Ray Freeman, OSTA Facilitator

Mike Manuel / George Millington,
Walt & Company Communications


Optical Storage Technology Association Outlines Compatibility of Present CD-ROM with Future DVD Technology; Undertakes Further Optical Storage Standard

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., November 15, 1996 - Future compatibility of widely-popular CD devices and their brawny new cousins, DVD drives, has been mapped by the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) - the worldwide organization that brings together manufacturers of optical storage hardware, media and software. In a single chart, OSTA outlines which present optical storage media will work with future Digital Video Disk (DVD) storage devices. The attached chart titled "CD/DVD Compatibility" solves the riddle of which discs will be readable in which drives as the market begins its anxiously-awaited transition from CD-era products to the new generation of DVD devices.

"The whirlwind of talk surrounding CD-R, CD-RW (formerly referred to as CD-E), DVD and a variety of product announcements planned for COMDEX has created confusion for many," said Ray Freeman, Facilitator of OSTA. "This chart makes clear the direction of the optical storage industry as it relates to the unfolding of DVD. Several ways are being sought to make sure all types of DVD drives will be able to read CD-R media. It's important for users of CD-class storage to understand that there is built-in value to their current products because of the standards being agreed to in the optical storage industry."

Freeman added, "As the popularity of optical storage continues to grow, users must feel comfortable about moving to more powerful storage solutions without worrying about losing access to data already recorded. That's why we created this compatibility chart, and that's why we continue to build consensus for the necessary standards in the optical storage industry."

Underlying the compatibility of present and future devices is a soon-to-be announced "Multiread" standard, which will enable future CD/DVD drives to read CD-RW discs. The "Multiread" capability, to be documented and issued by OSTA, will allow CD-RW media to be read when placed in any CD/DVD drive implementing the technology.

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. The organization's membership, comprising optical product manufacturers from three continents and representing more than 70 percent of worldwide writable optical product shipments, works to shape the future of the industry through regular meetings of CD-Writable, file interchange, market development, magneto-optical 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 through its Web site at http://www.osta.org.

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