell Microproducts, Inc.

Parker Lee, OSTA Chairman, welcomes attendees at “Digital Imaging’s Drive into the Digital Home,” an insightful panel moderated by Phillipe Cassereau, Engineer-ing VP for Roxio, with panelists including Rajeev Mishra, Epson, Michael Stelts, Thomson, Inc., Christopher Wu, Snapfish, William Queen, Zoran Corp. and Tom Berarducci, Eastman Kodak Company, exchanging views on whether consumers are likely to view digital images on TV, and how they will establish connectivity between digital imaging devices and other CE devices in the home.



19925 Stevens Creek
Blvd. Cupertino,
CA 95014 USA

David Bunzel
(408) 253-3695
(408) 253-9938 FAX

Visit OSTA on the
Web at

Newsletter Editor
Jan Johnson
Multipath Comms.


On The Horizon
By David Bunzel
Optical Storage Technology Association

On behalf of the Optical Storage Technology Association, and its member and associate companies from around the world, I am pleased to welcome you to another informative edition of Optical Storage News.

I’m very pleased with the efforts on a variety of areas that are underway throughout OSTA to develop specifications to improve compatibility, as shown by the numerous activities underway by our MPV Committee, develop tests to support archival storage on optical disc, and help spread the word about next-generation technologies like nano-optics and how it can be applied to optical storage. The organization is aggressively moving forward with multiple initiatives, general industry evangelism, and goodwill efforts to proactively promote the worldwide utilization and manufacture of these technologies.

OSTA encourages you to provide the organization with any feedback you may have regarding this newsletter. I also would like to invite interested industry participants to attend our next quarterly meeting. For more information on membership or the organization’s activities, visit the OSTA Web site at, or contact Debbie Maguire, OSTA Administrator, at (408) 253-3695 or at debbieostaorg.

Warmest regards,
David Bunzel
Optical Storage Technology Association



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