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CD-RW Industry Leaders Introduce New DVD+RW Initiatives
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 28, 2000--Hewlett-Packard Company, MCC/Verbatim, Philips Electronics, Ricoh Company Ltd., Sony Corporation and Yamaha Corporation, the industry leaders in CD-ReWritable technology, today announced two new initiatives designed to speed 4.7GB DVD+RW acceptance within the PC and consumer-electronics (CE) industries.

The group, in a presentation to media and analysts gathered in New York for PC Expo, outlined plans for a program to make DVD+RW verification tools and media available to DVD-ROM drive and DVD video-player manufacturers.

The DVD+RW verification program is designed to ensure continued compatibility and to answer manufacturers' questions regarding the format. The six companies openly invited all manufacturers to participate in the program. Interested parties can find specific information on how to participate in this program on Philips' Web site at http://www.licensing.philips.com/dvdsystems/dvdtestdiscs.html.

The companies called 4.7GB DVD+RW a "natural evolution" of the successful CD-RW format and an important step in the growth path from CD to DVD. The 4.7GB DVD+RW format was designed to be compatible with the rapidly growing installed base of DVD-ROM drives and DVD video players.

"With DVD+RW, the burden of compatibility is on the writer, not the reader," said John Spofford, general manager of HP's Colorado Personal Storage Solutions. "The DVD+RW format was designed to be compatible with DVD video readers from the beginning, allowing consumers to record a DVD+RW disc that can be played back in the more than 140 million DVD-ROM drives and DVD video players that will be in use by the end of 2001."

The companies also announced the availability of separate specifications for real-time video recording on DVD+RW media. This release of DVD+RW video-recording specifications for the first time enables the full interchange of video between the PC and CE platforms, offering high-quality DVD video performance, including variable bit rate for optimal picture quality.

"DVD+RW combines physical, logical and application-level compatibility with the existing installed base of DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives, as well as the interchangeability of the media and content in both PC and video environments," said Robert van Eijk, general manager, Philips Optical Storage North America. "Now that the specifications are available for real-time DVD+RW video recording, we are offering a complete compatibility solution to benefit both the industry and the consumer -- one that is not available through any other solution."

The PC Expo event was moderated by John Freeman, president of Strategic Marketing Decisions.

"The growth of the CD industry has been strengthened by the addition of writable media that has permitted the generation of personalized content to be shared among the installed-base of CD-ROM and CD-audio drives," said Freeman. "The growth of the DVD industry also depends on its ability to produce personalized content on writable media that can be shared on both computer-based DVD-ROM and appliance-based DVD-video and DVD-audio drives."

The PC Expo event was part of an ongoing series of DVD+RW initiatives. The six companies publicly demonstrated real-time DVD+RW video recording and compatibility with existing DVD video and DVD-ROM drives at CeBIT 2000 earlier this year.

About HP

Hewlett-Packard Company -- a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services -- is focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to individuals and businesses through simple appliances, useful e-services and an Internet infrastructure that's always on.

HP has 86,000 employees worldwide and had total revenue from continuing operations of $42.4 billion in its 1999 fiscal year. Information about HP and its products can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.hp.com.

About Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) is Japan's largest chemical company and one of the world's leading manufacturers of information storage products. In a line-up of data and image storage media, MCC holds a strong market share in markets such as DVD-R disks, CD-R and CD-RW disks, 90 mm and 130 mm MO disks, 130 mm WORM disks, hard disk media, as well as tape cartridges and floppy disks. Many of these products are marketed through Verbatim Corporation, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of MCC. Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has approximately 10,000 employees, and on a consolidated basis recorded revenues of approximately $13 billion for the year ended March 31, 1999. Interested parties can contact the company by calling 81-3-3283-6631 or by faxing to 81-3-3283-6966.

About Philips Electronics

Philips Optical Storage, a business group of Philips Electronics, is widely recognized as an industry leader in Compact Disc and related technologies, products and markets since the introduction of the first audio CD product in 1982. Philips is a major supplier of CD-ROM subassemblies and components to drive manufacturers and leads the industry in the rapidly growing market for CD-RW drives. Through its strong position in both CD and DVD technologies, Philips is well positioned to offer leading-edge optical storage solutions to PC and audio/video markets for many years to come. Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of $33.5 billion (EUR 31.5 billion) in 1999. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, color picture tubes for televisions and monitors, and one-chip TV products. Its 226,900 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors, medical systems, and IT services (Origin). Philips is quoted on the NYSE (symbol:PHG), London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. News from Philips is located at www.news.philips.com

About Ricoh Company, Ltd.

Ricoh Company, Ltd. is one of the world's leading manufacturers of office equipment. Ricoh is the first manufacturer of CD-RW media and CD-R/RW drives, and is also a manufacturer of CD-R media. Ricoh immediately incorporates the latest CD-RW standards to produce high-speed reliable products. With the combination of media and drive technology, Ricoh is offering high performance and reliable optical disc products. One example is the unique MP9060A drive, which can handle not just CD-ROM, CD-R or CD-RW media, but can even play back DVD-ROMs in one unit. The Ricoh group consists of 122 consolidated subsidiaries and affiliates in Japan and 205 overseas, which include production, sales as well as research and development facilities. As of March 2000, the Ricoh group employed approximately 67,300 people with recorded annual revenues of $14.05 billion. Additional information about Ricoh and its products can be found at http://www.ricoh.co.jp

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be a leading broadband entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of more than $63 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000. Sony's Home Page URL: http://www.world.sony.com/

About Yamaha Corporation

Yamaha Corporation, the world's largest musical instrument manufacturer, offers a diversity of sound, music and multimedia products. Though Yamaha products have changed with the times and have seen extensive diversification, neither our products nor the foundation of our business has strayed from our original focus on sound. New Yamaha business ventures are expanding from our fundamental expertise in sound, music and multimedia. Multimedia is an area of explosive growth, and innovative products such as Yamaha sound and image LSI are used widely in computers and game units. Yamaha also anticipates a substantial increase in CD-RW drives and other product sales central to the fast developing field of information technology. Yamaha now owns 52 subsidiaries and representative offices in overseas markets in addition to numerous related companies in Japan. Yamaha recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $5 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000. Yamaha's Home Page URL: http://www.yamaha.co.jp/




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