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DVD-RAM Update

16X DVD-RAM Coming By John Virata

The DVD Forum has approved a specification that will bring 16X DVD-RAM drives and media to market, perhaps as early as this fall. The RDVD council on September 3, 2005 announced 16X DVD-RAM rewritable products from Maxell, Panasonic, and HLVS (Hitachi and LG), and yesterday the DVD Forum, the organization that oversees the standard for DVD-R and DVD-RAM specifications approved the 16X format.

"We're trying to show that solutions will be available from more than one company," said Tony Jasionowski, RAMPRG Group executive director for North America and Europe, the organization that promotes the DVD-RAM format.  "We are expecting more companies to come on board. The 16X speed increase brings the DVD-RAM format to the front of the DVD rewritable pack, with DVD-R and DVD+R sitting at 8X speed.

"DVD RAM has shown that it can compete with the competition on speed issues," Jasionowski said."DVD-RAM will continue to have the benefits unique to DVD RAM such as rewrite capabilities of 10k and more, defect management for data integrity and archivability."

While the drives and media are rated at 16X, the actual speed of the drive varies across the media. DVD-RAM drives employ Constant Angular Velocity whereby the rotational speed is the same but the data rate varies across the surface of the disc. While the outer portion of 16X media can be read at 16X, the inner portion is read at 6X.

DVD-RAM use in the United States hasn't grown in popularity in the PC space versus DVD-/+R and their variants, but DVD-RAM continues to be strong in the consumer recorder environment, with 30 to 40 percent share in the set top recorder market. Jasionowski expects Super Multi Drives to boost the popularity of DVD-RAM. These drives are called Super Multi because in addition to supporting DVD-/+R and its rewritable formats, they also support DVD-RAM, as does a host of DVD authoring applications. The trend in PCs is toward the Super Multi drives. TSR-Japan, a market research firm, says DVD-RAM is actually increasing in its PC share and that by 2008, 60 percent of all DVD drives for PCs in Japan will be Super Multi (support for all 5 formats including RAM).







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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at
Related Keywords:DVD Forum , DVD-RAM, RAMPRG Group , Super Multi drives


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