Pioneer Electronics announced today that they've started shipping their new Blu-ray Disc combo drive, the BDC-202. With its support for Blu-ray, the BDC-202 can play back high-def movies as well as read and write to most existing CD and DVD formats.

The newly designed drive offers playback of high definition Hollywood Blu-ray Disc movie titles on a properly configured PC. The BDC-202 internal Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD combo drive also allows users to access and transfer data files onto DVD and CD. It reads BD-ROM, BD-R, and BD-RE single layer discs up to 5x speed and dual layer BD-ROM, BD-R, and BD-RE discs up to 2x speed. It will also read and write to most DVD and CD formats. The BDC-202 features a Serial ATA (SATA) Interface and ships with an optional, full-featured Corel media software suite. The software suite includes Blu-ray Disc playback software as well as enhanced functionality to design personalized DVD movies, create digital photo slideshows, burn music files to CD, backup files to DVD and CD, and more.
While Pioneer did not specify a price, the BDC-202 is already available online and can be picked up for less than $280. If you'd like to read more, Pioneer's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Ciba Specialty Chemicals sent out a press release this morning, announcing that they've decided to settle the patent infringment lawsuit they had filed against CMC and its US subsidiary, the Hotan Corporation.
The patent infringement law suit Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation (Ciba) had filed against CMC Magnetics Corporation and its US subsidiary Hotan Corporation has been settled, CMC Corporation and Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation, have announced today. Ciba had sued CMC and Hotan because it had found that some portion of CD-R manufactured, imported and sold by CMC and Hotan were produced with dye infringing Ciba's phthalocyanine and related CD-R media patents. Ciba holds worldwide patents for its advanced phthalocyanine dyes and disks, which include the United States of America, China and Taiwan, where CMC had produced the media. A CMC spokesperson commented: "We were not fully aware of the current dye technology and the related patent situation. After clarification from Ciba, we realize the importance of the technology of the Ciba dye in the dye industry. We regret that we had used for part of our CD-R production a dye from a local supplier that turned out to infringe Ciba's dye and media patents. After this incident we had instantly improved our internal processes to make sure that intellectual property rights are respected and switched back to Ciba's product."
If you'd like to read more, Ciba's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
LaCie recently announced that they've started to ship their new Portable DVD±RW Drive with LightScribe. Designed exclusively for LaCie by Sam Hecht, this new drive sports 8x DVD±R, 4x DVD±R DL and 5x DVD-RAM writing speeds and is available with either a USB 2.0 or FireWire interface.

LaCie announced today the shipping of its new Portable DVD±RW Drive with LightScribe. The stylish, slim drive was designed exclusively for LaCie by award-winning designer, Sam Hecht, and was created with a focus on pure design. With no feet, switches, or breaks in its clean simple shell, the design-inspired drive is as powerful as anything you would find in today’s marketplace. Measuring in at less than one inch tall, and one pound in weight the FireWire or USB 2.0 bus-powered LaCie Portable DVD±RW Drive offers true mobility for Mac, Windows or Linux operating systems.
The LaCie Portable DVD±RW Drive with LightScribe is available now at the suggested retail price of $99.99 for USB 2.0 and $149.99 for FireWire. If you'd like to read more, LaCie's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Sony announced today that they have developed "Postscribed ID for DVD." With this new technology, companies will be able to embed ID data, like serial numbers, into DVD's during the manufacturing process.
"Postscribed ID for DVD" makes read-out of individual IDs embedded in DVD discs possible using standard DVD-ROM drives, without the need for firmware updates or any other software installation. Furthermore, the newly developed technology does not infringe the powerful error correction features present in the DVD format. This allows the same CD-ROM-based serialization services to now be offered on DVD-ROM media.
By using a high-power laser diode, new reflective layer material, and extremely accurate location control technology, the area between pits on the disc surface is modified to embed the ID data. This in turn allows for compliance with the powerful error correction technology built-in to DVDs and adheres to the DVD Format (DVD Specification for Read Only Disc). The EFM signal used for direct recording of serialized ID data is based on advanced technology for preventing any impact on pre-recorded data when recording the ID onto the disc, effective write-strategy and a special reflective layer.
If you'd like to read more about "Postscribed ID for DVD", Sony's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Pioneer and Mitsubishi Chemical announced today that they have developed a new type of BD-R disc that uses organic dye in the recording layer. This new media corresponds to the "Low to High" (LTH) recording system which is included in the Blu-ray Disc Recordable Format Ver 1.2 specifications. Here's part of Pioneer's press release, translated from Japanese:

Both corporations advanced the cooperation development of the pigment type blue ray postscript type disk from 2004. This time, the Mitsubishi chemical media took charge as for the pioneer of the appraisal of the trial manufacture disk and the verification from viewpoint of compatibility of drive and of the further improvement and disk trial manufacture of the organic pigment record material, the design of the disk structure with simulation took charge. It succeeded in the development of 2x fast record organic pigment system BD-R by fusing the technology these both.

In addition both corporations, ever since the announcement of cooperation development 2005, advanced the standardization propulsion activity of the organic pigment type record media, but this spring, the recording type which corresponds to organic pigment system BD-R (Low to High system) was adopted for Blu-ray Disc Recordable Format Ver.1.2.
Pioneer and Mitsubishi Chemical claim that this dye will lower production costs as companies using it will be able to produce discs using modified CD-R and DVD-R manufacturing equipment. The big catch here is that discs using the LTH system will not be compatible with existing Blu-ray writers. While Pioneer is working on a new drive that can write to these discs, it is unknown whether support can be added to older drives via a firmware update. If you'd like to read more, Pioneer's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment