Sonic and Pioneer announced today that they have begun a joint licensing program for CSS recording. With this new program, the two companies hope to make it easier to for content distributors as well as media and drive manufacturers to bring managed recording products to market.
PioneerCorporation, a leading global manufacturer of consumer and business-useelectronics products, and Sonic Solutions(R), the leader in digital mediasoftware, have begun a worldwide joint licensing program of patents andother related IP for the encryption and burning of video content torecordable DVD media for playback on DVD players. To respond to consumerand industry interest in "electronic sell-through" of video content and tofacilitate the adoption of secure download and burn applications inaccordance with the approved industry specifications for recordingdownloads set by the DVD Forum and the DVD Copy Control Association,Pioneer and Sonic have established a royalty-bearing licensing program thatwill be administered by Sonic under the Qflix(TM) name. The program willbroadly license the companies' combined intellectual property that allowsDVD recording technologies to use CSS (Content Scramble System), which isthe same content protection found on commercially released DVD movies.
If you'd like to read more, the entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
While Japan's optical disc manufacturers have been turning out recordable Blu-ray and HD DVD media for some time, those in Taiwan are still reluctant to invest in large-scale production of blue-laser discs. According to DigiTimes, the conservative attitude is primarily due to high royalty fees and the fear that the cost of production equipment may drop considerably in the future.
CMC Magnetics and Ritek, the top two Taiwan-based producers of optical discs, as well as Prodisc Technology, a second-tier maker, are unwilling to invest in large-scale production of either Blu-ray Disc (BD) or HD DVD discs, according to industry sources in Taiwan.

The disc manufacturers are reluctant to invest in blue-laser disc production because royalty fees are high and there is the possibility that the cost of production equipment may drastically drop in the future, noted the sources, adding that it is still uncertain which standard will become mainstream.
The article also points out that CMC and Ritek are producing HD DVD and Blu-ray media. However, in very limited amounts. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
DigiTimes has reported that Taiwan's disc manufacturers are seeing an increase in OEM orders for blank DVD+R/-R media. According to the article, the increase is due to retailers replenishing their inventories and the upcoming holiday season.
CMC Magnetics, Ritek, Prodisc Technology and Gigastorage, Taiwan-based producers of optical discs, have seen a significant increase in OEM orders for blank DVD+R/-R discs since the beginning of September with their production capacities being fully booked for the entire fourth quarter of 2007 or until January 2008, according to the companies. However, since they are uncertain how long the demand will last the companies have not raised OEM quotes.

The amount of orders has increased because international brands and large retail channels in the US and Europe have been replenishing their inventories, CMC and Ritek indicated, adding that the demand stems from the summer season as well as the from the traditional peak period prior to the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The article also points out that OEM quotes will stay the same for the time being. However, OEM quotes are likely to go up if demand continues to grow. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
Earlier this week, DataPlay announced what they claim to be the world’s first DVD burner capable of writing Content Scramble System (CSS) encrypted content. The MovieWriter is compatible with Sonic's Qflix technology and will be available as both an internal and external model as well as part of an Integrated Pre-Key Writing System.

DPHI, Inc. / DataPlay, a leader in advanced optical storage solutions,announced today the world’s first DVD burner capable of writing Content Scramble System (CSS) encryptedcontent for playback on standard DVD players. This has been made possible by the recent amendment to theCSS specification, which now allows consumers and retailers to download digital video content and createprotected DVD discs. To incorporate CSS recording capabilities into their burners, DataPlay is participating in theQflix technology and lP licensing program administered by Sonic Solutions. For consumers, DataPlay hasreleased an External USB 2.0 DVD Burner called MovieWriter which will allow them to legally and securelydownload and burn movies to DVD at home. An I/T version of the MovieWriter will be available shortly for PCOEMsto integrate into PC systems and home multi-media centers. In addition, DataPlay is making available aspecialized CSS-MR/Qflix Pre-Key Writing System for media manufacturers and replicators.
According to DataPlay's website, the MovieWriter burns CSS protected DVD's at only 2x. However, speeds will eventually increase to 8x. No word on pricing pricing or availability yet. As we find out more, we'll let you know. In the mean time, DataPlay's entire press release can be found here.

Update: DataPlay informed us that the MovieWriter should be available in the December timeframe with a MSRP of around $99. Add a comment
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