CDRLabs has taken an in depth look at Memorex's new 16x DVD±RW, the MRX-500N. Based on the NEC ND-3550A, the drive is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL and 6x DVD-R DL writing speeds and has a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. The MRX-500N also includes features like 48x CD reading and writing speeds, 32x rewriting speeds and an impressive software bundle from Nero.

In this review we'll take a look at the features found on the MRX-500N and then see how it compares to some of the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Does Memorex's new drive have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.


Memorex MRX-500N 16x DVD±RW
As usual, if you have any comments or questions about this review or the Memorex MRX-500N, please post them in the forum using the link provided below. Add a comment
If you were thinking about getting an HD DVD or Blu-ray player, you might want to read this article at Businessweek first. Unless your TV has the right connectors, you won't be able to play movies at their full resolution.
The new content-protection scheme would be the first time any consumer electronics purchaser -- not just those who try to break copyright laws -- could be penalized. In this case, even if you have a perfectly equipped TV, content providers retain the right to automatically downgrade the picture quality because of piracy concerns. Current DVD releases like Batman Begins and Walk The Line include software to prevent unauthorized duplication, but still play normally.

New software included on both Blu-ray and HD-DVD releases, however, will automatically slash the image, making it only marginally better than current DVDs, unless consumers have a relatively new connector and cable called HDMI to hook up players to their televisions. Only one in 20 HD sets sold to early adopters over the past few years has the right version of the connector. Only 15% of new sets sold this year will include it, and deliver the full 1080 resolution capable of showing such detail.
Thankfully, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount and Universal are not planning to use the new copy protection, at least on their initial releases. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
InPhase has announced that they've successfully demonstrated the highest data density of any commercial technology by recording 515 gigabits of data per square inch. Here's part of their press release:
InPhase Technologies, the world's leader in holographic data storage, announced today that it has demonstrated the highest data density of any commercial technology by recording 515 gigabits of data per square inch. Holographic storage is a revolutionary departure from all existing recording methods because it takes advantage of volumetric efficiencies rather than only recording on the surface of the material. InPhase will deliver the industry's first holographic drive and media later this year. The first generation drive has a capacity of 300 gigabytes on a single disk with a 20 megabyte per second transfer rate. The first product will be followed by a family ranging from 800GB to 1.6 terabyte (TB) capacity.

"IT professionals are experiencing enormous growth in their data archives," said Wolfgang Schlichting, Research Director, Removable Storage, IDC. "InPhase Technologies' announcement is an important milestone in storage density, demonstrating impressive capacity increases enabled by holographic storage. The technology represents a potential alternative to incumbent technologies for archival storage requirements," he added.

Densities in holography are achieved by different factors than magnetic storage. Density depends on the number of pixels/bits in a page of data; the number of pages that are stored in a particular volumetric location; the dynamic range of the recording material; the thickness of the material, and the wavelength of the recording laser.
With developments like this, it probably won't be long before we see those 1.6 TB discs. If you'd like to read more, InPhase's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
The guys over at CD Freaks have put together a review of Plextor's new 16x DVD±RW, the PX-755A. Here's what they had to say about it:
The Plextor PX-755A can write most DVD±R with very good quality. PoweRec and Auto Strategy assured the best results possible over our large range of tested media.

CD-R/RW write quality was also very good, the Plextor PX-755A handling some troublesome media with ease. CD-R/RW media compatibility was also very good.
If you'd like to read more, head on over to CD Freaks and check out their review. Add a comment
Today, CDRLabs brings you an in depth look at Plextor's new "Super-Multi" drive, the PX-750A. Based on the BenQ DQ60, the PX-750A is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL, 4x DVD-R DL writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. On top of that, it can read and write to DVD-RAM media at 5x.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the PX-750A and see how it compares to some of the "Super-Multi" drives from the competition. Does the PX-750A have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.


Plextor PX-750A 16x DVD±RW/RAM
If you have any comments or questions about this review or the Plextor PX-750A, please post them in the forum by clicking the link below. Add a comment
Today CDRLabs takes a long overdue look at Lite-On's 16x DVD±RW, the SHW-1635S. While affordably priced, the drive features some pretty impressive specs. The SHW-1635S is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL and 4x DVD-R DL writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. Lite-On's drive also includes features like 48x CD reading and writing speeds, 24x rewriting speeds, and support for their SMART-BURN and SMART-X technologies.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the SHW-1635S and see how it compares to some of the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Does the SHW-1635S have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.


Lite-On SHW-1635S 16x DVD±RW
As usual, the Digital Dolphin has gone the extra mile when it comes to media testing. If you have any comments or questions about this review or the Lite-On SHW-1635S, please post them in the forum by clicking the link below.
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The guys over at CD Freaks have taken a look at LG's LightScribe capable "Super-Multi" drive, the GSA-4166B. Here's what they had to say about it:
LG's offering with the GSA-4166B performs with good to excellent write quality on just about every media type tested with a few exceptions. The drives support for DVD-RAM and LightScribe Direct to Disc Labeling technology truly makes this drive a ‘Super Multi Drive'.
If you'd like to read more, head on over to CD Freaks and check out their entire review. Add a comment
If you're thinking about getting a Blu-ray or HD DVD drive for your computer, you're probably going to want to get an HDMI compliant graphics card, especially if you plan to watch movies in these formats. If that's the case, you might want to check out Sapphire's new HDMI/HDCP compliant graphics card, the Radeon X1600Pro HDMI.

Leading graphics supplier Sapphire Technology has just confirmed it will be the first company to offer HDMI compatible versions in its latest series of graphics accelerators to be previewed at CeBit 2006. The Sapphire Radeon X1600Pro HDMI card is scheduled for availability in April and will deliver both audio and video to HDMI compliant displays and televisions.

The X1600 series has been designed to deliver high efficiency, high performance in Shader Model 3.0 and enhanced image quality. The architecture also supports AvivoTM delivering vibrant high fidelity images and video playback to the latest High Definition (HD) video standards. The new HDMI version is a low profile PCI Express card which supports HDCP and delivers exciting new levels of display performance and quality over this new industry standard connection interface. Two versions provide for either an external SPDIF or internal cable to be connected so that the audio signal is delivered over the HDMI cable.
No word on price yet. However, the Sapphire Radeon X1600Pro HDMI is expected to ship in April. If you'd like to read more, Sapphire's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
NVIDIA has announced the availability of their new PureVideo technology. With PureVideo, H.264 decoding tasks are divided between the GPU and CPU, offering a smoother frame rate and better image quality than with a CPU alone.
NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in programmable graphics processing technologies, today announced the immediate availability of new NVIDIA PureVideo technology enabling comprehensive support for high-definition video including hardware acceleration for content based on the advanced H.264 specification.

H.264, which is also known as the Advanced Video Codec (AVC) specification or MPEG-4 Part 10, is one of the digital video codecs specified for the Blu-ray (BD) and High Definition DVD (HD DVD) formats. H.264 delivers two to three times the compression efficiency of the MPEG-2 standard, which is used to create current DVD videos. H.264 has been adopted by both the DVD Forum for HD DVDs and the Blu-ray Disc Association for Blu-ray Discs, and VC-1 has also been adopted by the DVD Forum for HD DVDs.
NVIDIA PureVideo with H.264 support is available now and can be downloaded from their website. Otherwise more information on the technology can be found here. Add a comment
The results are in and our readers have chosen the BenQ DW1640 as the top DVD writer for the month of February. Here are the top five drives:
  1. BenQ DW1640
  2. BenQ DW1655
  3. LG GSA-4167B
  4. Plextor PX-716A
  5. Pioneer DVR-110/A10
Your favorite drive didn't make it onto the list? Then go and vote for March's top DVD writer. Add a comment