Ray Freeman, OSTA Facilitator

Mike Manuel / George Millington,
Walt & Company Communications


OSTA Again Forges Consensus in Optical Storage Industry, Benefiting End Users

Santa Barbara, Calif., July 15, 1997 – A new hardware specification --"MultiRead"-- recently approved by the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) will enable all classes of CD discs to be read on future CD and DVD devices. The MultiRead ratification again demonstrates OSTA's strong commitment to foster product compatibility for end users.

"The MultiRead program creates a clear mechanism for the user to identify CD and DVD drives that can read the billions of Audio CD, CD-ROM, CD-Recordable (CD-R) and

CD-ReWritable (CD-RW) discs that continue to appear in the market place," said Cornelis Klik of Philips Electronics, Chairman of OSTA's CD-Writable Committee responsible for completion of the MultiRead project. "The MultiRead feature marks a true milestone in the migration path from the world of CD into the DVD domain by aiming to protect consumer investment in software," he added.

In addition, William Kopatich, OSTA chairman and VP of Optical Storage Products at Verbatim stated that "The adoption of MultiRead provides significant consumer benefit.

The OSTA organization has made a major contribution by bringing about industry consensus on this specification, consensus in favor of the widest possible compatibility of CD and DVD media and drives."

Consistent with OSTA's vision of assuring broad compatibility for the user, the development of testing criteria to ensure compliance with the new specification is under way. A MultiRead logo program administered by OSTA member company Hewlett-Packard will identify compliant products, ensuring end users of compatibility at the retail level.

Adopted and issued by OSTA, the MultiRead specification sets the parameters necessary for optical devices to be capable of reading discs created in CD formats. Specifically, any optical device adhering to the specification will be capable of reading audio CD, CD-ROM, CD-R and CD-RW discs. All CD-RW drives will be MultiRead compliant, and many future CD-ROM and CD-R drives will incorporate MultiRead capability as well. In addition, most future DVD-ROM and DVD-R devices are expected to comply with the specification.

The MultiRead specification is available for viewing and downloading on the OSTA Web site at http://www.osta.org/html/ostatech.html

OSTA Background

The Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) was incorporated as an international trade association in 1992 to promote the use of writable optical technologies and products for storage of computer data. OSTA works to shape the future of the industry by making optical storage easier to install and use, increasing market awareness and understanding, enabling advances that meet customer needs and defining common implementations of standards. The organization's membership includes optical product manufacturers and resellers from three continents, representing more than 80 percent of worldwide writable optical product shipments. OSTA specifications are developed through the work of CD-writable, file interchange, magneto-optical, market development, and planning committees. Interested companies worldwide are invited to join the organization and participate in its programs by contacting an OSTA representative at 805/963-3853 or by addressing its Web site at http://www.osta.org.

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