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DVD+RW Prototype Drives Unveiled at Fall COMDEX 2000

Six Companies Discuss DVD+RW Roadmap, Market Conditions and Demonstrate Format's Compatibility With Current Installed Base of DVD Players

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Hewlett-Packard Company, Philips Electronics and Ricoh Company Ltd., three of the six CD-ReWritable technology industry leaders supporting the DVD+RW format, today displayed prototype DVD+RW drives during a breakfast event held at Fall COMDEX 2000. DVD+RW supporters MCC/Verbatim, Sony Corporation and Yamaha Corporation also participated in the event.

The gathering marked the first time the DVD+RW format's compatibility was demonstrated in the United States by burning content onto a DVD+RW disc in real-time using a DVD+RW drive installed in a personal computer and then playing that disc using standard "off-the-shelf" consumer DVD video players. To further demonstrate the convergence possibilities of the DVD+RW format, another real-time recording was made on a consumer DVD+RW video recorder and played back in both a DVD-ROM drive installed in a personal computer and the consumer DVD video players.

"We are confident that DVD+RW will emerge as the consumer's choice in the alphabet soup of confusing acronyms and jargon surrounding rewritable DVD," said John Spofford, vice president and general manager, HP Personal Storage Solutions. "Simply put, DVD+RW protects the consumer's investment in DVD equipment and like CD-RW, it offers the ability to record many times on the same DVD disc, something consumers really want."

Right Format at the Right Time

Although critics of DVD+RW have questioned the group's ability to deliver product on the same time schedule as competing formats, the six companies echoed the opinions of industry experts who believe consumer demand for rewritable DVD will begin to grow in late 2001 at about the same time when DVD+RW players, drives and media will be available to consumers.

"The positive price/value relationship for rewritable technology is clearly in the CD business right now. Sales of CD rewritables are up 68 percent over last year at aggressive price points for both hardware and media," said Stephen Baker, vice president of technology products research and analysis, PC Data. "DVD-ROM's popularity is growing very quickly now. In August, more than 18 percent of desktop computers and 48 percent of notebooks sold at retail included a DVD drive. By next year, we expect this popularity will evolve into increased consumer demand for rewritable DVD."

"DVD+RW is the format of choice for consumers, and that means providing product when the market is ready and when the technology can deliver what the market demands," said Robert van Eijk, general manager, Philips Optical Storage North America. "The technology industry has been notorious for pushing technologies to market just because they could -- DVD+RW is coming to market because it should."

The COMDEX event was part of an ongoing series of DVD+RW initiatives. For more information concerning DVD+RW, interested parties can visit www.dvdrw.com.

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

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 239,370 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. 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.

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 MP9120A drive, which can handle not just CD-ROM, CD-R or CD-RW media, but can even play back DVD-ROMs in one unit. Additionally, "JustLink" which is new buffer under run prevention technology is applied on the drive. 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 is the world's largest musical instrument manufacturer. While Yamaha products have changed with the times and have seen extensive diversification, neither the products nor the foundation of Yamaha's business has strayed far from its original focus on sound. New Yamaha business ventures are expanding from its fundamental expertise in sound, music and multimedia, and innovative products such as Yamaha sound and image LSIs are used widely in computers and game units. Yamaha also anticipates a substantial increase in sales of CD-RW drives and other products central to the fast-developing field of information technology. The Yamaha Group now has 61 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. More information about Yamaha can be found on their website at http://www.yamaha.co.jp/ .

SOURCE: Hewlett-Packard Company




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