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Consortium Develops Dual-Layer DVD

The DVD+RW Alliance, consisting of many of the biggest names in the consumer electronics industry, recently announced the development of technology for dual-layer DVD+R disks that is compatible with the DVD-ROM standard. Increasing the capacity of a DVD from 4.7 GB to 8.5 GB, the technology can create DVDs that are viewable on existing DVD players and DVD-ROM drives.

The DVD+RW Alliance consortium includes companies such as Mitsubishi, Philips, Ricoh, Sony, Thomson and Yamaha, and it expects that the specifications for the dual-layer format will be finalized later this year. Media and recorders that take advantage of the added capacity are expected in 2004.

Some of the features of the new technology include DVD-quality recording of up to four hours of material on a single disk, as well as VHS quality of up to 16 hours on a single disk. The Alliance said that compatibility with existing DVD players was a key component of dual-layer system.