According to an article at DigiTimes, CMC Magnetics plans to raise CD-R disc prices by as much as 10% in June. This price hike is due in part to tight global supply for CD-R discs.
As second-tier makers in Taiwan and smaller makers in China have given up production of CD-R discs due to intense competition and leading Taiwanese makers switch CD-R production capacity to making DVD discs, the global supply of CD-R discs is 20% short of demand this quarter, Wong indicated. The gap may expand to 30% next quarter and if so, CMC may further raise its quotes by another 5-10%, Wong noted.
With CMC raising their prices, you can expect smaller manufacturers to do the same. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
While those of us at CDRLabs are taking it easy, enjoying Memorial Day, the guys at CD Freaks have put together a review of Plextor's new 18x DVD±RW, the PX-760A. Here's a sample of what they had to say:
The Plextor PX-760A has excellent DVD±R writing performance, with its 18x writing speed cutting the time taken to burn this media type. Setting aside the 18x writing speed, the Plextor PX-760A 16x and 12x burns return very respectable writing times.

The Plextor PX-760A can write most DVD±R with very good quality. PoweRec and Auto Strategy assured the best results possible over our range of tested media.
If you'd like to read more, the entire review can be found here. Add a comment
Macrovision has announced that their analog content protection (ACP) technology has been selected by the AACS LA to protect next-generation formats like Blu-ray and HD DVD. Here's part of their press release:
Macrovision Corporation (Nasdaq:MVSN - News) today announced that its analog content protection technology (ACP) has been included as a requirement in the specification for the content protection technology for next-generation optical media content such as Blu-ray and HD DVD by the Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator (AACS LA). This announcement expands Macrovision's leadership in content protection for entertainment content to next-generation, high-definition media formats.

With this agreement, Macrovision's ACP will be included in the latest AACS LA protection specification release, the Advanced Access Content System, which manages content stored on the next generation of prerecorded and recordable optical media for consumer use with PCs and CE devices. Using Macrovision's ACP solution, movie studios and consumer electronics companies will be able to protect content on next-generation optical discs from analog piracy and consumers will be able to enjoy the enhanced quality of these next-generation formats.
The movie studios are really trying to cover all their bases. With ACP, you won't even be able to make low quality, analog copies of HD titles. If you'd like to read more, Macrovision's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Lite-On released a few new firmware updates today including ones for the SHM-165H6S, SHW-160H6S and SHW-160P6S. You can download them directly using the links below.
SHW-160H6S CS07
SOHC-5236V R$0G
As usual, the only description given for for these updates is that they "Match More Media". Please feel free to share your experiences with this new firmware in our forum. Add a comment
InterVideo has reaffirmed their commitment to supporting HD DVD, At WinHEC, the company unveiled its plans for HD DVD playback support. Along with software for Windows Vista, the company plans to include support for HD DVD in all of its PC products.
InterVideo, Inc. (NASDAQ: IVII) an industry leader in next-generation DVD and multimedia software, today announced its commitment to support HD DVD. At WinHEC 2006, InterVideo showcased its plans for HD DVD playback support on PCs in late 2006 and early 2007.

With a growing list of top movies available and favorable reviews of the latest HD DVD players, the community of supporters for HD DVD hardware and software continues to grow. Already this year, innovative PC OEMs such as Toshiba have begun offering HD DVD drives in desktop and notebook PCs. Additionally, a full line of IHV components from leading manufacturers including Intel will help support HD DVD playback on PCs. InterVideo has reaffirmed its commitment to include HD DVD support in all of its PC products and will focus on developing new software that will ensure seamless playback on Windows Vista PCs.
If you'd like to read more, InterVideo's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
The DVD Forum held their 34th Steering Committee meeting earlier this week. Among other things, the group approved a number of specifications and decided upon a logo for HD DVD-RW DL 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 2.0"
  • Approval of
    "-DVD Specifications for High Density Re-recordable Disc (HD DVD-RW) Physical Specifications, Version 1.0
    -DVD Specifications for High Density Re-recordable Disc (HD DVD-RW) 1x-speed Optional Specifications, Revision 1.0"
  • Approval of
    "-DVD Specifications for High Density Re-recordable Disc for Dual Layer (HD DVD-RW for DL) Physical Specifications, Version 2.0
    -DVD Specifications for High Density Re-recordable Disc for Dual Layer (HD DVD-RW for DL) 1x-speed Optional Specifications, Revision 1.0"
  • Approval of "Logo/Mark for HD DVD-RW Dual Layer"

  • Approval of "To begin to develop Physical Specifications for China only HD DVD-ROM format in WG-11 ad hoc while China Sub Committee resolves policy issues"
  • Approval of
    "HD DVD RPC Ad hoc group to work with appropriate WGs to develop a specification and enforcement plan for RPC on HD DVD-Video including region map and requirements in consultation with the studios"
Like Blu-ray, HD DVD will also be getting region controls. It will be interesting to see how this will effect existing HD DVD players as they do not support this feature. If you'd like to read more, the Steering Committee's entire list of resolutions can be found here. Add a comment
LG Germany has officially announced their new Blu-ray drive, the GBW-H10N. Along with support for all DVD formats, the GBW-H10N features 4x BD-R and 2x BD-RE writing speeds. Here's part of LG's press release, translated from German:

LG Electronics, market leader with optical memory drive assemblies, brings its first Blu ray burner to GBW-H10N with the model on the market. With burning speeds of 4x with BD-R and 2x with BD-RH-media the youngest member of the LG super multi-family stands out clearly against the competition. The new internal model is besides fully downward-compatibly and thus able, also CDs and DVDs, inclusive DVD-RAM (5x), to burn. The innovative drive assembly concept super Multi Blue guarantees that no user must do without the used fuel comfort. The GBW-H10N comes in the middle of June on the German market. The noncommittal price recommendation is with 799, - euro.

DVD Writing Speeds:
BD-R (SL): 2x, 4x CLV
BD-RE (SL): 2x CLV
DVD+R: 2.4x, 4x CLV, 8x Z-CLV, 12x P-CAV
DVD+RW: 2.4x, 4x, 6x, 8x Z-CLV
DVD+R DL: 2.4x, 4x CLV
DVD-R: 2x, 4x CLV, 8x, 12x P-CAV
DVD-RW: 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x CLV
DVD-R DL: 2x, 4x CLV
DVD-RAM: 2x, 3x Z-CLV, 5x P-CAV
CD-R: 4x, 8x CLV
CD-RW: 4x, 8x, 10x CLV

Read Speeds:
BD-ROM (SL): 4.8x Max
BD-ROM (DL): 4x Max
BD-R (SL): 4.8x Max
BD-RE (SL): 2x Max
DVD-ROM (SL): 16x Max
DVD-ROM (DL): 8x Max
DVD-RAM: 2x, 3x, 5x P-CAV
DVD-Video: 8x Max
DVD±R/RW: 10x Max
DVD±R DL: 8x Max
CD-R/RW/ROM: 40x Max
CD-DA (DAE): 40x Max

While we have not heard if or when the GBW-H10N will be available in the US, it is expected to hit the European market in June for a whopping 799 Euros ($1020US). More information can be found here. Add a comment
Nero sent out a press release this morning, announcing that they are an early adopter of Microsoft's Windows Vista Logo Quality Program.
Nero, leaders in digital media technology, announces today that it has joined Microsoft as an early adopter independent software vendors (ISVs) of the Windows Vista Certified for Windows Vista Logo Program. As participants in the program with its Nero Burning ROM as the pilot application, Nero will adhere to the specific standards created by Microsoft and offer its customers the seamless integration of Nero software into the Windows Vista operating system.
If you'd like to read more, Nero's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
While Microsoft has criticized Sony for making Blu-ray standard on the PS3, Ray Maguire of Sony UK has replied, claiming that it is essential to the next-gen gaming experience.
"Blu-Ray is really important for the games side of our business because what it does is it give us the ability to have 50Gb of information actually on the disc," Maguire said.

"With PlayStation 3 you're looking at a Cell chip that has immense computing power. That means you're going to need a huge amount of storage as well - we really need that Blu-Ray disc because what we don't want to be doing is swapping discs half way through loading. It's really important to us."
It's going to be interesting to see what game developers can do with Blu-ray. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
As we've reported in the past, Taiwanese disc manufacturers have not been happy with Philips' Veeza licensing system. According to DigiTimes, Philips is now requiring manufacturers to adopt Veeza and has set a May 30 deadline for compliance.
Taiwanese makers of CD-R discs are generally reluctant to accept Veeza, the sources indicated. The new royalty rate of US$0.025 per disc, though 44.4% cheaper that the original US$0.045, still accounts for 20-30% of OEM prices of CD-R discs, much higher than the 3-5% desired by Taiwanese makers, the sources pointed out. In addition, Taiwanese makers are dissatisfied with Philips' incapability of imposing Veeza on makers of CD-R discs in China and India, which subjects them to unfair competition.
It's not known what Philips will do if manufacturers fail to sign onto the Veeza program. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment