The delay in the availability of DVD products stems from specification and format disagreements by the ten companies involved in the DVD consortium including Philips, Sony, Time Warner, Toshiba, Pioneer, and Hitachi. The consortium is currently working on a specification book that will include information about how a DVD disc is made.
Philips officials decided to license their patents in hopes that the remaining eight companies will simply follow suit and start making products for consumers to buy.
Philips and Sony originally proposed a next-generation compact disc format called multimedia CD. The multimedia CD was designed to hold seven to ten times more capacity that current discs. Time Warner and Toshiba followed with their own proposal called Super Density. Last year the two groups decided to share their ideas and formed DVD.
DVD technology will offer high-resolution picture, more channel of digital sound, better graphics, and more multimedia than the current CD.