According to an article at DigiTimes, the demand for DVD burners is likely to exceed 100 million units this year.
Continual price drops for 16x DVD Dual burners have sped up the replacement of Combo drives with the global demand for all types of DVD burners this year is likely to exceed 100 million units, according to Taiwanese makers of optical disc drives (ODDs).

OEM prices of 16x DVD Dual burners currently are at US$30-32, only US$5 higher than those for Combo drives, according to the makers. As a result, the proportion of DVD burner shipments to global ODD shipments surpassed that of Combo drives beginning this quarter, the makers indicated, adding that the global shipment volume of DVD burners in 2005 is estimated to be 78-83 million units.
If you want to read the entire article, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
Plextor America has (finally) announced the PX-750 family of drives. Available in both internal and external configurations, these new drives feature 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD±R DL and 5x DVD-RAM writing speeds.

Plextor Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance digital media equipment, today announced the immediate availability of the PX-750 family of 16X DVD+/-R/RW CD-R/RW drives. The new product line expands Plextor's family of value-priced CD/DVD drives designed for mainstream computer users who want reliable, lightning fast performance, but don't require professional recording features.

The PX-750 is the first drive from Plextor to support DVD-RAM functionality for removable data storage applications. Unlike other optical media formats, special burning software is not required to write media on a personal computer. A user simply inserts a blank DVD-RAM disc and the system automatically formats the disc and assigns a driver letter. Users can drag-and-drop files, use the "save as" command, and remove the disc, which can then be read in any PC or desktop player with a drive that supports the DVD-RAM format. The DVD-RAM format offers up to 9.4 GB per double-sided disc.

"The new PX-750 series supports one of the features most requested by Plextor customers -- DVD-RAM functionality," said Pete Schwartz, vice president of marketing and business development for Plextor. "On a per gigabyte basis, DVD-RAM is less expensive than removable magnetic media, which makes it a great alternative for everyday data storage."
The PX-750A ($89) and PX-750UF ($139) are shipping now and have already been sighted at Best Buy stores. More information on both drives can be found here. Add a comment
DigiTimes has reported that Infomedia recently received certification from Philips for their 8x DVD+RW media. According to the article, they are only the third Taiwanese manufacturer to do so.
Infomedia, a second-tier maker of blank optical discs in Taiwan, on March 22 announced it has obtained certification from Philips for the 8x DVD+RW format, the fifth maker globally and the third in Taiwan following Ritek and CMC Magnetics.
The article also mentions that Infomedia will soon start R&D in next-generation blue-laser discs. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
InPhase has announced that they've successfully demonstrated the highest data density of any commercial technology by recording 515 gigabits of data per square inch. Here's part of their press release:
InPhase Technologies, the world's leader in holographic data storage, announced today that it has demonstrated the highest data density of any commercial technology by recording 515 gigabits of data per square inch. Holographic storage is a revolutionary departure from all existing recording methods because it takes advantage of volumetric efficiencies rather than only recording on the surface of the material. InPhase will deliver the industry's first holographic drive and media later this year. The first generation drive has a capacity of 300 gigabytes on a single disk with a 20 megabyte per second transfer rate. The first product will be followed by a family ranging from 800GB to 1.6 terabyte (TB) capacity.

"IT professionals are experiencing enormous growth in their data archives," said Wolfgang Schlichting, Research Director, Removable Storage, IDC. "InPhase Technologies' announcement is an important milestone in storage density, demonstrating impressive capacity increases enabled by holographic storage. The technology represents a potential alternative to incumbent technologies for archival storage requirements," he added.

Densities in holography are achieved by different factors than magnetic storage. Density depends on the number of pixels/bits in a page of data; the number of pages that are stored in a particular volumetric location; the dynamic range of the recording material; the thickness of the material, and the wavelength of the recording laser.
With developments like this, it probably won't be long before we see those 1.6 TB discs. If you'd like to read more, InPhase's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
Lite-On released a number of new firmware updates today including ones for the SHM-165H6S and SHW-1635S. You can download them directly using the links below.

SHM-165H6S -

SHW-160H6S -

SHM-160P6S -

SHW-16H5S -

SHW-1635S -

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
The guys over at CD Freaks have put together a review of Plextor's new 16x DVD±RW, the PX-755A. Here's what they had to say about it:
The Plextor PX-755A can write most DVD±R with very good quality. PoweRec and Auto Strategy assured the best results possible over our large range of tested media.

CD-R/RW write quality was also very good, the Plextor PX-755A handling some troublesome media with ease. CD-R/RW media compatibility was also very good.
If you'd like to read more, head on over to CD Freaks and check out their review. Add a comment
Here's some good news for prospective PlayStation 3 owners. At GDC 2006, Sony revealed that their new console will be region free, at least for games.
In a QA session following the platform keynote address at GDC 2006 this morning, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Phil Harrison confirmed what was heavily demanded for import gamers all over the world and yet previously thought unthinkable for a major corporation: the PS3 will be region-free for gaming.
This is definitely good news, especially for those that like to import games from Japan. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Today, CDRLabs brings you an in depth look at Plextor's new "Super-Multi" drive, the PX-750A. Based on the BenQ DQ60, the PX-750A is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL, 4x DVD-R DL writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. On top of that, it can read and write to DVD-RAM media at 5x.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the PX-750A and see how it compares to some of the "Super-Multi" drives from the competition. Does the PX-750A have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.

Plextor PX-750A 16x DVD±RW/RAM
If you have any comments or questions about this review or the Plextor PX-750A, please post them in the forum by clicking the link below. Add a comment
According to an article at Reuters, Toshiba has pushed the launch of their HD DVD players back until April. While they have not set a specific date, Toshiba is expected to release their players on April 18th, the same day the first HD DVD titles are available.
The launch of HD-DVD took another hit Wednesday with Toshiba announcing it is holding off on shipping next-generation players until April, a month behind schedule.

Last week, Warner Home Video, the only studio that had set firm release dates for high-definition DVD software, said it wouldn't release its first three titles until April 18, three weeks behind schedule, because of technical issues.

On Wednesday, Toshiba said its players, which had been slated to go on sale in large consumer electronics retailers like Best Buy late this month, won't be made available for purchase until the software arrives in stores.
This delay is a smart move on Toshiba's behalf. Without any titles, there's really no reason to buy one of their HD DVD players. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
While the AACS interim licensing agreement has allowed the Blu-ray and HD DVD camps to release their products on time, initial players will ship without support for managed copy.
To accommodate Toshiba and other companies that wanted to start shipping their high-def products, the AACS Licensing Association came up with a somewhat bizarre solution: It released an interim spec that enables Hollywood studios to securely encode and distribute their content and supports playback of that content on players. But the interim version of AACS has limitations, most conspicuously the lack of support for managed copy. "Managed copy" is industry jargon for the technology that lets content providers offer legal free or fee-based ways for you to move content around on a home server, make a physical copy of content for backup purposes, or transfer it to another device such as a portable media player.

"A player that's licensed under the interim agreement will not be able to do managed copy," states Richard Doherty, spokesperson for the AACS Licensing Association. Although Doherty declined to go into detail about the outstanding issues, he did say that they concern how managed copy will be implemented (and what it will, and will not, allow), and not the actual technology. Technologically speaking, the spec is done, which means it is plausible that "a manufacturer can implement managed copy [but not turn it on], and then enable it in any number of ways down the road," says Doherty.
Let's hope that these initial players can be upgraded to support the final AACS specifications. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment