The committee, which was formed in fall 2002 to specifically address compatibility issues, has been collaborating with leading media and drive manufacturers to develop an industry-wide solution based on a regular series of compatibility and physical tests, the results of which are provided to OEMs for analysis and feedback. The group constantly examines a wide variety of media types, recordable DVD drives, DVD-ROM drives, and consumer DVD players, and defines objective testing methodologies and parameters aimed at assisting OEMs in identifying possible problems between specific brand media and drive models.
"It is essential that consumers, as well as DVD media and drive manufacturers, put the results of this latest compatibility study into proper context," said David Bunzel, president of OSTA. "Our findings indicate that the most critical factor in all DVD disc and drive compatibility tests is the quality of media, not the format or brand of drive. When high-quality DVD recordable discs are used, the compatibility rate surges to over 95 percent.OSTA will continue to work with the DVDA and NIST to help manufacturers achieve 100 percent compatibility. In the meantime, we recommend that consumers purchase high-quality DVD media to avoid potential incompatibility problems."
A DVD disc is deemed compatible by OSTA if it is recorded on one device, and plays back flawlessly on another. Moreover, a recordable DVD is considered compatible if its playback quality is equivalent to the playback of pressed discs with identical content. OSTA's second phase of compatibility testing, which is now under way, will analyze the performance of the top 75 percent of DVD recordable drives and players now available to consumers, as well as the latest 4X media. OSTA plans to release the results of this testing phase in the first quarter of 2004.