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Industry Leaders Demonstrate Real-Time DVD+RW Recording

CeBIT Event Underscores Compatibility, Convergence and Commitment to 4.7 Gigabyte DVD+RW Format

HANNOVER, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 25, 2000-- Hewlett-Packard Company, MCC/Verbatim, Philips Electronics, Ricoh Company Ltd., Sony Corporation and Yamaha Corporation, the industry leaders in CD-ReWritable technology, today reinforced their commitment to 4.7 Gigabyte DVD+RW technology in the first public demonstration in Europe of both real-time recording and immediate playback on currently available DVD-Video and DVD-ROM players.

The demonstration featured the use of a Ricoh prototype recording device. Video content was recorded on DVD+RW media from Ricoh, then played back on a variety of currently available DVD-ROM and DVD-Video devices. 4.7GB DVD+RW technology is a natural evolution of the successful CD-RW format and an important step in the growth path from CD to DVD. The 4.7GB DVD+RW format was designed to be compatible with the rapidly growing installed base of more than 30 million DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players. DVD+RW media do not require a cartridge, further enabling playback in the majority of current DVD equipment.

"We've achieved a major milestone in the development of 4.7GB DVD+RW technology," said Takeshi Matsui, corporate councilor, Ricoh Company Ltd. "Real-time recording and playback of 4.7GB DVD+RW media brings us one step closer to the capability, compatibility and capacity that our customers expect to see in an out-coming product. Our final target is to install the data file and video file recording capability."

Thomson Commits to DVD+RW

Thomson Multimedia recently announced its support of DVD+RW technology. In addition to the companies demonstrating technology at CeBIT, Thomson announced last month that it will also support the DVD+RW format for future recordable products.

"Thomson Multimedia has chosen to support DVD+RW because of its two-way compatibility with currently available DVD-Video and DVD-ROM players," said Larry McKinney, vice president, Worldwide DVD Product Management. "We think that this two-way compatibility will play a decisive role in establishing a DVD recorder format."

As an evolution of existing CD technology, which has an installed base of approximately 1 billion units worldwide, DVD+RW drives can be expected to read CD-ROM, CD-RW, CD-Recordable (CD-R) and CD Audio discs, as well as DVD-Video titles.

"Our customers are looking for a logical growth path based on the success of CD-RW technology," said Robert van Eijk, vice president of Marketing, Philips Optical Storage. "DVD+RW represents the best solution for both data and video recording applications from the consumer point of view."

DVD+RW is expected to have broad-based appeal for both PC and Video applications. The format is specifically designed to enable compatible content interchange for data, audio, still photography and high-quality video applications.

"We're supporting a format that protects the consumer's investment in both software and hardware," said John Spofford, general manager for HP's Colorado Personal Storage Solutions. "Our demonstrations make it clear that DVD+RW is the format of choice for both PC and Video applications -- an important step in the convergence of both platforms."

The first 4.7GB DVD+RW drives and media are expected to be available by the end of the year.

About HP

Hewlett-Packard Company -- a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services for business and home -- is focused on capitalizing on the opportunities of the Internet and the proliferation of electronic services.

HP plans to spin off Agilent Technologies and distribute its shares to HP shareowners by mid-calendar year 2000. Agilent consists of HP's test and measurement, semiconductor products, chemical analysis and healthcare solutions businesses, and has leading positions in multiple market segments.

HP has 85,400 employees worldwide and had total revenue from continuing operations of $42.4 billion in its 1999 fiscal year. Information about HP, its products and the company's Year 2000 program can be found on the World Wide Web at

About Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) is Japan's largest chemical company and one of the world's leading manufacturers of information storage products. In a line-up of data and image storage media, MCC holds a strong market share in markets such as DVD-R disks, CD-R and CD-RW disks, 90 mm and 130 mm MO disks, 130 mm WORM disks, hard disk media, as well as tape cartridges and floppy disks. Many of these products are marketed through Verbatim Corporation, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of MCC. Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has approximately 10,000 employees, and on a consolidated basis recorded revenues of approximately $13 billion for the year ended March 31, 1999.

About Philips Electronics

Philips Optical Storage, a business group of Philips Electronics, is widely recognized as an industry leader in Compact Disc and related technologies, products and markets since the introduction of the first audio CD product in 1982. Philips is a major supplier of CD-ROM subassemblies and components to drive manufacturers and leads the industry in the rapidly growing market for CD-RW drives. Through its strong position in both CD and DVD technologies, Philips is well positioned to offer leading-edge optical storage solutions to PC and audio/video markets for many years to come. Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of $33.5 billion (EUR 31.5 billion) in 1999. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, color picture tubes for televisions and monitors, and one-chip TV products. Its 226,900 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors, medical systems, and IT services (Origin). Philips is quoted on the NYSE (symbol: PHG), London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges. News from Philips is located at

About Ricoh Company, Ltd.

Ricoh Company, Ltd. is one of the world's leading manufacturers of office equipment, including copiers, facsimiles and printers. Ricoh is the first manufacturer of CD-RW media and CD-R/RW drives, and is also a manufacturer of CD-R media. Ricoh immediately incorporates the latest CD-RW standards to produce high-speed reliable products. With the combination of media and drive technology, Ricoh is offering high performance and reliable optical disc products. One example is the unique MP9060A drive, which can handle not just CD-ROM, CD-R or CD-RW media, but can even play back DVD-ROMs in one unit. The Ricoh group consists of 125 consolidated subsidiaries and affiliates in Japan and 203 overseas, which include production, sales as well as research and development facilities. As of March 1999, the Ricoh group employed approximately 65,000 people with recorded annual revenues of $11.8 billion.

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its music, pictures, computer entertainment operations and on-line businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of over $56 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999. Sony's Home Page URL:

About Yamaha Corporation

Yamaha Corporation, the world's largest musical instrument manufacturer, offers a diversity of sound, music and multimedia products. Though Yamaha products have changed with the times and have seen extensive diversification, neither Yamaha's products nor the foundation of Yamaha's business has strayed from the company's original focus on sound. New Yamaha business ventures are expanding from the company's fundamental expertise in sound, music and multimedia. Multimedia is an area of explosive growth, and innovative products such as Yamaha sound and image LSI are used widely in computers and game units. Yamaha also anticipates a substantial increase in CD-RW drives and other product sales central to the fast developing field of information technology. Yamaha now owns 52 subsidiaries and representative offices in overseas markets in addition to numerous related companies in Japan. Yamaha recorded annual sales of $4.7 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999.

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