Earlier this week, LG confirmed that they are working on a combination Blu-ray/HD DVD player. If things go as planned, the player could ship later this year.
Korea's LG Electronics Inc. said on Tuesday it planned to launch a next-generation DVD player that will bridge the yawning gap between two competing formats by playing both HD DVD and Blu-ray.

"LG is a supporter of Blu-ray and is now considering a dual format player for later this year," said John Taylor, a U.S. spokesman for the Korean company.

Both Blu-ray, developed by a Sony Corp -led consortium, and HD DVD, championed by Toshiba Corp , offer more capacity than current DVDs, but the groups' failure to reach a unified front has paved the way for a costly battle in the $24 billion home video market, like the VHS/Betamax war of 25 years ago that caused widespread customer confusion.

Korean LG Electronics last week became the second high-profile Blu-ray supporter after Hewlett-Packard to announce it would also support HD DVD.
If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
According to an article at Reuters, TEAC and Pioneer have agreed to work together to develop DVD drives for laptops.
TEAC Corp. said on Wednesday it and electronics maker Pioneer Corp. had agreed to co-develop recordable DVD drives for laptop computers, in the latest move by Japanese electronics makers to counter the tough price competition in the industry.

TEAC, a maker of floppy disk and CD-ROM drives, said in a statement the two companies will work on the details of the agreement and would also consider expanding their ties to other areas.
I thought TEAC and Pioneer had signed this agreement months ago, but I guess not. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
As many of you know, Toshiba plans to ship their HD DVD players later this month. Unfortunately, it looks like movie studios will not be shipping HD DVD titles in time for the launch date.
Warner Home Video, the only studio that in January had set a firm date, March 28, for its first high-definition DVD titles to arrive in stores, now says it might not be ready in time because of technical problems.

"To be honest, the outlook is tenuous -- we're still coming out with an initial slate, but we may be a week or two later; we just don't know," division president Ron Sanders said.
Needless to say, I would not rush out and buy an HD DVD player as it will be a few weeks before you'll be able to buy any movies in the new format. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Verbatim Australia sent out a press release this morning, announcing their new inkjet printable 16x DVD-R and DVD+R media.
Verbatim Corporation, the market leader in premium-quality printable media, has announced the immediate availability of their white inkjet printable 16X DVD+/-R media. The discs feature a matte white printable surface and fast drying times with ultra-reliable, high-speed recording technology and broad read compatibility.

With the ability to record at about 21 MB/sec, these high speed Verbatim DVD discs can store 4.7GB of video, photos, music or data files in about five minutes. Verbatim has worked closely with verification authorities and leading drive manufacturers to produce this high-performance DVD media, certified for 1-16X DVD writing.

The key component in achieving 16X speed DVD media that delivers optimum performance, superior quality and the broadest compatibility is the proprietary recording layer technology developed by Verbatim, Advanced AZO. By using the proven dye technology incorporated in its 8X DVD media as the platform for the new, more sensitive Advanced AZO technology, Verbatim engineers not only achieved 16X write speed, they ensured that the new media will maintain backward compatibility with existing DVD recorders and 1-8X DVD burners.
Verbatim's inkjet printable 16x DVD media is available now in 50 pack spindles for a recommended retail price of $42.95. A 100 pack spindle of DVD+R media will also be available in April for about $79.95. More information can be found here. Add a comment
AVS Media has announced the release of the world's first freeware Blu-ray compliant burning software, AVS Disc Creator 2.1. Here's part of their press release:
Online Media Technologies Ltd., the owner of the www.AVSMedia.com project proudly announces the release of AVS Disc Creator 2.1 freeware, the first and the only one free CD/DVD/BD-compliant burning software at the today's international market of multimedia solutions. AVS Disc Creator 2.1 freeware now demonstrates the complete support of Blu-ray disc media (BD-R, BD-RE) burning. As a member of BDA (Blu-ray disc Association) Online Media Technologies Ltd. implements the upcoming Blu-ray technologies in AVS Disc Creator freeware and its other software delivering tomorrow's high-tech multimedia.

As distinct from other standard burning solutions for its extended list of supported disc types (CD-R/RW, DVD+/-R, DVD+/-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD+/R, Double/Dual Layer), AVS Disc Creator 2.1 now enables you to burn your data on high-capacity BD discs that considerably saves your storage costs and enhances the protection of your important data. So, you can take full advantage of storing your data in the highest possible quality due to the unique BD data capacity of 25 or 50 GB per disc.
AVS Disc Creator 2.1 can be downloaded here. Otherwise, more information can be found on AVS Media's website. 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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Earlier today, Verbatim announced the availability of two new Store 'n' Go USB HD Drives. Available in capacities of 4GB and 8GB, these new drives come pre-loaded with Mobile Launchpad, giving users the ability to launch applications without installing them on the local system.
Verbatim Corporation announced today the availability of its new 4GB and 8GB Store 'n' Go(TM) USB HD Drives, the latest additions to its award-winning family of USB drives. Designed for portability and style, these lightweight drives have the capacity to meet the needs of people who want to carry volumes of digital data, video, and audio with them or for keeping key information such as emails, photos, or personal calendars available at any time.

The new Store 'n' Go HD Drives come pre-loaded with Mobile Launchpad, a utility providing users with the ability to download applications for running directly from the USB HD Drive. Mobile Launchpad also allows users to have complete access to personal files and data without loading the content on a guest system. For quick and immediate access, the drives can also be used in regular drag 'n' drop mode.
Verbatim's 4GB and 8GB Store 'n' Go USB HD Drives will be available in March for an approximate street price of $129 and $199 respectively. More information can be found here. Add a comment
Aleratec has announced that a new version of Droppix Label Maker is available for owners of their 1:4 DVD/CD Tower Publisher LS. This new version of the software has the ability to insert fields in any text area and automatically import CD-Audio information.
Aleratec, developer and manufacturer of advanced USB, DVD/CD duplicating, recording, and digital imaging solutions announced today the addition of powerful new features for the 1:4 DVD/CD Tower Publisher LS. Aleratec is offering a very significant upgrade to Droppix Label Maker including the ability to insert fields in any text area, the ability to automatically retrieve information (artist, track names, etc.) from audio CD and album art from the internet. The Publishing Tower supports up to 4 simultaneous DVD/CD Copies, Recordings, or produces up to 4 Silk Screen Quality LightScribe labeled discs. The 1:4 DVD/CD Tower Publisher LS is a DVD/CD duplicator with LightScribe technology that simultaneously Laser burns custom labels directly on DVD/CD discs making it the first LightScribe desktop production disc publishing system. You can create your own custom labels, with text and graphics, using the unique Aleratec Disc Publishing Software Suite, powered by Droppix, included FREE! with purchase.

"Offering this significant Droppix Label Maker upgrade enhances the utility of LightScribe direct to disc labeling technology and gives our Prosumer users more of what they have been asking for and there will be no increase in price. Also, there is a free download of the upgrade for customers that have already purchased their 1:4 DVD/CD Tower Publisher LS," stated Perry Solomon, President and CEO. "The 1:4 DVD/CD Tower Publisher LS with the new Droppix Label Maker upgrade provides exciting new features like the ability to retrieve album art directly from the internet. It has more label templates, the ability to create and store custom templates, improved personalization and serialization features and much more and it's only from Aleratec."
If you'd like to read more about this Droppix Label Maker upgrade, Aleratec's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
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
NEC is reportedly demonstrating a HD-DVD burner at CeBIT. This new drive, called the HD-1100, is compatible with single and dual layer HD-DVD discs and can even write to both CD's and DVD's.
NEC is demonstrating the drive with media from Mitsubishi Kagaku Media Co. Ltd., which is best known by its Verbatim brand name. The company is shooting high-definition video each morning at the show and burning it onto a disc for playback during the day, said Ryoichi Hayatsu, an NEC storage product division manager, in an interview.

The blank media, which only became available days before Cebit began, is single-sided so can store up to 15GB of data. The drive is also compatible with dual-layer discs, which can store 30GB. In addition, the drive, called HD-1100, also writes to DVD and CD discs.

NEC is also working on support for rewritable HD-DVD media although the standardization for HD-DVD Rewritable has yet to be completed. That's expected to be finalized in May or June this year, said Hayatsu.
While the HD DVD camp will be shipping their players first, they seem to be lagging behind Blu-ray when it comes to recordable technology. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment