KMP Media has announced their new KODAK Preservation CD-R and DVD-R media. According to their press release, these 24-karat gold discs can store digital data for 80 to 300 years.
New 24-karat gold CD-Rs and DVDs that extend the storage life of data, music and images for many decades are being introduced by KMP Media, LLC of Rochester, NY. Operating under trademark license from Eastman Kodak Company, KMP Media is marketing them as the KODAK Preservation CD-R and the KODAK Preservation DVD (-R).

"The gold Preservation CD-R can safely store digital data for up to 300 years," said Steve Mizelle, President of KMP Media. "The gold Preservation DVD (-R) protects videos and other very large digital files for 80 to 100 years. This is especially important for consumers trying to save precious photos, critical data, music or movies."
KMP Media's KODAK Preservation CD-R and DVD-R media is available now in both jewel cases and spindles. More information can be found here. Add a comment
BCCHardware has put together a review of Plextor's new 18x DVD±RW, the PX-760A. Here's what they had to say about the world's first 18x DVD writer:
Plextor is a leader when it comes to optical drives. They haven't always been the first to adopt new technology or produced the fastest drives, but they are committed to quality. The PX-760A is an attempt in the right direction, but I believe it falls a little short as they reached too far. 18x writing offers very little performance advantage over a good clean 16x write, and the potential for errors is greater as the spindle speed must increase. That being said, the drive burns very quickly with a very low error count at 18x when using Verbatim 16x DVD+R media. However on other media, the drive produces more PI errors that I'd like to see - even at slower speeds.
If you'd like to read more, the entire review can be found here. Add a comment
The Hardware Zone has taken a look at Lite-On's new LightScribe capable "Super AllWrite" drive, the SHM-165H6S. Here's a sample of what they had to say about it:
It performs up to the mark for most burns, though at mediocre speeds that barely raised our heartbeats. The burn quality was for the most part, pretty decent and that could be one of its strengths. While BenQ drives have been noted for their ability to 'over-speed', that is an unofficial 'feature' missing from the LITE-ON drive, which needs to be manually enabled via their bundled utility. Its main advantage probably lies in its 'jack of all trades' card of supporting all the media formats and to top it off, it has LightScribe technology. Crucially, all these features do not make it unique but just another player in a crowded market with more add-ons to offer.
We too have a review of the SHM-165H6S in the works. In the mean time, head on over to Hardware Zone and check out their review. Add a comment
Plextor Japan officially announced the PlexWriter Premium2 this morning. Like the original Premium, this new 52/32/52 CD-RW supports many of Plextor's advanced features, including GigaRec, VariRec, Silent-Mode and Q-Check. Most surprising is that the Premium2 supports Yamaha's AudioMASTER technology.

Writing Speeds: 52x, 48x (CAV), 40x, 32x (P-CAV), 20x, 16x, 8x, 4x, 2x (CLV)
ReWriting Speeds: 32x, 24x (P-CAV), 10x, 4x (CLV)
Read Speeds: 50x, 40x, 32x, 24x (CAV), 8x, 4x (CLV)
Supported Formats: CD-DA、 CD-Extra、 CD-ROM Mode-1、 Mix CD、 CD-ROM XA、 Photo-CD、 Video-CD、 CD-I Multi session、 CD TEXT、 UDF
Recording Modes: Track at Once, Disc at Once, Session at Once, Packet Writing, Multi-Session, CD-MRW
Average Access Time: 65ms
Buffer: 8MB
The Premium2 is scheduled to hit the Japanese market at the end of April and will cost about 19,800 Yen ($168US). At this point, we have not heard when the Premium2 will be available in the US. Knowing Plextor America, it will probably be some time before it shows up over here. Additional information, including a full list of specs, can be found on Plextor Japan's website. Add a comment
Bad news for consumers. Digitimes has reported that CMC Magnetics expects the quotes for DVD+R/-R and CD-R discs to increase in the 3Q of this year.
Quotes for DVD+R/-R and CD-R discs will increase slightly in the third quarter, as utilization rates are currently running at 100%, according to Robert Wong, chairman of CMC Magnetics. However, Wong declined to estimate how much prices will rise, as the outcome of an anti-dumping investigation currently being conducted by the European Union (EU) will affect price changes as well.
The article also mentions that quotes will most likely rise again in the 4Q due to a seasonal peak in demand. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
Plextor America has announced their new series of shock proof portable hard drives. Available in capacities of 80GB and 120GB, these new drives were designed to withstand the knocks and bumps of everyday use.

Plextor Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance digital media equipment, today announced the immediate availability of the PX-SP family of shock proof, portable hard disk drives (HDD). The external drives are available in two capacities - 80 GB (PX-SP08U) and 120 GB (PX-SP12U). Measuring just 3.33 x 0.74 x 5.51 inches (W/H/D) and weighing less than 8 ounces, these highly portable drive enable users to carry their data with them anywhere, anytime.

PX-SP Series come with a specially designed silicon jacket bumper that helps prevent the unit from crashing if it is accidentally dropped. Compatible with both Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh personal computers, the PX-SP features a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port interface for a maximum data transmission speed of 480 Mbps. Plextor's retail package comes with everything a user needs to get started, including a portable external hard drive, silicon jacket bumper, Hi-Speed USB 2.0 cable, and quick start guide.
Plextor's shock proof portable hard drives are expected to ship in May 2006. More information can be found on their website. Add a comment
The Taipei Times has an interesting article on HD DVD's digital rights management system, AACS. According to the article, critics of this system are concerned that it has given the entertainment industry too much control over how consumers can use both software and hardware.
AACS uses industrial-strength encryption technology and an elaborate key-based system for authenticating hardware and software.

These keys can be modified at any time, so that if unlicensed players or drives come on to the market, updated keys can be added to new video releases. The new keys could restrict playback to older title releases or even disable a Blu-ray or HD-DVD player by modifying its firmware. But Michael Ayers, a spokesman for AACS LA, says such steps would not be taken lightly: "It couldn't be done unilaterally by one party."

But as Seth Schoen, staff technologist of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www., points out, this system won't help reduce piracy: "The key management system is aimed at preventing people from making unauthorized players, not from making unauthorized copies, and it probably won't prevent file sharing either."
While most CDRLabs readers are probably well aware of these issues, the article is still a good read. If you'd like to check it out, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
InterVideo sent out a press release today, announcing that their WinDVD HD software is being bundled with Toshiba's new HD DVD read laptop, the Qosmio G30.
InterVideo, Inc. (NASDAQ:IVII - News) announced today that InterVideo WinDVD HD(TM) is being bundled with Toshiba Corporation's new Dynabook Qosmio G30/697HS Series Notebook PCs -- the world's first notebook PC with an integrated HD DVD-ROM drive. The new Qosmio G30 will be available throughout Japan in mid-May.

Offering all of the benefits of the high-definition experience without the complexity, InterVideo's WinDVD HD can be used to navigate and play back the crystal-clear, interactive content on HD DVD discs. The universal player also supports all DVD/video/audio in any format, eliminating media compatibility issues. With WinDVD HD, the viewing experience is further enhanced with a mixture of unprecedented audio effects, including Dolby surround sound and DTS(TM)-HD audio support for the highest-quality audio performance available.
If you'd like to read more, InterVideo's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
The DVD+RW Alliance has announced that version 1.0 of the Double Layer DVD+RW specifications have been finalized and are ready to be distributed to licensees. Here's part of their press release:
The DVD+RW Alliance, a voluntary association of industry-leading personal computer, optical storage and consumer electronics manufacturers that support the Plus format for DVD recording, has announced the release of version 1.0 specifications for 2.4X rewriting on Double Layer DVD+RW media by HP, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media/Verbatim, Royal Philips Electronics, Ricoh, Sony Corporation, Thomson Inc. and Yamaha.

DVD+RW media and writers are designed to rewrite up to a full 8.5 GB DVD+RW. The new 2.4X DVD+RW Double Layer discs will be based on new phase-change materials, which enable writing on both the semi-transparent layer 0 and the more reflective layer 1.

Due to its special characteristics, the new DVD+RW Double Layer media will only be read and write compatible with new specially designed recorders and read out devices. The read out reflectivity on both layers of the new media is very low when compared with traditional single layer DVD+RW media. Red laser reflectivity is specified between 5 and 10 percent for the new media and 15 to 20 percent for traditional single layer media.
The DVD+RW Alliance has not announced when Double Layer DVD+RW media will be available, but now that the specifications have been completed, it will only be a matter of time. If you'd like to read more, the entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Sony Japan unveiled its new mid-year PC line-up yesterday. While their Blu-ray Disc-based machines were absent from the list, the company revealed a few details about them.
The Vaio RC300-series machines will include reader/writer Blu-ray Disc drives that support single-layer 25GB discs or double-layer 50GB discs, according to information posted on the U.S. version of its Sony Style Internet shop.

They'll be high performance computers based around an Intel Pentium D dual-core processor and include RAID 0 Serial ATA hard-disk drives, DDR2 (double data rate, second generation) memory and PCI Express x16 graphics. The computers will be based on Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and include Sony's Giga Pocket TV recording software, according to the site.
No word on price or availability yet. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment