The results are in and our readers have chosen the BenQ DW1650/1655 as the top DVD writer for the month of March. Here are the top five drives:
  1. BenQ DW1650/1655
  2. LG GSA-4167B
  3. Plextor PX-716A
  4. BenQ DW1640
  5. NEC ND-3550A/3551A
Your favorite drive didn't make it onto the list? Then go and vote for April's top DVD writer. Add a comment
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    While the battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD has taken center stage, there is another war going on between Taiwan's FVD and China's EVD formats. According to DigiTimes, things are looking good for FVD as a major promoter of EVD has run into some financial troubles.
    FVD (forward versatile disc), Taiwan's self-developed DVD standard, is getting a boost in the fight against EVD (enhanced versatile disc), a China-developed DVD standard, as Beijing E-World Digital Technology, a major promoter of the EVD standard, has defaulted on some loan payments and now stands to lose some of its patents, sources said.

    The China-based company used nine patents to secure a loan of 14 million yuan (about US$1.7 million) from two international financing companies and it has now defaulted on repayment of this loan. As a result of this, one of the financing companies is preparing to auction some of the patents, said sources at China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).
    The article also mentions that various companies have decided to roll out PC-use FVD discs in the US and Europe. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
    Xilisoft has announced their new all-in-one DVD ripping software, DVD Ripper Platinum. Combining the features of DVD Ripper and DVD Audio Ripper, DVD Ripper Platinum promises to be the "most powerful and comprehensive DVD ripping tool on the market."
    Xilisoft DVD Ripper Platinum is designed to be easy enough for a beginner to use, while still offering great customization capabilities to satisfy the needs of more experienced users. Intuitive default settings can automatically adjust the sound levels and ripping speed of the conversion files. Or high end output settings can be used to allow the user to adjust these features selectively.

    DVD's can be ripped to any custom file size necessary. Xilisoft DVD Ripper Platinum also auto-splits output files into several files to fit on a CD-R or for use on other personal media devices. Media devices such as MP4, PSP, iPod, mobile phones and PDA's are supported. Xilisoft DVD Ripper Platinum allows you to rip any segment of a DVD, also allows ripping of target subtitle and audio tracks.
    If you'd like to try it out, a trial version of DVD Ripper Platinum can be downloaded from Xilisoft's website. Otherwise, more information can be found here. Add a comment
    DigiTimes has reported that the Japan-based Sino-JP has decided not to invest in Optodisc. According to the article, the two companies were unable to settle on the price and volume of new shares and convertible bonds.
    Optodisc Technology, a second-tier maker of DVD discs in Taiwan, on April 5 announced that Japan-based Sino-JP Assets Management has decided to cancel its original plan of becoming its largest shareholder because both sides have been unable to settle on the price and volume of new shares and convertible bonds to be issued.
    For now, Optodisc plans to seek other target investors. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
    Advanced Media has announced their new RIDATA 8X DVD+R Double Layer media. With a capacity of 8.5GB, these discs can hold 4 hours of DVD-quality video, 16 hours of VHS-quality video or over 120 hours of MP3 audio.
    Advanced Media, Inc., manufacturer and marketer of the popular RIDATA brand of recordable CD and DVD media, electronic storage products, and digital media accessories, is introducing an 8x DVD+R Double Layer optical disc to its product line at Spring Retail Vision 2006. With an amazing 8.5GB of storage capacity, the advanced, single-sided disc is perfect for virtually any business or household application Shipments will begin immediately.

    "Users of the RIDATA 8x DVD+R Double-Layer medium, featuring a dramatically increased speed, will enjoy fast, reliable storage with a wide range of playback options.," stated Harvey Liu, Advanced Media president. "We are pleased to first offer it to the retail industry that will be taking advantage of Spring Retail Vision."
    No word yet on pricing or availability. As we find out more, we'll let you know. In the mean time, Advanced Media's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
    Sony NEC Optiarc, the newly formed joint venture between Sony and NEC, is expected to become the world's top ODD vendor. As their main OEM manufacturer, Lite-On also has the opportunity to become the top supplier worldwide.
    With newly formed optical disc drive (ODD) vendor Sony NEC Optiarc setting aggressive shipment goals, its contract manufacturer Lite-On IT stands a good chance of becoming the leading worldwide ODD supplier this year, market sources indicated. Sony NEC Optiarc, a joint venture (JV) between Sony and NEC, aims to beat out market leader Hitachi-LG Data Storage (HLDS) to become the top ODD vendor worldwide in 2006.
    The article also mentions that Lite-On may start using NEC's chipsets. According to MediaTek, Lite-On has not made the switch yet. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
    In order to complete compatibility testing, Samsung has announced that they've pushed back the launch of their first Blu-ray player, the BD-P1000, until June 25th.
    In breaking news out of Japan today (April 3, 2006), Samsung is rescheduling its initial U.S. Blu-Ray player launch from May 23 to June 25 in order to complete compatibility testing with several Blu-Ray test discs that will become available in late April from product manufacturers and content providers.

    According to the company, the hardware development for Samsung's BD-P1000 Blu-Ray player is complete and ready for mass production in Suwon, South Korea once these compatibility tests are passed. The company still anticipates that the Samsung BD-P1000 will be the first Blu-Ray player to launch at a national level in the United States.
    On a positive note, Samsung has added a few new features to their new player. The BD-P1000 will now provide native 1080p output via HDMI for Blu-ray titles mastered in 1920 x 1080 resolution and can upconvert standard DVD's to 1080p. The company has also upgraded the memory card interface by adding support for Mini-SD and Memory Stick Pro Duo formats. If you'd like to read more, head on over to EETimes. Add a comment
    InterVideo has announced that their MediaOne Gallery software suite is being bundled with ASUS's Deluxe motherboards. Here's part of their press release:
    InterVideo, Inc. (NASDAQ:IVII - News) announced today that ASUSTeK Computer Inc (ASUS), the worldwide leader in motherboards, is bundling InterVideo MediaOne Gallery with new ASUS motherboards. Using this software suite, consumers can easily create, organize, burn, and share their video, audio and photo files with a single, tightly-integrated interface. This collaboration underscores ASUS's strategy to provide a total value-added multimedia solution for users, so that they can fully enjoy the advantages of digital convergence.

    "We're delighted that ASUSTeK has chosen InterVideo's MediaOne Gallery for their Deluxe motherboards," said Steve Ro, CEO and President of InterVideo. "The MediaOne Gallery software suite combined with ASUS motherboards are an unbeatable combination delivering amazing performance and convenience. Together, they provide the perfect blend of power, productivity and entertainment."
    If you'd like to read more, InterVideo's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
    Advanced Media sent out a press release this afternoon, announcing their new RIDATA Hard Coated, Double Sided, Mini DVD-R media. Rated at 4x, these new discs have a total capacity of 2.92GB and are resistant to scratches thanks to a special hard coating technology.

    Ridata Hard Coated, Double Sided, Mini DVD-R Features a 4X recording speed and each side can record up to 1.46GB.This creates storage for up to 60 minutes of Audio & Video recording time virtually eliminating the need to carry numerous discs. For security, the information on the DVD-R is permanently recorded (write-once) and cannot be altered or erased with an archival life span of over 100 years. The small discs are also compatible with DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players.

    The special hard coating technology protects media against scratches that can occur when the discs are transferred between cases, camcorders and DVD players. RIDATA Hard Coated, Double Sided, Mini DVD-R 4X media are up to 100 times more scratch resistant than standard optical discs and will easily wipe clean fingerprints, ink smudges, and accidental food or beverage spills. Hard Coating features rapid static discharge to aid in preventing dust from adhering to the disc.
    RIDATA Hard Coated, Double Sided, Mini DVD-R 4X media is available now and costs less than $2 a disc if purchased in a pack of 10. More information can be found here. Add a comment