According to an article at DigiTimes, CMC has begun shipping single-layer 15GB HD DVD-R discs and is planning to produce dual-layer 30GB media in the 3Q of this year.
Already having started production of HD DVD-R discs in May, CMC Magnetics stated it is preparing for volume production of 30GB single-sided dual-layer HD DVD-R discs in the third quarter, according to the company.

The company is already volume shipping single-sided single-layer 15GB HD DVD-R discs, and CMC plans to volume ship the 30GB discs in the third quarter, according to the company.
If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
The guys at CD Freaks have put together a review of Lite-On's LightScribe capable "Super AllWrite" drive, the SHM-165H6s. Here's what they had to say about it:
Lite-Ons offering with the SHM-165H6S 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 AllWrite Drive'.
If you'd like to read more, head on over to CD Freaks and check out their review. Want a second opinion? Our review of the SHM-165H6S can be found here. Add a comment
Imation has announced that they've started shipping printable CD and DVD media with their new AquaGuard technology. With AquaGuard, images and text are permanently locked into the disc's surface, making them resistent to both water and smudging.
Print images with lasting impact on the new Inkjet Printable CDs and DVDs with AquaGuard(TM) surface from Imation Corp (NYSE: IMN) -- available in mid-May through Imation authorized distributors. Thanks to the first-of-its kind AquaGuard nanoparticle technology, the new discs feature a whiter, brighter surface that provides a better canvas on which to print vibrant, lasting impressions. Printed images and text are also permanently locked into the disc's surface -- even when handled immediately after printing or when exposed to water.

Inkjet disc printing -- as part of the fast-growing printable media market -- is an efficient and cost-effective solution for duplicators who create CDs or DVDs, and the businesses or consumers they serve. Imation's Inkjet Printable Media with AquaGuard surface, the world's first water-resistant and smudge-resistant inkjet printable media, alleviates traditional concerns about the appearance and smudging of inkjet disc printing compared to more expensive thermal disc printing. A white paper about AquaGuard technology is available at
Imation's Inkjet Printable Media with AquaGuard surface will hit store shelves in mid-May. More information, including pricing, can be found here . Add a comment
Memorex has announced that they've added 16x DVD+R discs to their line of LightScribe media. These new discs also support LightScribe 1.2 technology, allowing for faster label creation speeds.
Memorex, the leading brand of optical media at U.S. retail and a division of Imation Corp. (NYSE: IMN), expands its LightScribe recordable media offerings to include the newest and fastest LightScribe technology. New Memorex 16X DVD+R LightScribe media allows for stunning, laser-etched designs right on the disc surface, giving consumers a no-hassle way to burn silkscreen-quality disc prints. Featuring LightScribe Media Version 1.2 technology, the new discs produce disc designs even faster than the previous version.

With Memorex LightScribe media and a LightScribe-enabled computer drive, consumers can create custom labels using photos, graphics and text, and then inscribe the designs directly onto the specially coated, scratch-resistant discs. Memorex's new 16X DVD+R discs with LightScribe Media Version 1.2 offer maximum data recording speeds and faster label creation than first generation LightScribe DVDs. Memorex was one of the very first media brands to offer LightScribe CD and DVD recording media at North American retail.
Memorex's 16x DVD+R LightScribe media is available now in packs of 10. More information can be found here. Add a comment
Toshiba has announced their new digital entertainment notebook, the Qosmio G35-AV650. According to their press release, it is the first notebook shipping in the U.S. to incorporate an HD DVD-ROM drive.

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today introduced the Qosmio(TM) G35-AV650, the first notebook PC shipping in the U.S. to incorporate an HD DVD-ROM drive(1) that allows users to enjoy the dazzling realism and clarity of high-definition digital entertainment in a portable device.

Designed for optimum digital entertainment immersion and multimedia capabilities, the Qosmio G35-AV650 with HD DVD-ROM allows consumers to enjoy high-definition movies anywhere in the home or on the go with external power. Backwards-compatible(2) with current DVD formats, the HD DVD-ROM drive allows users to continue playing compatible discs from their existing DVD collections.
Along with its HD DVD-ROM drive, the Qosmio G35-AV650 features a 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo processor, two 100GB hard drives in a RAID configurationn and an NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 graphics controller. All this doesn't come cheap either. According to Toshiba's press release, the Qosmio G35-AV650 will cost about $2,999. More information, including a full list of specs, can be found here. Add a comment
Sony has announced the Playstation 3 will launch in North America on November 17, 2006. Available in two versions, the console will come with either a 20GB ($499) or 60GB ($599) hard drive.
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) announced today that it would launch PLAYSTATION3 (PS3) in "Clear Black" in North America on November 17, 2006, as part of a worldwide simultaneous launch.

PS3 is the most advanced computer system that serves as a platform to enjoy next generation computer entertainment contents in the home, realized through the combination of Cell and RSX processors, in addition to the playability of a vast catalog of PlayStation and PlayStation2 software titles. Having Giga-bit Ethernet and a pre-installed hard disk drive (HDD) as standard in PS3, users will be able to download a variety of contents as well as access on-line games and services over the network.

Equipped with basic input/output ports, PS3 supports a broad range of displays from conventional NTSC/PAL standard TVs to the latest full HD (1080i/1080p) flat panel displays, offering the joy of the most advanced computer entertainment contents to homes around the world. For use in living rooms, maximum heat and noise reduction has been achieved with a noise level equivalent to that of the current slim-line PlayStation 2.

With the overwhelming computational power of the Cell processor, PS3 is capable of playing back content from Blu-ray (BD) disc at a bit rate of multiplex 48Mbps with ease, the maximum bit rate defined in BD standards.
According to DailyTech, the PS3 can connect to the PSP and will have an online service that is completely free. If you'd like to read more, Sony's press release can be found here. Add a comment
DigiTimes has reported that Gigastorage and Lead Data are planning to form a joint venture in Paraguay to produce optical discs.
Gigastorage and Lead Data, two second-tier makers of optical discs in Taiwan, plan to establish a joint venture to produce optical discs in Paraguay in a bid to tap the market in Latin America, according to industry sources.
According to the article, Latin American countries impose very high customs tariffs on optical discs. By moving the factory to the area, they can cut down on some of these costs. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
Hitachi Maxell has announced that their CPRM compatible 8x DVD-R DL media will be available in Japan on June 8th. Here's part of their press release, translated from Japanese:

Will Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.'s (The execution post president: Yoshito Kakuta)*1 sale of the DVD-R DL(DUAL LAYER) disk for recording for eight-X speed standard record that can be recorded for long time of 215 minutes in the world on June 8 for the first time. It corresponds to copyright technology CPRM protection, and "It is possible to record only once" digital broadcasting program * can record two.

A further making to a large capacity is needed to record the DVD disk in the main current of present wholly by a standard image quality of the program that exceeds 120 minutes like the soccer program etc. though ..standard.. 120 minutes can be recorded. Moreover, a high-speed record to shorten the record time to the record of mass data is requested. The principle and "It is possible to record only once" copy control signal have been added to digital broadcasting though the environment that can receive digital broadcasting is in order on the other hand. The DVD disk corresponding to copyright technology CPRM(Content Protection for Recordable Media) protection and the DVD video recorder corresponding to the disk are necessary to record these programs on the DVD disk.
According to AV Watch, Maxell's 8x DVD-R DL media is expected to cost about 1300 Yen. More information can be found here. AV Watch. Add a comment
Microsoft has confirmed that they will be unveiling an external HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 at E3. While the company has not released a lot of technical information, they have said that it will connect to the Xbox 360 using a USB 2.0 cable, and will use the console to output HD video and surround sound.
This new accessory will connect to the Xbox 360 console with a USB cable, enabling it to harness the power of the Xbox 360 console for the HD video outputs and digital surround sound. As an accessory, it becomes another shining example of the flexibility of Xbox 360 designed into the console in order to grow and add new features. It's also just one of several new accessories being announced at E3.
While Microsoft has not announced pricing or availability, their external HD DVD drive is expected to ship in time for the Playstaton 3's launch. Of course, we'll find out more later this week when they officially unveil it at E3. In the mean time, Microsoft's press release can be found here. Add a comment
It looks like the Versatile Mulitilayer Disc (VMD) is coming to the US. NME has announced that they are planning to release over 100 HD titles on VMD later this year.
New Medium Enterprises (OTCBB:NMEN - News; NME) today announced that it will release over 100 HD titles on Versatile Mulitilayer Disc (VMD) in the United States later this year, which will include several Broadway shows. The VMD is a next generation optical disc standard suitable for high definition content, using current red laser technology with storage capabilities up to 100 GB.

Returning from a road show in the U.S., Mahesh Jayanarayan, NME's CEO, was extremely upbeat on the prospects in the U.S. marketplace stating that "We believe the opportunity for NME to succeed here in the United States is growing quickly and we are determined to exploit that opportunity as timely and completely as possible."
It will be interesting to see if VMD can compete with Blu-ray and HD-DVD. If you'd like to read more, NME's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment