According to an article at DigiTimes, low priced Blu-ray and HD-DVD players are already putting pressure on Taiwan's FVD format.
Lower than expected retail prices for entry-level HD-DVD players exhibited at the recent 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US may dash an expected early marketing advantage of Taiwan-developed FVD (forward versatile disc) players, according to Taiwanese makers of optical disc drives (ODDs).

The HD-DVD group, led by Toshiba, showcased an entry-level HD-DVD player model with a recommended retail price of US$499, about half the price originally expected by market experts, the Taiwanese ODD makers pointed out. Pioneer and Samsung, two members of the Blu-ray Disc (BD) group, exhibited BD players with recommended retail prices between US$1,000-1,800, 30-50% lower than the US$2,000-2,500 expected by market experts, the sources said.
While priced lower than many expected, Blu-ray and HD-DVD players still aren't exactly cheap. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
If you thought your data was safe because you burned it to CD, you might want to think again. According to a storage expert at IBM Deutschland GmbH, recordable CD's have a life span of only 2 to 5 years.
Although opinions vary on how to preserve data on digital storage media, such as optical CDs and DVDs, Kurt Gerecke, a physicist and storage expert at IBM Deutschland GmbH, takes this view: If you want to avoid having to burn new CDs every few years, use magnetic tapes to store all your pictures, videos and songs for a lifetime.

"Unlike pressed original CDs, burned CDs have a relatively short life span of between two to five years, depending on the quality of the CD," Gerecke said in an interview this week. "There are a few things you can do to extend the life of a burned CD, like keeping the disc in a cool, dark space, but not a whole lot more."

The problem is material degradation. Optical discs commonly used for burning, such as CD-R and CD-RW, have a recording surface consisting of a layer of dye that can be modified by heat to store data. The degradation process can result in the data "shifting" on the surface and thus becoming unreadable to the laser beam.
As frequent CDRLabs readers, this information shouldn't really surprise you. If you'd like to read more though, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
Plextor Europe officially announced the PX-755SA this morning. This Serial ATA version of the PX-755A can write to DVD+R and DVD-R media at 16x and DVD+R DL discs at 10x.

Plextor today announces a new high-end Serial-ATA DVD-ReWriter drive - the internal PX-755SA capable of 16x DVD+/-R and 10x DVD+R DL burning speeds. The Premium PX-755SA takes advantage of the latest motherboard SATA connectivity and comes with a comprehensive package of powerful features to give the professional user full recording control.
The PX-755SA will hit store shelves some time in February for a suggested retail price of € 90. If you'd like to read more, Plextor's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment
The German website has reported that NEC plans to ship their HD DVD-ROM, the HR-1100A, to the European market in March.
At the CES ,NEC has confirmed its plans to market its HR-1100A HD DVD-ROM drive in Europe starting in March. Canal Plus of France will be supplying the HD DVD videos. There is no word yet which movies will be released in this format. The only thing we do know is that 30 movies will be available from day 1. According to NEC, a combination device that writes CDs and DVDs will be sold starting in May. The Japanese company has also announced its first HD DVD-/DVD-/CD burner for July. The first list price for the HD-DVD drive will probably be far below the original target of 500 euros.
We have not heard when the HR-1100A will be available in the US. However, it will probably be only a matter of time before it makes its way over here. If you'd like to read more, head on over to Add a comment
According to DigiTimes, Microsoft is looking to place OEM orders with drive manufacturers in Taiwan for their upcoming external HD-DVD player for the Xbox 360.
Microsoft plans to place OEM orders with leading makers of optical disc drives (ODDs) in Taiwan for external HD-DVD players for use with its Xbox 360, according to industry sources. Microsoft Taiwan, however, declined to indicate whether Microsoft will offer such external HD-DVD players and leading Taiwanese ODD makers, including BenQ, Lite-On IT and Quanta Storage, said they have not heard of such news.
I would not be surprised if they placed an order with BenQ as they're already producing the DVD-ROM drive modules in the Xbox 360. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
MSI has released some details on their new external "Super-Multi" drive, the DRE16-B. This new drive features 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL, 4x DVD-R DL and 5x DVD-RAM writing speeds. Here are some of the drive's specs:

Writing Speeds:

DVD+R: 16x
DVD+RW: 8x
DVD+R DL: 8x
DVD-R: 16x
DVD-RW: 6x
DVD-R DL: 4x
CD-R: 40x
CD-RW: 24x

Read Speeds:

DVD-ROM: 16x Max
CD-ROM: 40x Max

Buffer Size: 2MB

Judging by the naming scheme and specs, the DRE16-B is based on the DQ60 from BenQ. For more information on the DRE16-B, head on over to MSI's website. Add a comment
Primera and Imation have announced the world's first water-resistant inkjet-printable media. Utilizing their new TuffCoat with AquaGuard surface, these discs are resistant to both water and smearing.
Primera Technology, Inc., the world's leading developer and manufacturer of CD/DVD duplication and printing equipment, today announced its new TuffCoat with AquaGuard surface by Imation water-resistant media.

TuffCoat with AquaGuard surface is the world's first water-resistant and smear-resistant inkjet-printable CD-R and DVD-R media. The AquaGuard surface, developed by Imation Corp. (NYSE: IMN) and incorporated into Primera's TuffCoat media, offers many benefits, including:

  • Water and smear resistance. Leveraging a proprietary surface that utilizes nanoparticle technology to grip and hold ink, printed images are locked in place exactly where originally applied. The discs are highly resistant to smearing and color bleed when exposed to water and humidity.  
Primera's new TuffCoat with AquaGuard media will be available at the end of January. More information can be found here. Add a comment
DigiTimes has also reported that Ritek and CMC are planning to produce both Blu-ray and HD-DVD discs.
Ritek and CMC Magnetics, the top two makers of optical discs in Taiwan, exhibited Blu-ray Disc (BD) and HD-DVD discs at the recent 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US, with each company planning to start volume production of the discs next quarter at the earliest, according to the two companies.

Ritek showcased 25GB BD-R (recordable, write once), 15GB HD-DVD-R, 15GB HD-DVD-RW (rewritable) and 20GB HD-DVD-RAM (also rewritable) discs, all single-sided single-layer, at CES, company spokesman Eric Ai pointed out. The production of HD-DVD discs will come earlier than BD discs, Ai indicated.
The article also mentions that CMC plans to ship 15GB HD-DVD discs when Toshiba launches their HD DVD players in the US and Japan. The company is also developing a double-layer HD-DVD disc with a capacity of 30GB. If you'd like to read more, the entire article can be found here. Add a comment
According to an article at DigiTimes, Philips' optical pick-up business has been purchased by Arima Devices, an affiliate of Arima Computer.
According to Arima's company filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE), Arima Devices will take over Philips' R&D centers in Holland and Singapore and a manufacturing site in Shanghai, China, with 780 Philips staff to remain in employment. Under the deal, Arima Devices will obtain all of Philip's patented PHU-technology, including Blu-ray-Disc-related technologies, and is looking to be a major global manufacturer of PC-use DVD drives and high-end optical PUHs.
Pick-up head (PUH) shortages have been plaguing Taiwanese drive manufacturers for a number of years. With Japanese manufacturers holding the patents, they've had to import these key components. Hopefully, this will change with Arima's purchase of Philips' optical pick-up business. If you'd like to read more, head on over to DigiTimes. Add a comment
LG has announced that they are showcasing their new line of optical storage drives at CES. Along with the GSA-2166B and GSA-4167B, they have the GSA-H10N on display. This new "Super-Multi" drive is one of the first to feature 10x DVD+R DL and 16x DVD-RAM writing speeds.
A major addition to LG's Super-Multi line of drives is the GSA-H10N, one of the world's first optical storage drives that can write DVD-RAM at a 12x speed. The Super-Multi GSA-H10N is designed for anyone with storage needs where consistency and the ability to re-write data and video is a must. Whether to back-up MP3s, videos, digital pictures or any large files, this drive can handle it all at speeds only a few have ever experienced. In addition to the 12x DVD-RAM write speed, this unit features write speeds of 16x for both DVD+R and DVD-R, write speeds of DVD+RW to 8x, DVD-RW to 6x, DVD+R DL at 10x and DVD-R DL at 8x.
No word on pricing or availability yet. However, the GSA-H10N should be shipping soon as Buffalo and I-O DATA have already announced their own versions of the drive. Both companies are expecting to start shipments by the end of this month. If you'd like to read more, LG's entire press release can be found here. Add a comment