It looks like Lite-On is getting into the camcorder business. According to DigiTimes, Lite-On is working with some of their Japanese clients to develop DVD camcorders using 8cm DVD±R discs.
Lite-On IT is cooperating with Japanese clients to develop DVD camcorders using 8cm DVD+R/-R discs and expects to begin OEM production in small volumes next quarter and shipments in large volume in the second half of this year, according to the company.

Hard disk drives (HDDs) or small memory cards such as SD and MS entail trans-recording, whereas 8cm DVD+R/-R discs do not, Lite-On IT pointed out. Many Japanese brands will also offer DVD camcorder models following Hitachi, Sony, JVC, Panasonic, and Canon, Lite-On IT indicated.
It will be interesting to see if Lite-On sells these camcorders under their own brand. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
At CES, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Interactive Entertainment Business, Peter Moore, commented that the Xbox 360 could eventually support the Blu-ray format. Microsoft has now reaffirming their committment to HD DVD, stating that they have no plans to support other optical formats.
Last week we reported that Microsoft would leave open the possibility that its next-gen console could one day support Blu-ray if that format ended up winning the war against HD DVD. This was based upon comments made by Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Interactive Entertainment Business Peter Moore to Japanese website ITmedia during CES.

However, Moore's comments, which made the rounds not long after MS announced plans for an external HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360, were taken out of context, the company insists. To clear up any confusion, MS has issued a statement to the effect that they are 100 percent behind Toshiba's HD DVD format.
Microsoft would be smart to release both HD DVD and Blu-ray drives and let consumers decide which is best. Then again, that's not really the Microsoft way. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
While many companies have chosen sides in the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD, Lite-On has remained fairly neutral. According to the Inquirer, Lite-On has not decided which one to chose and will likely introduce separate drives supporting both formats.
The chaps said that they will probably go "both ways" and introduce separate computer drives supporting both HD DVD and Blu-ray. Now we are not talking about combo drives, it will be two separate drives - one HD DVD manufactured device and one Blu-ray marchitecture based drive.
We have not heard anything from our contacts at Lite-On so I really cannot confirm any of this. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Miguel at Extreme MHz has taken a look at BenQ's new LightScribe capable 16x DVD±RW, the DW1655. Here's a sample of what he had to say about it:
In terms of performance, the drive did not fail to impress in all areas of testing. Its read performance with all media tested was excellent and write quality was impressive as well with both CD and DVD recordable media, including double layer media. For those primarily into DVD ripping, this is the drive for you. It can rip a single layer disc in just over 5 minutes and dual layer discs can be ripped in record time as well.
We too have a review of the DRW1655 in the works. In the mean time, head on over to Extreme MHz and check out their review. Add a comment
While Samsung had originally planned to introduce a combination Blu-ray/HD DVD player, the company has run into a major roadblock. Surprisingly enough, its not a technical one either. According to Engadget, there are licensing agreements in place, preventing a dual-mode player.
Last we heard, things degraded from gung-ho to so-so for Samsung on the prospect of going in on a dual-mode device that'd bridge the gap between HD DVD and Blu-ray for the consumer. But it looks like guarded has now turned to closed-until-further-notice according to a SVP of Marketing at Samsung North America, Peter Weedfald. We had no idea there were licensing agreements in place that prevented a dual-mode player, but apparently "Until everyone agrees to check their egos at the door and help the consumer, there is nothing [Samsung] can do about a universal product."
While a dual-mode player would be best for the consumer, it probably would not be cheap. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Roxio has announced that they will be showcasing some of Toast 7's digital entertainment capabilities at the Macworld Expo. Here's part of their press release:
Roxio, a division of Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC), the leader in digital media software, is celebrating a successful year with in-depth demonstrations and special show pricing on its biggest ever line of software for Mac OS X at Macworld Expo, January 10th to the 13th. Among the demonstrations available to attendees will be how to use Toast 7 to easily transfer favorite audio and video entertainment to mobile devices such as the iPod video, Sony PSP, and mobile phones. In addition, Roxio will be showcasing its must-have suite of iPod software accessories, The Boom Box and its award-winning DVD backup application, Popcorn. Roxio also will be introducing standalone versions of its CD Spin Doctor and Motion Pictures HD software.
If you'd like to read more, Roxio's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Here's an interesting bit of news. At CES, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President, Peter Moore, mentioned that the Xbox 360 could eventually support the Blu-ray format.
In the wake of Microsoft's CES announcement of a peripheral HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360, the company's gaming division boss Peter Moore has revealed that a Blu-Ray drive could also be on the cards for the system.

Speaking with Japanese website ITMedia at the huge electronics show in Las Vegas last week, Moore said that a Blu-Ray drive for the Xbox 360 could be released if the Blu-Ray standard, which is backed by Sony, wins the next-generation DVD format battle.
Of course, like with HD DVD, Blu-ray would probably be used only for movies and not for games. If you'd like to read more, head on over to Add a comment
Imation has announced that they will be manufacturing both HD DVD and Blu-ray media. The company has already invested $10 million in R&D and to scale up the production capabilities of their Oakdale, Minn. facility.
Imation Corp (NYSE: IMN - News), a worldwide leader in removable data storage media, today announced it has begun its scale-up of manufacturing for HD DVD and Blu-ray optical recordable media in preparation for product introduction in early 2006. The company invested more than $10 million in 2005 in research, development and modular manufacturing capabilities to position Imation among the industry leaders delivering the newest high-capacity optical formats to customers.
Imation plans to ship their media during the first half of 2006. More information can be found here. Add a comment
According to an article at DigiTimes, low priced Blu-ray and HD-DVD players are already putting pressure on Taiwan's FVD format.
Lower than expected retail prices for entry-level HD-DVD players exhibited at the recent 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US may dash an expected early marketing advantage of Taiwan-developed FVD (forward versatile disc) players, according to Taiwanese makers of optical disc drives (ODDs).

The HD-DVD group, led by Toshiba, showcased an entry-level HD-DVD player model with a recommended retail price of US$499, about half the price originally expected by market experts, the Taiwanese ODD makers pointed out. Pioneer and Samsung, two members of the Blu-ray Disc (BD) group, exhibited BD players with recommended retail prices between US$1,000-1,800, 30-50% lower than the US$2,000-2,500 expected by market experts, the sources said.
While priced lower than many expected, Blu-ray and HD-DVD players still aren't exactly cheap. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
If you thought your data was safe because you burned it to CD, you might want to think again. According to a storage expert at IBM Deutschland GmbH, recordable CD's have a life span of only 2 to 5 years.
Although opinions vary on how to preserve data on digital storage media, such as optical CDs and DVDs, Kurt Gerecke, a physicist and storage expert at IBM Deutschland GmbH, takes this view: If you want to avoid having to burn new CDs every few years, use magnetic tapes to store all your pictures, videos and songs for a lifetime.

"Unlike pressed original CDs, burned CDs have a relatively short life span of between two to five years, depending on the quality of the CD," Gerecke said in an interview this week. "There are a few things you can do to extend the life of a burned CD, like keeping the disc in a cool, dark space, but not a whole lot more."

The problem is material degradation. Optical discs commonly used for burning, such as CD-R and CD-RW, have a recording surface consisting of a layer of dye that can be modified by heat to store data. The degradation process can result in the data "shifting" on the surface and thus becoming unreadable to the laser beam.
As frequent CDRLabs readers, this information shouldn't really surprise you. If you'd like to read more though, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment