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Philips shows CD-sized DVD-ROM

Philips Electronics today previewed a technology expected to have significant impact on the optical drive market when it demonstrated the first DVD-ROM application running on a prototype player.

Philips Electronics today previewed a technology expected to have significant impact on the optical drive market when it demonstrated the first DVD-ROM application running on a prototype player.

Displayed at the CeBIT trade exposition in Hannover, Germany, the DVD-ROM drive (DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc) is an example of a new optical storage technology designed specifically to deliver full-motion MPEG-2 video to personal computers and televisions.

While Philips has been showing prototypes of its larger form factor DVD-Video player for months, the DVD-ROM player demonstrated today uses the same components as those built into the company's existing CD-ROM drives. This means that DVD-ROMs will be significantly cheaper to manufacture than the DVD-Video players, according to Philips executives.

The company plans to manufacture DVD-ROM drives in limited quantities this fall with a manufacturer's price of roughly $200.

The company expects about 250,000 DVD-ROM players to be sold by the year 2000, which would amount to 10 percent of the total optical drives sold, said Jan Oosterveld, president of Philips' key modules.

Many industry analysts also expect that the DVD market will grow rapidly once software vendors such as Microsoft follow through with plans to produce DVD titles.