Plextor, a leading brand of high-performance storage and digital media solutions, announces plans to differentiate its ODD portfolio by offering a stand-alone optical storage device under the name of PlexEasy (PX-650US). With the PlexEasy, Plextor largely wants to target a new audience that is less familiar with PC but have a need to make backups of their precious data. The PlexEasy will be a compact 8x DVD writer that can be used without a PC, it will feature a built-in SD card reader and USB port which allows end users to make direct backups from data that is stored on SD Cards or on digital devices like tablets, smart phones, hard disks, flash drives, camcorders, and digital cameras.

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PlexEasy is meant to provide an easy and intuitive way for lesser- or lightly skilled end users to make reliable backups of their data without having to use a PC. It will support mass storage devices and the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), an image transfer technology integrated into many models of cameras and smartphones. For users, this means that PlexEasy can be used for burning photos directly from a camera (point-and-shoot or DSLR) or smartphone (iOS, Android, Blackberry etc.). The drive’s compatibility with mass storage devices enables the connection of MP3 players, flash drives, and external hard disks. Users are able to transfer videos, music, or other data from a device to DVD or from an SD card to an external storage device.

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Three Korean Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. (HLDS) executives have agreed to plead guilty and to serve prison time in the United States for their participation in a series of conspiracies to rig bids and fix prices for the sale of optical disk drives, the Department of Justice announced today.

According to the felony charges filed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Young Keun Park, Sang Hun Kim and Sik Hur, aka Daniel Hur, conspired with co-conspirators to suppress and eliminate competition by rigging bids for optical disk drives sold to Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) and/or fixing prices for optical disk drives sold to Microsoft Corporation. The three HLDS executives participated in the conspiracies at various times between approximately November 2005 and September 2009. Under the plea agreement, Park and Kim each have agreed to serve eight months in prison and Hur has agreed to serve seven months in prison. Each has also agreed to pay a $25,000 criminal fine. HLDS is a joint venture between Hitachi Ltd., a Japanese corporation, and LG Electronics Inc., a Republic of Korea corporation.

“Today’s plea agreements demonstrate the Antitrust Division’s continued commitment to protect competition in the high tech industry,” said Sharis A. Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. “The division will continue to pursue and prosecute those who participate in bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracies that harm businesses and consumers in the optical disk drive industry.”

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Pioneer Japan sent out a press release this morning, announcing the its new BDXL compatible Blu-ray Disc writer, the BDR-207JBK. Along with the ability to playback BDXL discs, the drive can write to triple- (100GB) and quad-layer (128GB) BD-R media at 6x and triple-layer (100GB) BD-RE media at 2x. The BDR-207JBK is also capable of 12x BD-R, 12x BD-R DL, 6x BD-R LTH, 2x BD-RE and 2x BD-RE DL writing speeds and includes features like Pioneer's PowerRead and PureRead2 technologies and a new power-saving mode. Pioneer rounds all this out with a software bundle from CyberLink that supports BDXL recording as well as Blu-ray 3D playback.

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The BDR-207JBK is scheduled to ship in early January and is expected to retail for about 18,000 Yen ($231US).

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In response to frequently asked questions from users on how and which recording medium should be used to retain important data to the highest possible standard, JVC Advanced Media U.S.A. Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of optical discs, announced today the product launch of “Archival Grade DVD-R”.  We are also responding to increasing demand to retain data that requires a certain period of storage or is obliged to be submitted to administrative bodies, government bodies, etc.

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JVC Advanced Media has taken this issue, i.e. the retention of data for a long period of time or submission, as a social responsibility.  The Company has started developing products that comply with ISO/IEC10995, which defines the test method to estimate the archival lifetime of the DVDR.

“Archival Grade DVD-R” is manufactured by exclusive production lines in Japan.  Quality control is set at the highest level and inspection frequency is approximately 10 times greater compared to standard products.  This allows the minimum fluctuation of the products needed to meet users’ strict storage requirements.

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Buffalo Japan recently sent out a press release, announcing its new portable, BDXL compatible Blu-ray Disc writer, the BRXL-PCW6U2-BK. Along with the ability to play back BDXL discs, this USB-powered drive can write to triple- (100GB) and quad-layer (128GB) BD-R media at 4x and triple-layer (100GB) BD-RE media at 2x. On top of that, the drive is capable of 6x BD-R, 6x BD-R DL, 6x BD-R LTH, 2x BD-RE and 2x BD-RE DL writing speeds and a maximum BD-ROM read speed of 6x. The BRXL-PCW6U2-BK also features an LED indicator that shows whether or not it is getting enough power as well as a second USB cable to "boost" the power to the required levels.

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The BRXL-PCW6U2-BK is scheduled to ship in mid November and is expected to cost about 15,700 Yen ($273US).

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lite-on_ehbu212_bd_writer.jpgLite-On, a global leader of optical storage solutions, is releasing three new optical disc drives to its product line-up: the external 12X Blu-ray Writer (eHBU212), the external slim 6X Blu-ray Combo (eSEU206), and the internal 12X Blu-ray Combo (iHES212).

The external 12X Blu-ray Writer, eHBU212, reads and writes blu-ray disc at a blazing speed of up to 12X. It also supports the latest plug-and-play USB 3.0 Superspeed. The eHBU212 is the true companion for BD fanatic and a must have for PC-based home theatre.

Also released are the external slim and internal blu-ray combo: eSEU206 and iHES212. These drives are capable of blu-ray playback, and burns DVD and CD disc. The eSEU206 is portable and lightweight due to its slim design; making it a perfect for notebook and netbook users or people constant on-the-go. The iHES212 is a half-height design for PCs; making it a great companion for home PCs.

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Hitachi-LG Data Storage Inc. has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $21.1 million criminal fine for its participation in a series of conspiracies to rig bids and fix prices for the sale of optical disk drives, the Department of Justice announced today.  This is the department’s first charge resulting from its ongoing investigation into the optical disk drive industry.

A 15-count felony charge was filed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco against Hitachi-LG Data Storage, a joint venture between Hitachi Ltd., a Japanese corporation, and LG Electronics Inc., a Republic of Korea corporation.  Of the 14 counts, seven charge Hitachi-LG Data Storage with conspiring with others to suppress and eliminate competition by rigging bids on optical disk drives sold to Dell Inc.; six counts charge Hitachi-LG Data Storage with rigging bids on optical disk drives sold to Hewlett-Packard Company (HP); and one count charges Hitachi-LG Data Storage with conspiring with others to fix the prices of optical disk drives sold to Microsoft Corporation.  The final count charges Hitachi-LG Data Storage for its participation in a scheme to defraud HP in an April 2009 optical disk drive procurement event.

“The bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracies involving optical disk drives undermined competition and innovation in the high tech industry,” said Sharis A. Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “The Antitrust Division is committed to prosecuting those who harm competition in the optical disk drive industry.”

Under the plea agreement, which is subject to court approval, Hitachi-LG Data Storage has agreed to assist the department in its ongoing investigation into the optical disk drive industry.

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I-O DATA Japan sent out a press release earlier this week, announcing its new portable, BDXL compatible Blu-ray Disc writer, the BRP-U6XE. This USB-powered drive can write to triple- (100GB) and quad-layer (128GB) BD-R media at 4x and triple-layer (100GB) BD-RE media at 2x. The BRP-U6XE is also capable of 6x BD-R, 6x BD-R DL, 6x BD-R LTH, 2x BD-RE and 2x BD-RE DL writing speeds and a maximum BD-ROM read speed of 6x.

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The BRP-U6XE comes bundled with WinDVD BD3D as well as Nero Express Essentials and is expected to cost 17,800 Yen ($234US) when it hits stores at the beginning of October.

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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a worldwide leader in digital consumer electronics and information technology, announced today its new slim portable Blu-ray Writer, the SE-506AB optical disk drive (ODD).

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SE-506AB features a slim and sleek design with a hi-glossy anti-scratch surface. It is 12 percent smaller than Samsung’s conventional Blu-ray drive to accommodate today’s hectic mobile lifestyle. The slim form factor is also supported with a USB power interface that eliminates the need for a separate electrical outlet.

The SE-506AB drive is compatible with all major operating systems, including Win7 and Mac OS. In addition, the drive features Buffer Under Run technology to prevent errors that may result from writing speeds that exceed data transfer speeds, while also enabling PC multitasking.

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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a worldwide leader in digital consumer electronics and information technology, announced today its new smart media hub, the SE-208BW optical disk drive (ODD).

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The SE-208BW is a new product that combines an external ODD with wireless connectivity to provide wider end-user benefits. Offering traditional CD/DVD playback and writing capabilities, the SE-208BW features Samsung’s own APP to enable smartphone, tablet and PC users to wirelessly stream and play CDs and DVDs on their smart devices to listen to music or watch their favorite movies.

The SE-208BW breaks new ground for ODD’s by adding wireless access point (AP) and repeater functionality to connect the drive to an Ethernet LAN cable. For users with an existing AP that suffers from weak signal strength, the SE-208BW also serves as a repeater to amplify Wi-Fi signals and widen the connectivity range across the home.

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