NEC plans to launch multimedia vid file

TOKYO — Japanese electronics company NEC Corp. said Thursday it will launch its own high-capacity rewritable storage disc in 1998, in another blow to the digital videodisc random access memory (DVD-RAM) standard.

The move follows an announcement made earlier in the week by Sony Corp., Philips Electronics NV and Hewlett Packard Co. that they are seeking approval from an international standards body for a new optical disc that is designed to maximize compatibility with DVD-ROM (read-only memory) players.

The NEC 12-centimeter disc called multimedia video file will have a greater storage capacity than DVD-RAM discs. It can hold 5.2 gigabytes of information, more than the 2.6-gigabit capacity for the DVD-RAM format and the 3.0-gigabit capacity of the Sony, Philips, HP disc.

DVDs and the discs from the Sony, Philips, HP group as well as the NEC offering have much greater data storage capacity than the videocassettes and CD-ROMs that are currently available on the consumer market.

The NEC disc is compatible with DVD-ROM but not with the DVD-RAM format that was set by the 10-company grouping called the DVD Forum in an April meeting in Tokyo.

The DVD Forum was formed in September 1995 among the 10 companies that jointly developed DVD technology. The forum is aimed at selecting the best aspects of DVD technology when developing standards.

The 10 companies are Toshiba Corp., Sony Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Pioneer Electric Corp., Victor Co. of Japan, Mitsubishi Electric Co., Hitachi Ltd., Philips Electronics, Thomson and Time Warner Inc.

NEC said their new disc should be more useful than DVD-RAMs because it allows users greater capacity for information storage.

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