Consumable Media LLC has announced a new limited play DVD called BuyByeDVD. Expected to hit retail this summer, this recyclable movie DVD can be played up to 3 times before expiring.
Consumable Media LLC, a Minnesota-based corporation, has announced that it plans to release its new restricted-use optical disc product in summer 2006. The premiere form the product will be introduced in is the DVD format. Known as BuyByeDVD, the product will feature movie content on familiar DVDs, but can only play up to three times before expiring. The product works in all DVD, computer, and gaming console drives.

"We envision this product changing the DVD landscape for the next several years," stated Consumable Media team member Scott Litman. "This product will fill the media void that we are experiencing between traditional DVD and digital file transfer."

The BuyByeDVD looks and functions nearly the same as any ordinary DVD, but only allows up to three plays. The company believes that this technology will change the business model for DVD, where it will now be possible for consumers to acquire their movies in a similar model to Pay-Per-View at a price point that is more reasonable than buying the entire version of the movie. In addition, the product is recyclable.
From what I can gather, BuyByeDVD uses a dye that is irreversibly bleached by a DVD player's laser. The BuyByeDVD is expect to hit store shelves this summer for a suggested retail price of $3.99. If you'd like to read more, Consumable Media's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
The DVD Forum held their 33rd Steering Committee meeting earlier this week. Among other things, the group approved the specs for dual layer HD DVD-R and HD DVD-RW media. Here are some of the highlights from the meeting:
  • Approval of "DVD Specifications for High Density Recordable Disc for Dual Layer (HD DVD-R for DL) File System Specifications, Version 1.9"
  • Approval of "1) DVD Specifications for High Density Re-recordable Disc (HD DVD-RW) Physical Specifications, Version 0.9
    2) DVD Specifications for High Density Re-recordable Disc (HD DVD-RW) 1x-speed Optional Specifications, Revision 0.9"
  • Approval of "1) DVD Specifications for High Density Re-recordable Disc for Dual Layer (HD DVD-RW for DL) Physical Specifications, Version 1.9
    2) DVD Specifications for High Density Re-recordable Disc for Dual Layer (HD DVD-RW for DL) 1x-speed Optional Specifications, Revision 0.9"
  • Approval of "HD DVD-VR (Video Recording) Product Requirement & Guideline, Version 1.0"
  • Approval of "Logo/Mark for DVD-RW for DL"
  • Approval of "The RPC subcommittee's Request to SC:
    -The RPC subcommittee to request input from studios regarding current and anticipated use of DVD-Video RPC system.
    -The RPC subcommittee to request input from VPC regarding marketplace data regarding multi-region products.
    -The RPC subcommittee to communicate with DVD CCA regarding RPC enforcement.
    -The RPC subcommittee to consider possible change to region code map."
If you'd like to read more, the Steering Committee's entire list of resolutions can be found here. here. Add a comment
Sonic has announced that they've released the CinePlayer Platform. This new playback engine supports the most digital media types and can be used to deliver interactive content via the internet.
Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC), the leader in digital media software, the leader in digital media software, today released the CinePlayer Platform, a comprehensive digital media playback "engine" to support virtually any digital media type - music, photos, videos, and web-delivered interactive content. The CinePlayer Platform has two key advantages: first, it allows Sonic's personal computer and consumer electronics partners to tailor a wide variety of digital media offerings based on a common underlying playback engine; this makes it easier and more cost effective for them to test, release and revise their products. Second, the CinePlayer Platform combines playback from DVDs (including Blu-ray disc and HD DVD) with web-delivered content such as advertising, merchandising promotions and bonus material; this allows for attractive new models of advertising, promotion and content distribution. The CinePlayer Platform ships in key OEM channels later this week.
Great, yet another way companies can bombard us with ads. If you'd like to read more, Sonic's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Pioneer Japan has released a set of firmware updates for their latest series of 16x DVD±RW drives, the DVR-111, DVR-111D and DVR-A11XL. Here is the change log for firmware v1.06:
Support New 16x DVD-R Media
( 12x writing:DST, LGE, Gigastrage, Postech )
Support New 16x +R Media
( 12x writing:BeAll, MustTech, Daxon, MAM-E, Interaxia,E-top, Gigastorage, Infosource, Ritek, FTI )
DVD-R/+R Writability has improved.
DVD-R/+R Readability has improved.
DVD-RW/+RW Writability has improved.
DVD+RW Readability has improved.
DVD+R DL Writability has improved.
DVD-RAM Writability has improved. (DVR-111/A11 only)
DVD-RAM Readability has improved.

DVR-A11XL v1.06 - Download

DVR-111 v1.06 - Download

DVR-111D v1.06 - Download
Pioneer has also updated their list of supported media to reflect the changes in the new 1.06 firmware. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them in our forum. Add a comment
Lite-On America sent out a press release last night, announcing their new LightScribe capable 'Super AllWrite' DVD writer, the SHM-165H6S. Along with support for the latest version of LightScribe, the SHM-165H6S features features 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL, 4x DVD-R DL and 5x DVD-RAM writing speeds.

Lite-On IT, one of the world's leading manufacturers of optical storage solutions for PCs and Home Entertainment centers, is introducing the world's first DVD optical drive capable of reading and writing to all disc media currently available today, including DVD-RAM and Double-Layer +/- format discs. In addition, the new optical drive incorporates the latest version (1.6x) of LightScribe labeling technology.

The new LiteOn SHM-165H6S "Super All-Write" internal optical DVD burner offers a one-stop archival and presentation solution for anyone who has a need to copy and store information, files, photographs, music or any other important media. The ability to read, write and re-write to any disc format on the market offers users the ability to purchase disc media based on price, capacity, or brand with the added comfort of knowing that whatever the decision, the media will work flawlessly with the "Super All-Write" SHM-165H6S.
The SHM-165H6S will be available nationwide in February 2006. More information can be found on Lite-On America's website. Add a comment
DigiTimes has reported that Ritek and CMC took the top two spots in global DVD+R/-R disc shipments during the 4Q of 2005.
Ritek and CMC Magnetics, the top two makers of optical discs in Taiwan, respectively maintained the first and second largest share of global shipment volume for DVD+R/-R discs during the fourth quarter of 2005, according to Japan-based market research firm Fujiwara-Rothchild.

India-based Moser Baer India (MBI) surpassed two Taiwanese makers, Daxon Technology and Prodisc Technology, to jump from the fifth largest maker of DVD+R/-R discs in the third quarter of 2005 to the third largest maker in the fourth quarter. This was mainly due to MBI's successful price-cutting strategy, according to local industry sources.
If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
Thanks to the Japanese company Buffalo, we've learned that Pioneer has a new Labelflash capable DVD writer on the way. Like the DVR-111D, the DVR-111L features 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD±R DL and 5x DVD-RAM writing speeds. Here are some of the drive's specs:

DVD Writing Speeds:
DVD+R: 16x
DVD+RW: 8x
DVD+R DL: 8x
DVD-R: 16x
DVD-RW: 6x
DVD-R DL: 8x
CD-R: 40x
CD-RW: 32x

Read Speeds:
DVD-ROM (Single Layer): 16x Max
DVD-ROM (Dual Layer): 12x Max
DVD±R: 12x Max
DVD±RW: 8x Max
DVD±R DL: 8x Max
DVD-Video: 5x Max
DVD-RAM: 5x Max
CD-ROM: 40x Max

We have not heard when Pioneer plans to ship the DVR-111L. However, Buffalo's new drives should hit store shelves by the middle of March. More information can be found here. Add a comment
According to the Korea Times, five US film studios have sued Samsung over a glitch in their DVD players, allowing users to sidestep both region encoding and HDCP.
Samsung Electronics, Asia's most valuable high-tech company, is scrambling after multiple U.S. movie studios reportedly took the Seoul-based firm to court, alleging glitches in its DVD players.

Over the weekend, Bloomberg news reported Walt Disney, Time Warner and three other major film makers filed the lawsuit against Samsung in U.S. court.

They claimed that Samsung's DVD players allowed consumers to avoid encryption features that prevent unauthorized duplication and demanded a recall of all the problematic products, Bloomberg said.
Samsung believes the DVD player in question is the DVD-HD841, which was discontinued more than 15 months ago. Of course, the big question then is "why now?". To put it simply, the movie industry is trying to make it clear that they do not want companies producing products that can bypass the protection schemes they've put in place. Most importantly, those that they've worked hard to implement in Blu-ray and HD DVD. Anyway, if you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Last week, Toshiba America let slip that their upcoming HD DVD players would require a firmware update before they could take advantage of some of the format's interactive features. The company is now backpeddling, stating that their first-generation players will support these features, at least those available at launch.
"Toshiba's first HD-DVD players will support the advanced content features called for by HD-DVD," said Junko Furuta, a company spokeswoman. She said the firmware upgrade will come into use when new features that aren't yet part of the interactive system are added.

"While our players will provide support for current HD-DVD advanced content from the start, we anticipate that the industry may add to these capabilities as HD-DVD continues to develop. Toshiba's players can be updated to support future applications and services, which may include downloading supplemental audio and video content, disc-related online shopping and other features yet to be imagined."
Between this and AACS not being finalized, I have a feeling that early adopters are going to be in for a rough ride. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
While the final specs for the new Advanced Access Content System (AACS) have not been approved, an interim license agreement has been made available. Thanks to this agreement, the Blu-ray and HD DVD camps should be able to release their products on time.
Toshiba American Consumer Products on Thursday announced an ambitious marketing push in support of HD-DVD but conceded that some of the high-definition optical disc format's interactive features won't be available in the two first-generation players slated to hit stores next month without a "firmware upgrade."

Meanwhile, sources close to the rival Blu-ray Disc camp say an agreement has been reached on an interim license for the AACS copy-protection system both formats will use, removing one of the final obstacles that had been standing in the way of a launch.
While the Blu-ray Disc group has not announced a launch date, HD DVD players and movies are expected to hit store shelves in March. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment