Top consumer electronics manufacturers are already working on a recordable DVD format that could be available by the end of 1997 or early 1998.
Toshiba and Sony have informally agreed on a common standard for DVDs called DVD-RAM that can record and read data, according to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan's largest business daily.
A single-sided DVD-RAM disc would be able to store 2.6GB of data. DVD-ROMs, on the other hand, will initially store 4.7GB of data--enough for a two-hour movie with surround sound. The DVD-RAM discs will be able to hold an hour of full-motion video, the report says.
DVD-RAM drive vendors are expected to have products ready for use in computer systems in the first quarter of 1998.
Other companies involved in the talks include Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, Pioneer Electronics and its parent company, Matsushita Electric, Philips Electronics NV, Sony, Time Warner, Thomson SA, and Victor of Japan.