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Sony and Phillips to Come out With Advanced DVD-Burning Technology Print E-mail
Monday, 22 March 2004
Sony-Electronics and Phillips will be coming out with DVD-burning drives that accept blank DVDs with two data layers that have the ability to store up to 8.5 gigabytes of data (or about 4 hours of movies with DVD quality images). This enhanced storage is almost double the capacity of DVD-burning software out on the market today.

With the enhanced storage capacity on the dual-layer discs, people will not have to worry about leaving out the special features just to ensure they burn the full movie. People will also be relieved to find that both layers of the disc will be accessible from the same side, so there will be no need to flip the disk to access the end of the movie, or the special features. The dual-layer discs will come out under somewhat different names depending on the company that puts them out (Sony plans to use DVD-R DL while Phillips plans to change it up a bit with the title DVD+R DL). Sony estimates the costs of the blank two-layer discs will be around $5 to $6. Phillips has not announced an estimate price yet.

Sony says it will begin shipping drives to the United States in about two months. Their internal drive will be around $230 and their external one will go for about $330. They will be marketed only for PC’s, but the external drive should work with a Macintosh platform given that the consumer buys the right third party software.

Phillips will begin shipping their drives to Europe in April. They have not disclosed a ship date to the United States yet. They will be offering two internal drives with slightly different features that will also be marketed to PC users only. Prices have not been announced for the Phillips drives.

There are really only two drawbacks to the new DVD-burning technology. One is that the new dual-layer disc will not be able to burn as quickly as its single-layer predecessor. Currently, single layer discs are able to burn up to 8 times the playback speed. The dual-layer discs will only be able to burn at 2.4 times the playback speed. This means it would take about 45 minutes to burn a four-hour movie. The other drawback is the fact that software like 321 Studios’ DVD X Copy and DVD Copy Plus that allow users to burn encrypted movie DVDs has been ruled illegal by a Federal Court, making it difficult for many to justify buying new DVD-burning technology if they do not already have the software, which has been taken off the market. Perhaps this is the reason why Phillips has not yet announced a date for their product to hit stores in the U.S.

Source: Associated Press

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