Today, Sony announces its strategic partnership with Dalet Digital Media Systems (based in France) as part of the ongoing mission to develop extensible high-capacity archiving solutions, named Optical Disc Archive for the video and broadcasting industries. Optical Disc Archive offers file-based solutions by storing data in a compact cartridge with 12 optical discs. Dalet is a highly respected developer and supplier of media asset management (MAM) applications, with a strong customer base in video production and the broadcasting markets worldwide.

Sony is working towards solutions that integrate the Dalet Media Life MAM software with the Optical Disc Archive product line. Moving forward, Sony and Dalet will jointly propose archiving solutions for a wide range of areas, including News and Sports production, Media Digitization, and Disaster Recovery. The two companies will also collaborate in Solution Selling, System Integration/Delivery and Contract Services in order to provide customers with total efficiency, benefitting from both application system to service & support.

"Sony continues to be a leading manufacturer of products that have contributed greatly to the broadcast industry," said Stephane Schlayen, COO, Dalet. "We are very pleased to provide the Dalet MAM platform as an integral part of Sony's advanced archive system. MAM plays a critical role in managing media and metadata. Our combined best-of-breed technologies bring a versatile and sophisticated solution to the market."

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ASUS today announced the SDRW-08U5S-U external DVD writer, a highly portable optical drive with the thinnest form factor in its class at just 13mm. Its design includes a built-in hidden stand that saves space and reduces clutter while enabling dual-stance horizontal and vertical placement. For data protection, ASUS integrates multiple security measures, with password controls and encryption alongside encoded file name functionality. The SDRW-08U5S-U ships in Mellow Metallic, Dusty Rose, and Bright Berry color options.

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The SDRW-08U5S-U employs intricate engineering to achieve a very slender 13mm side profile. In addition to making it highly attractive, the form factor contributes to easy mobility and greater usability as the SDRW-08U5S-U can be effortlessly transported and placed, making it a perfect companion for Ultrabooks and other mobile devices.

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Pioneer Japan sent out a press today, announcing a Mac version of its latest slot-loading Blu-ray Disc writer. Thanks to a magnesium alloy case, the BDR-XU02JM weighs in at a mere 245g and measures only 133 × 133 × 12 mm. This stylish, USB powered drive is capable of 6x BD-R, 6x BD-R DL, 6x BD-R LTH, 2x BD-RE and 2x BD-RE DL writing speeds and a maximum BD-ROM read speed of 6x. The BDR-XU02J also writes to triple- (100GB) and quad-layer (128GB) BD-R media at 6x and triple-layer (100GB) BD-RE media at 2x.

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The BDR-XU02JM does not ship with any software. However, it includes support for Pioneer's PureRead2+ technology as well as a new feature called RealTime PureRead which reduces the occurrence of interpolation data during playback of audio CDs. The BDR-XU02JM is scheduled to ship in late March and is expected to retail for about 20,000 Yen ($208US).

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millenniata logo.pngU.S.-based Millenniata (www.mdisc.com) today announced it will offer Blu-ray M-DISCs in the second quarter of 2013, increasing both the storage capacity and the accessibility of the M-DISC.

The announcement, made at the Storage Visions Conference in Las Vegas, marks a major step forward in permanent data storage solutions for businesses and consumers by making the M-DISC available in all the standard optical disc formats.

The other major advance in the growing world-wide acceptance of the M-DISC DVD and the forthcoming Blu-ray M-DISC is the marketing and distribution partnership with Imation Corp. announced at the Storage Visions Conference by Millenniata. Millenniata and Imation, the leading world-wide distributor of data storage products, have agreed to co-brand and distribute both the M-DISC and Blu-ray M-DISC under Imation’s TDK, Memorex and Imation brands.

RITEK Corporation, the leading manufacturer of optical storage media in the world, will produce the new Blu-ray M-DISC as part of its manufacturing agreement with Millenniata. In addition, RITEK has signed a license agreement with Millenniata to distribute and co-brand both the DVD and Blu-ray M-DISCs through its established distribution and reseller channels as a secondary distribution channel for the M-DISC products behind Imation.

The new Blu-ray M-DISCs will be writable and readable on any Blu-ray combo drive – an enormous step for Millenniata and the convenience of this permanent storage technology. The Blu-ray M-DISCs will also offer at least five times the amount of storage as the standard 4.7GB M-DISC.

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millenniata logo.pngU.S.-based Millenniata and Imation, a global, scalable storage and data security company, announced today a strategic, marketing and co-branding agreement. Imation will co-brand and distribute Millenniata’s DVD M-DISC and the newly developed Blu-ray M-DISC. The M-DISC uses a proprietary process of engraving information into a patented inorganic rock-like layer, resistant to light, temperature and humidity, making it an ideal storage solution for valuable digital data such as photos, videos, music and business records.

According to the agreement, Imation, whose optical portfolio includes the Imation™, Memorex™ and TDK Life on Record™ brands, will co-brand the Blu-ray and DVD M-DISCs, which will then be marketed and distributed through Imation’s worldwide sales channels.

“We are very excited to gain Imation as a global partner. Imation is the world’s leading optical media provider and their strength and expertise is unparalleled in the digital storage market,” said Paul Brockbank, Millenniata president and CEO. “This new partnership will be vital in continuing to promote M-DISC as the only permanent storage solution to a growing consumer base around the world.”

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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a global leader in digital media and convergence technologies, announced today its newest ultra-slim portable DVD writer, the SE-218CB optical disc drive (ODD) with a sleeker design and mobile size for Ultrabook users on-the-go.

Featuring a compact size that is approximately 18 percent thinner, and 8 percent lighter than Samsung’s entry level DVD writer line-up, the SE-218CB is built to accommodate the growing need for external ODDs that can be easily transported for today’s mobile lifestyle. Measuring 148x14x143mm, the SE-218CB is an ideal companion for Ultrabook users that need to access optical media.

With the SE-218CB, consumers not only benefit by having easy access to stored documents, photos and multimedia content. With its Smart Power Technology the drive’s low-power consumption and ability to connect using a single USB port ensures consumers will have a flexible solution that does not overly tax Ultrabook’s battery while outside the home or office. With the help of Samsung’s Smart Power Technology, SE-218CB can also act as a portable hard disk drive for tablets with available USB connections. Coupled with Samsung’s innovative AV Connectivity, this ensures tablet users can now enjoy stored multimedia content.

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millenniata logo.pngU.S.-based Millenniata (www.mdisc.com) today announced that Acer, Inc. is now offering a permanent storage solution to its global customers with the integration of M-DISC compatible Hitachi LG Data Storage (HLDS) DVD and Blu-ray optical drives in Acer computers.

Millenniata produces the M-DISC™, which provides data loss prevention by laser etching data (files, photos, videos, etc.) into an inorganic rock-like material that is not available from any other recordable DVD.

“There is a dirty little secret about digital data – as is, it will simply disappear over time. Traditional optical discs, flash drives and external hard drives aren’t made to stand the test of time,” said Paul Brockbank, Millenniata president and CEO. “Data written on an M-DISC with an M-DISC Ready drive, however, will last 1,000 years. We are very pleased to partner with Acer to ensure its customers’ digital lives are now protected.”

The M-Disc Ready drives are available on the recently launched M series of notebooks under Acer’s Aspire range.

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If you still use a lot of optical discs, you may want to start stocking up. According to DigiTimes, optical disc prices could rise by nearly 50% in the second half of 2013 due to manufacturers in Japan and Taiwan stopping production.

The global optical disc industry is experiencing a reshuffle which will continue into the first half of 2013 due to makers in Japan, as well as second- and third-tier Taiwan-based makers stopping production during 2012. Prices for optical discs are expected to increase by nearly 50% in the second half of 2013, according to Robert Wong, chairman of Taiwan's largest optical disc maker, CMC Magnetics.

There is some good news though. Thanks to a growing demand for DVD discs in emerging markets and for Blu-ray Discs in mature markets, global optical disc demand in 2012 is estimated to drop by less than 10% rather than the originally forecast 10-15%.

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Pioneer Japan sent out a press today, announcing what it claims to be the world's thinnest and lightest slot-loading Blu-ray Disc writer. Thanks to a magnesium alloy case, the BDR-XU02J weighs in at a mere 245g and measures only 133 × 133 × 12 mm. This stylish, USB powered drive is capable of 6x BD-R, 6x BD-R DL, 6x BD-R LTH, 2x BD-RE and 2x BD-RE DL writing speeds and a maximum BD-ROM read speed of 6x. The BDR-XU02J also writes to triple- (100GB) and quad-layer (128GB) BD-R media at 6x and triple-layer (100GB) BD-RE media at 2x.

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The BDR-XU02J includes features like Pioneer's PureRead2+ technology and noise reducing firmware. It also ships with authoring and playback software from CyberLink as well as DiXiM BD Burner 2013, which lets you burn copy-protected digtal content directly from DTCP-IP enabled DLNA devices on your home network. The BDR-S08J is scheduled to ship in late December and is expected to retail for about 22,000 Yen ($266US).

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I-O Data Japan sent out a couple of press releases this morning, announcing its new BDXL compatible 16x Blu-ray Disc writers. Like Buffalo's latest offerings, the internal BRD-S16X and external BRD-UT16X appear to be based on an LG design. Both drives are capable of 16x BD-R (with Sony 6x BD-R media), 12x BD-R DL, 6x BD-R LTH, 2x BD-RE and 2x BD-RE DL writing speeds and can write to triple- (100GB) and quad-layer (128GB) BD-R media at 6x and triple-layer (100GB) BD-RE media at 2x. They also offer support for Millenniata's M-DISC technology which uses an inorganic rock-like material to provide up to 1000 years of  permanent data storage.

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Both drives comes bundled with WinDVD 10, Roxio Creator BD and Nero Essentials 12. The BRD-S16X and BRD-UT16X are scheduled to ship in late December and are expected to retail for about 13,600 Yen ($166US) and 18,900 Yen ($231US), repsectively.

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