Verbatim has announced that they've added glossy 52x CD-R and 16x DVD+/-R discs to their already extensive line of inkjet printable media. Here's part of their press release:
Verbatim Corporation, the market leader in premium-quality printable media, announced today a new family of glossy white inkjet printable 52X CDR and 16X DVD+/-R media. The new discs combine a shiny white printable surface and fast drying times with ultra-reliable, high-speed recording technology and broad read compatibility. With Verbatim's unique glossy media, users can make their recordings look distinctive with vibrant, full-color images and crystal-clear text. The next generation of photo and video storage media were unveiled at the PMA (Photo Marketing Association) Convention which began here yesterday.
Verbatim's glossy white inkjet printable media is expected to ship in April and will cost $19.99 for a 20-pack of CD-Rs or $24.99 for a 20-pack of DVDRs. If you'd like to read more, their entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Here's some good news for those waiting for 8x DVD-R DL media. According to RW PPI representative director, Koki Aizawa, the media is expected to go into volume production during the second half of 2006.
The RW PPI (Re-Writable Products Promotion Initiative) under the DVD Forum based in Japan is carrying out its M8 test plan to facilitate volume production of 8x DVD-R DL (single-sided double-layer) discs and the corresponding burners/recorders, according to RW PPI representative director Koki Aizawa at the organization's round robin test seminar held in Taipei on February 23. Aizawa expects volume production of both 8x DVD-R DL discs and devices to begin in the second half of the year. The round robin test seminar, was sponsored by the Taiwan Recording-media Industries Association (TRIA) and took place in Taiwan for the third time.
The article also mentions that the RW PPI is working to improve the compatibility between recording/playback devices and DVD-R, DVD-R DL and DVD-RW discs. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
Roxio has announced that they've released MyDVD 8 Premier. This new version features a number of improvements including a new, refined user interface and Hollywood-style authoring tools.
Roxio, a division of Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC), the leader in digital media software, today released MyDVD 8 Premier, which introduces significant enhancements including advanced video editing capabilities and authoring tools, high-quality transitions and effects, customizable menu templates, and support for high definition (HD) video. MyDVD 8 Premier will have particular appeal to the tens of millions of existing MyDVD users looking for more creative control and greater authoring flexibility.
MyDVD 8 Premier is available now for $69.99. More information on this software can be found here. Add a comment
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