Vanguard Disc is reportedly closing their doors for good. According to DigiTimes, the company could no longer compete in the CD-R disc market and failed to shift to DVD-R production.
Vanguard originally produced CD-R discs, with a monthly capacity of 8-10 million discs. About two years ago, the company began to switch to DVD-R production. However, the company said that it terminated all production about a month ago because it can't compete profitably against the low prices offered by CD-R makers in China and India amid rising material costs, and its shift to the production of DVD discs has not been smooth. Vanguard is now seeking buyers for its manufacturing equipment and is set to terminate operations.
If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
According to DigiTimes, Lite-On has scrapped their own Blu-ray drive designs and will instead use those developed by BenQ. Like many of BenQ's other drives, these will be based on Philips technology.
Lite-On IT plans to start volume production in July of this year of half-height (H/H) Blu-ray Disc (BD) optical disc drives (ODDs) based on technology from Royal Philips Electronics as a result of the company taking over BenQ's ODD unit, according to industry sources.

The H/H BD drive models had been originally developed by BenQ's ODD unit and Lite-On IT has taken over the development, including the use of technology from Philips that was licensed to BenQ, the sources pointed out. Lite-On IT is expected to take control of BenQ's ODD business in June of this year.
If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
BHA has announced that they've released new versions of B's Recorder GOLD8 and B's CLiP6 that support Windows XP x64 Edition. These updates are free to registered users of the software.
B.H.A Corporation (BHA) released today B's Recorder GOLD8 and B's CLiP6 versions that support Windows XP x64 Edition. The updaters that add support to B's Recorder GOLD8 and B's CLiP6 are available online to registered users free of charge. OEM versions are also available to drive vendors for bundling.

The Windows 64-bit Edition has evolved from being a platform for high-performance work stations and servers at the time of its release to one that can be used on home computers too with the release of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition operating system. As the demand for software that support this platform grows, BHA has answered user needs by releasing the 64-bit Editions of its flagship B's Recorder GOLD8 CD/DVD burning software and B's CLiP6 CD/DVD packet-writing software. The latest updaters add Windows XP x64 Edition support for existing users and are available free on the BHA website.
More information, including links to the updates, are available on BHA's website. Add a comment
Plextor Europe has officially announced the Serial ATA version of the PX-760A, the PX-760SA. The company also announced the launch of their new 52/32/52 CD-RW, the PlexWriter Premium2.

Following on from the recent successful launch of Plextor's PX-760A ATAPI/IDE DVD-RW drive into the market, the company today announces the Serial-ATA version - PX-760SA. This 18x drive is the World's fastest Serial-ATA DVD-ReWriter on the market, capable of 18x DVD+R and 10x DVD+R DL speeds, and is designed to take advantage of the latest motherboard connections within modern PCs.

Separately, Plextor is also launching the next model in its Premium range - PlexWriter Premium2. This fast drive not only offers 52x read/write and 32x re-writing speeds, but also includes a large 8MB buffer which is useful when multi-tasking to ensure there is no data interruption
The PX-760SA and PlexWriter Premium2 will ship in June. More information on both drives can be found here. Add a comment
BenQ Japan sent out a press release earlier today, announcing their new "Super-Multi" drive, the DW1670. Here's part of their press release, translated from Japanese:
BenQ Japan Ltd. will put "BenQ DW1670" that becomes a new model of the storage product on the market in the middle of May. "BenQ DW1670" is made by the Philips BenQ Digital Storage company that is a joint enterprise of BenQ and the Philips Co.. That can correspond also to DVD-RAM Valuable data can be recorded in DVD and CD without reserve as the kind of the media format doesn't worry in record type DVD drive corresponding to the CD/DVD all formats. DVD±R The record speed of DVD±R DL media was improved besides a high-speed record of 16 X speed or less was achieved at 88.64Mbit or less/second (eight X speed). Moreover, BenQ original air cooling function【Dual Cooling System(DCS)】 high-speed to record, and to emanate heat that reads and generates high speed in Toki is installed, generation of heat in the drive is suppressed to effective, and deterioration in the record quality can be prevented.
While the bulk, or OEM, version of the drive will hit store shelves on May 12th, the retail version won't ship until June. More information, including a list of specs, can be found here. Add a comment
According to an article at DigiTimes, CMC has begun shipping single-layer 15GB HD DVD-R discs and is planning to produce dual-layer 30GB media in the 3Q of this year.
Already having started production of HD DVD-R discs in May, CMC Magnetics stated it is preparing for volume production of 30GB single-sided dual-layer HD DVD-R discs in the third quarter, according to the company.

The company is already volume shipping single-sided single-layer 15GB HD DVD-R discs, and CMC plans to volume ship the 30GB discs in the third quarter, according to the company.
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The guys at CD Freaks have put together a review of Lite-On's LightScribe capable "Super AllWrite" drive, the SHM-165H6s. Here's what they had to say about it:
Lite-Ons offering with the SHM-165H6S performs with good to excellent write quality on just about every media type tested with a few exceptions. The drives support for DVD-RAM and LightScribe Direct to Disc Labeling technology truly makes this drive a ‘Super AllWrite Drive'.
If you'd like to read more, head on over to CD Freaks and check out their review. Want a second opinion? Our review of the SHM-165H6S can be found here. Add a comment
Imation has announced that they've started shipping printable CD and DVD media with their new AquaGuard technology. With AquaGuard, images and text are permanently locked into the disc's surface, making them resistent to both water and smudging.
Print images with lasting impact on the new Inkjet Printable CDs and DVDs with AquaGuard(TM) surface from Imation Corp (NYSE: IMN) -- available in mid-May through Imation authorized distributors. Thanks to the first-of-its kind AquaGuard nanoparticle technology, the new discs feature a whiter, brighter surface that provides a better canvas on which to print vibrant, lasting impressions. Printed images and text are also permanently locked into the disc's surface -- even when handled immediately after printing or when exposed to water.

Inkjet disc printing -- as part of the fast-growing printable media market -- is an efficient and cost-effective solution for duplicators who create CDs or DVDs, and the businesses or consumers they serve. Imation's Inkjet Printable Media with AquaGuard surface, the world's first water-resistant and smudge-resistant inkjet printable media, alleviates traditional concerns about the appearance and smudging of inkjet disc printing compared to more expensive thermal disc printing. A white paper about AquaGuard technology is available at
Imation's Inkjet Printable Media with AquaGuard surface will hit store shelves in mid-May. More information, including pricing, can be found here . Add a comment
Memorex has announced that they've added 16x DVD+R discs to their line of LightScribe media. These new discs also support LightScribe 1.2 technology, allowing for faster label creation speeds.
Memorex, the leading brand of optical media at U.S. retail and a division of Imation Corp. (NYSE: IMN), expands its LightScribe recordable media offerings to include the newest and fastest LightScribe technology. New Memorex 16X DVD+R LightScribe media allows for stunning, laser-etched designs right on the disc surface, giving consumers a no-hassle way to burn silkscreen-quality disc prints. Featuring LightScribe Media Version 1.2 technology, the new discs produce disc designs even faster than the previous version.

With Memorex LightScribe media and a LightScribe-enabled computer drive, consumers can create custom labels using photos, graphics and text, and then inscribe the designs directly onto the specially coated, scratch-resistant discs. Memorex's new 16X DVD+R discs with LightScribe Media Version 1.2 offer maximum data recording speeds and faster label creation than first generation LightScribe DVDs. Memorex was one of the very first media brands to offer LightScribe CD and DVD recording media at North American retail.
Memorex's 16x DVD+R LightScribe media is available now in packs of 10. More information can be found here. Add a comment
Toshiba has announced their new digital entertainment notebook, the Qosmio G35-AV650. According to their press release, it is the first notebook shipping in the U.S. to incorporate an HD DVD-ROM drive.

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today introduced the Qosmio(TM) G35-AV650, the first notebook PC shipping in the U.S. to incorporate an HD DVD-ROM drive(1) that allows users to enjoy the dazzling realism and clarity of high-definition digital entertainment in a portable device.

Designed for optimum digital entertainment immersion and multimedia capabilities, the Qosmio G35-AV650 with HD DVD-ROM allows consumers to enjoy high-definition movies anywhere in the home or on the go with external power. Backwards-compatible(2) with current DVD formats, the HD DVD-ROM drive allows users to continue playing compatible discs from their existing DVD collections.
Along with its HD DVD-ROM drive, the Qosmio G35-AV650 features a 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo processor, two 100GB hard drives in a RAID configurationn and an NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 graphics controller. All this doesn't come cheap either. According to Toshiba's press release, the Qosmio G35-AV650 will cost about $2,999. More information, including a full list of specs, can be found here. Add a comment