Miguel at Extreme Mhz has taken a look at Samsung's new LightScribe capable 18x DVD±RW, the SH-S182M. Here's a sample of what he had to say about it:
The Samsung SH-S182M was a sheer pleasure to review and had the potential of being on of the best drives you can buy. In fact, the only reason this drive failed to earn my highest recommendation was due to the poor ripping performance. Also, the DVD double layer write performance is questionable as it seemed to struggle quite a bit with the +R format, even when using the highest quality media available.
If you'd like to read more, head on over to Extreme Mhz and check out their review. Also, make sure you enter their latest contest as they are giving away a few 12x DVD-RAM discs. Add a comment
Here's an interesting bit of news. According to an article at vnunet.com, companies like Ritek and U-Tech are working on a way to embed RFID chips into DVD's. These chips would then be used to track the discs as they make their way to store shelves as well as a way to prevent illegal copying.
DVDs will soon be tracked with embedded radio transmitter chips to prevent copying and piracy, according to the company which makes movie discs for Warner, Disney, Fox and other major studios.

The technology, which can also be used for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs, will allow movie studios to remotely track individual discs as they travel from factories to retail shelves to consumers' homes.

Home DVD players will eventually be able to check on the chip embedded in a disc, and refuse to play discs which are copied or played in the 'wrong' geographical region, the companies behind the technology expect.
While this is a great way to track DVD's, I don't see it as a good way to prevent piracy. RFID chips can be disabled or "zapped" using devices like a modified camera. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
The guys at CD Freaks have gotten their hands on an early sample of Plextor's new standalone CD/DVD eraser, the PlexEraser PX-0E100E. Here's what they had to say about it:
Our opinion about this device is that we strongly believe that this product is not in the first line aimed for the private and normal everyday user, but rather for Companies, Organizations, Financial institutions, Hospitals/Medical institutions, Government departments, Military and Research establishments, which wants to destroys sensitive data stored on CD/DVD in an environmentally and friendly way.
If you'd like to read more, CD Freaks' entire review can be found here. Add a comment
The DVD Forum held their 35th Steering Committee meeting earlier this week. Among other things, the group approved the specifications for DVD-RW DL media. Here are some of the highlights from the meeting:
  • Approval of "DVD Specifications for Recordable Disc for Dual Layer (DVD-R for DL) File System Specifications, Version 3.0"
  • Approval of "Inclusion of 44.1kHz audio family into HD DVD-Video as mandatory"
  • Approval of "DVD Specifications for Re-recordable Disc for Dual Layer (DVD-RW for DL) Physical Specifications, Version 2.0"
  • Approval of "Version-up Information for the following Specifications:
    -DVD Specifications for High Density Rewritable Disc (HD DVD-RAM) Physical Specifications (Version 1.0 to 1.1)
    -DVD Specifications for High Density Recordable Disc (HD DVD-R) Physical Specifications (Version 1.0 to 1.1)
    -DVD Specifications for High Density Recordable Disc for Dual Layer (HD DVD-R for DL) Physical Specifications (Version 2.0 to 2.1)
    -DVD Specifications for High Density Re-recordable Disc (HD DVD-RW) Physical Specifications (Version 1.0 to 1.1)
    -DVD Specifications for High Density Re-recordable Disc for Dual Layer (HD DVD-RW for DL) Physical Specifications (Version 2.0 to 2.1) "
  • Approval of "The following conceptual proposals:
    -HD DVD application format (HD DVD-Video/Video Recording) recording on red laser DVD recordable media
    -Red laser recording function: Type 1 & 2 (provisional approval and details including physical specifications will be decided for Type 2 later)
    -Creation of format specifications by related WGs (WG-1, 3, 5, 6 and 9)"
Some of the proposals are interesting. In particular the ability to record HD DVD video content onto standard DVD media. If you'd like to read more, the Steering Committee's entire list of resolutions can be found here. Add a comment
Just a reminder that CDRLabs is offering an ad-free subscription-based service. For a low monthly or yearly fee, CDRLabs.com can be viewed without any ads. This subscription service also gives members access to a special "members only" section of the forum and benefits like a larger attachment quota. This is great for all of you that like to upload writing quality scans.

As part of your subscription, you will also get a vanity CDRLabs email address. Powered by Google, this email account comes with a 2GB quota.

As our introductory price, we will be offering the following subscription options:
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  • For instructions on how to subscribe, please see this forum thread. Add a comment
    HardwareZone has put together a review of LG's new Blu-ray Disc writer, the GBW-H10N. Here's a sample of what they had to say:
    The new LG GBW-H10N fared a lot better in this aspect than the few early Blu-ray drives in the market, but it is still not the perfect Blu-ray solution despite its ability to burn BD-R media at an unprecedented speed of 4x. This positive achievement was dampened by the drive's lack of support for dual layer Blu-ray. A single layer 25GB Blu-ray disc support is the most you can hope on this LG drive though we are not sure if a future firmware update will add support. Fortunately, compared to the very first Blu-ray drives, which had only DVD/Blu-ray support, the LG at least supports writing to all existing formats, including less popular ones like DVD-RAM, though write speeds are not as fast as most consumers are used to.
    While the lack of dual layer BD media support is a little disappointing, the ability to write to 2x BD-R media at 4x is a plus. If you'd like to read more, the entire review can be found here. Add a comment
    Earlier this week, LG launched their first Blu-ray Disc products. Along with their new Blu-ray Disc writer, the GBW-H10N, LG has will offer a series of Blu-ray compatible desktop PC's. The company also plans to release a Blu-ray player by the end of the year.

    LG's Blu-ray RW, the Super Multi Blue (GBW-H10N), can store up to 25 GB of data on a single disc.

    The Super Multi Blue can write to Blu-ray Recordable Discs at 4x, which is the world's first, and Blu-ray Rewritable Discs at 2x. It is compatible with Blu-ray discs of all sizes and is also backward compatible with standard CDs and DVDs.

    LG will initially sell the Super Multi Blue in Korea and major European markets including Germany and France.
    We still have not heard when the GBW-H10N will be availble in the US. If you'd like to read more, LG's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
    Today, CDRLabs brings you an in depth look at I-O DATA's new Blu-ray Disc writer, the BRD-AM2B/U. Based on the Panasonic SW-5582, the BRD-AM2B/U supports both single and dual layer BD-R and BD-RE media, giving it the ability to store up to 50GB of data or four hours worth of HD video onto a single disc. I-O DATA's new drive can also be used to play Blu-ray Disc movies and can read and write to all major CD and DVD formats, including DVD-RAM.

    In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the BRD-AM2B/U and see how it compares to the Pioneer BDR-101A. Does I-O DATA's Blu-ray Disc writer have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.

    I-O DATA BRD-AM2B/U Blu-ray Disc Writer
    If you have any comments or questions about this review or the I-O DATA BRD-AM2B/U, please post them in the forum by clicking the link below. Add a comment
    According to DigiTimes, a shortage of blue laser diodes may push back the competition between Blu-ray and HD-DVD until early 2007.
    Since manufacturers of blue laser diodes are still unable to improve yield rates, the shortage may result in pushing back the competition between Blu-ray Disc (BD) and HD-DVD optical disc drives in the market to the first quarter of 2007, according to sources at optical disc drive (ODD) manufacturers.

    Although several vendors, including Royal Philips Electronics, Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS), Sony, Matsushita Electric, Lite-On IT and BenQ, already announced BD or HD-DVD drives, only Pioneer and Plextor are currently able to maintain actual shipments, according to the sources. Toshiba may soon join them, with volume shipments planned to kick off in September, the sources added.
    The article also mentions that Sony has suspended shipments of blue laser diodes to other customers so that they can use them in the PS3. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
    During a recent Windows Vista presentation, Microsoft Senior Program Manager, Steve Riley, dropped a bombshell on the audience, stating that "next-generation high definition content will not play in x32 at all." If you want to play back HD-DVD or Blu-ray movies, you will need the 64-bit version of the OS.
    The surprising disclosure was made by Senior Program Manager Steve Riley during a presentation on Windows Vista security at Tech.Ed 2006 Sydney today.

    "Any next-generation high definition content will not play in x32 at all," said Riley.

    "This is a decision that the Media Player folks made because there are just too many ways right now for unsigned kernel mode code [to compromise content protection]. The media companies asked us to do this and said they don't want any of their high definition content to play in x32 at all, because of all of the unsigned malware that runs in kernel mode can get around content protection, so we had to do this," he said.
    If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. As usual, feel free to leave your comments in our forum.

    Update: APC has followed up with another article claiming that the statement made by Riley was only partially correct. According to a recent blog post, it is up to the software vendor as to whether or not you'll need a 64-bit CPU to play High Definition content. Add a comment