Ray Freeman, OSTA Facilitator

Mike Manuel / George Millington,
Walt & Company Communications


Independent CD-R Testing Reveals Highest Degree of Compatibility and Ease-of-Use, Underscores OSTA Standards Effectiveness

Santa Barbara, Calif., September 15, 1997 - The most rigorous compatibility testing ever performed on Compact Disc-Recordable (CD-R) drives and media has proven the technology solid for widespread consumer use. The testing, facilitated by the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA), revealed extremely high rates of compatibility between CD-R written discs and CD-ROM readers. As a result, Compact Disc-Recordable technology can be used without hesitation for a wide range of user applications. The widespread adoption and implementation of OSTA CD-R standards is seen as a catalyst for propelling the technology into mainstream applications, ultimately benefiting all end-users requiring a stable and ubiquitous storage medium.

"The CD-ROM device is almost as universal as the floppy disc drive," said Brian Bartholemeuz of OSTA member company Eastman Kodak. "By demonstrating such high compatibility rates with CD-ROM devices, CD-R makes a strong case as a new backup medium of choice. CD-R stores almost 500 megabytes more than a floppy. When you think about it, there has never been a more powerful removable storage option available for consumers."

The OSTA CD-R test utilized 495 commercially available 74-minute CD-R discs from ten leading CD-R media suppliers, CD-R writers from twelve different manufacturers and thirteen popular high-speed CD-ROM readers. At least three discs of each type were fully written in each CD-R writer, using a standard image file. A byte-level read and compare of all the data on the fully written discs was undertaken on the CD-ROM readers, and the results were benchmarked against a pressed disc that contained the exact same test file.

When subjected to these very stringent testing criteria a greater than 96% compatibility rating was found among discs. Test results indicated an average block error rate (BLER avg.) of the disc population was 6.29 counts per second (cps) (10.1 standard deviation). Well under the specification limit of 220 cps outlined in the optical storage industry's "Orange Book" specification guide, this most recent finding was also better than the 8.3 cps (18.1 standard deviation) obtained in the preliminary compatibility study results released in February of 1997. In addition, test results determined an average CD-R read time differential of only 2% when compared with pressed discs.

The ongoing OSTA study seeks to provide users with periodic snapshots of compatibility throughout the Compact Disc-Recordable industry. The global test results are freely shared and can be viewed or downloaded by visiting the OSTA Web site at www.osta.org and selecting "Technical Information." Detailed test results are made available to participating companies on a request basis.

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 organizationís membership includes optical product manufacturers and resellers from three continents, representing more than 80 percent of worldwide writable optical product shipments. OSTA conducts its work through its 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.

# # #

Editors Note: Product and company names used here are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.