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GEAR Pro DVD Software Unleashes Versatility of Panasonic DVD-RAM Drive

Creates Hybrid ISO 9660/UDF DVD-RAM Discs for Playback on All MultiRead2-compliant Drives

MILPITAS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 16, 2000-- GEAR Software, Inc. joined Panasonic Industrial Company today in announcing that GEAR Pro DVD(tm) v2.0 supports Panasonic's DVD-RAM drive. By combining the products in a Windows® 9X/NT environment, DVD game title and video content developers can use a single, rewriteable DVD disc for testing, review, pre-production and archiving of digital audio, video or game titles. The 5.2GB DVD-RAM media provides about eight times the capacity of a CD-R/RW disc for a storage cost of only $.008/MB.

The new version of GEAR Pro DVD incorporates the Optical Storage Technology Association's (OSTA's) recently announced Universal Disc Format (UDF) and MultiRead2 specification support. The specifications ensure that all CD and DVD drives that conform with the standard will read 2.6GB DVD-RAM rewriteable media. When used with Panasonic's DVD-RAM drives, the software allows users to create hybrid ISO 9660/UDF discs that are backward-compatible with the ISO 9660 standard. As a result, game titles and video content developed with GEAR Pro DVD v2.0 can ultimately be produced on lower-capacity CD or high-capacity DVD media and played back on all MultiRead2-compliant drives.

"In addition to being able to produce their own DVDs, DVD-RAM users will be able to create, edit and modify DVD materials in real-time before producing the final disc," noted Jeff Saake, Group General Manager of Panasonic Industrial Company's Computer Technologies Group. "By incorporating MultiRead2 support in GEAR Pro DVD, GEAR is delivering a product that will protect consumers from compatibility issues and eliminate confusion. The OSTA standard support they have added ensures media interchangeability of recorded media."

Committed to delivering the latest DVD development solutions, GEAR's new software provides users with a fast, reliable and cost-effective development solution. It can be used with the Panasonic DVD-RAM drive to create, test and modify professional-quality presentations, promotional materials, advertising comps, consumer kiosk video, educational video-on-demand, interactive training and broadcast-quality multimedia content as well as exciting multi-dimensional DVD-based games on any Windows 9X/NT personal computer.

"We're seeing a rapid conversion of titles from being CD-based to DVD," said Dyan Dyer, president and CEO of Command Software Systems, GEAR's parent company. "CD readers are being replaced by DVD-ROM drives as people begin taking advantage of the higher capacity that is available for massive corporate databases as well as more complex and more sophisticated multimedia products. When developers take advantage of Panasonic's high-speed, random-access DVD-RAM drives and media, they will be able to quickly and easily develop more compelling video content, including material that can be shared across the Internet and streamed from Web sites. Since the drives are capable of delivering theater-quality video at up to 10.5Mbps, we're going to see a whole new genre of complex, exciting MPEG-2 video developed on rewriteable DVD-RAM storage systems."

A comprehensive content development solution, GEAR Pro DVD v2.0 enables users to take advantage of the 5.2GB capacity of DVD-RAM as well as the removability and rewriteability of the media. Features of the new version include:

  • new graphical user interface
  • integrated DVD format editors
  • easy-to-use Internet Explorer interface with a project window
  • easy drag and drop of files and directories
  • enhanced feedback and animation during activities that require heavy CPU processing
  • optional project and device toolbar
  • separate menus for DVD-RAM drives and libraries
  • seamless support for ISO/UDF hybrid formatting
  • direct overwrite of DVD-RAM media
  • option for writing beyond disc capacity
  • advanced formatting, cyclic buffering, foreign image, batch and log file support

GEAR Pro DVD's drag-and-drop functionality makes using the Panasonic DVD-RAM drive similar to using a packet-write-enabled CD-R or CD-RW drive, but DVD-RAM provides more than 100,000 write/rewrite cycles, compared to CD-RW's 1,000 write/erase/rewrite cycles. With DVD-RAM technology, data can be written to any location on the disc, and small sections of data can be rewritten without stressing the error correction codes. This feature is a real time-saver because developers can make changes to their work without having to re-record the entire title. DVD-RAM offers some key advantages over expensive DVD-R and fragile tape storage solutions.

In addition to being able to read, write, and rewrite DVD-RAM media, the Panasonic drives and GEAR Pro DVD software can read DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-Video, audio CD, CD-ROM, PhotoCD, VideoCD, CD-Extra, CD-R, and CD-RW media.

Pricing, Availability

Designed to support DVD-RAM drives with either a SCSI or ATAPI interface, GEAR Pro DVD v2. is available for immediate delivery through GEAR authorized distributors and resellers worldwide with a suggested retail price of $699.

Panasonic's OEM DVD-RAM drive, model LF-D101, is available as an internal drive with a SCSI-2 interface. OEMs can purchase the drive from Panasonic Industrial Company. Panasonic-branded internal and external DVD-RAM drives are available from Panasonic Document Imaging Company (PDIC). The internal drive, model LF-D103U, has an MSRP of $699. The external drive, model LF-D102U, has an MSRP of $799. DVD-RAM media, which is marketed under the Panasonic brand name, is available from several other leading manufacturers. The removable double-sided 5.2GB disc has an MSRP of $39.95. The 2.6GB single-sided media has an MSRP of $24.95 and is sold with a removable cartridge for playback on the latest Panasonic 5X, 6X and 8X DVD-ROM drives.

About GEAR Software

A leading producer of production support and content development software, GEAR Software Inc.'s U.S. headquarters is located at 1061 E. Indiantown Road, Suite 500, Jupiter, FL 33477. For information on GEAR Pro DVD v2.0 and other GEAR products, call 561-575-3200 x 4120, fax 561-575-3026 or visit

About Panasonic

The Panasonic DVD-RAM OEM drive is manufactured by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (MEI) (NYSE/PCX:MC), one of the world's leading producers of CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives and other DVD technology-based products. The drives are marketed by the company's principle North American subsidiary, Matsushita Electric Corp. of America. For more information on the Panasonic DVD-RAM OEM drive and media, contact Panasonic Industrial Company, 1600 McCandless Drive, Milpitas, CA 95035; (408) 945-5600, FAX (408) 262-4214, E-mail [email protected]. Or, visit the company's Web site at For more information on Panasonic-branded DVD-RAM drives and media, contact Panasonic Document Imaging Company, Two Panasonic Way 7D-9, Secaucus, NJ 07030 (201) 392-6355, or E-mail [email protected]. In Canada, contact Panasonic Canada, Ambler Drive, Mississauga, Ontario L4W 2T3, Canada; (905) 238-2254, FAX (905) 238-2414, E-mail [email protected].

GEAR Software Inc. is not a part of or in any way legally affiliated with Panasonic Industrial Company. Panasonic Industrial Company assumes no responsibility for the performance of or customer satisfaction with GEAR products. All company and/or product names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective manufacturers. Features, pricing, availability and specifications are subject to change without notice.

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