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An interesting story about the upcoming Dual Layer DVD technology

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An interesting story about the upcoming Dual Layer DVD technology

Old 01-07-04, 09:55 AM
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An interesting story about the upcoming Dual Layer DVD technology

http://www.globetechnology.com/serv...ory/Technology/

Duel of the dual-layer DVD formats

By Ed Frauenheim
CNET

One side of the ongoing recordable DVD format battle is expected to be first with products that nearly double the amount of data held on one disc. But that victory may not put an end to the feud.

The DVD+RW camp, which includes Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Philips, plans to put so-called "double-layer" DVD recording devices on the market by next spring. Discs on these systems are expected to hold 8.5GB, or four hours of DVD-quality video (16 hours of VHS-quality video). That's about the same amount as the DVDs studios use to issue movies.

But the so-called "dash" camp promoting the DVD-R and DVD-RW formats also is working on dual-layer recording, which involves writing data on two separate surfaces, layered like coats of paint, on a DVD. And unlike in the videotape-standard battle between VHS and Betamax, "plus" and "dash" may be able to coexist for some time to come, observers say.

"I would put my money on the plus camp" in bringing out dual-layer DVD recording first, said Pete Gerr, an analyst with research firm Enterprise Storage Group. But when it comes to the overall format struggle, "it continues to be a skirmish for as long as Pioneer wants to stay in it," Mr. Gerr said. Pioneer is a major advocate of the dash format.

"I do believe that the plus guys are going to get there first," said Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager for branded optical products at Sony Electronics. Sony, like some other manufacturers, makes DVD recorders that combine both plus and dash technology.

Mr. DeMoulin pointed out there are plenty of older dash recorders on the market. "I just don't see that the dash format is going away any time soon," he said.

The skirmish began a few years ago, when a group of companies did not like the recordable DVD technologies developed by the DVD Forum standards body. The DVD Forum approved formats called DVD-RAM and DVD-R, for write-once recording. Later, the DVD Forum added the DVD-RW rewritable standard for the ability to record, erase and record again on the same disc.

The dissident companies formed the DVD+RW Alliance, which put out its own technology for write-once and rewritable recording. As a result, seemingly countless recordable drives and disc media types are on the market, creating potential confusion for consumers. For example, a DVD-R/-RW drive cannot record on +R or +RW discs. In theory, discs that are recorded using +R, +RW, -R and —RW media all can be read by DVD players. But a recent U.S. government study found that DVDs and DVD drives are compatible only 85 per cent of the time.

The move from single-layer to double-layer recordable DVDs, rather than resolving the fight, just extends it to another battleground.

Single-layer recordable DVDs — or digital versatile discs — hold up to 4.7GB and can be used to store data or up to two hours of digital video. Their popularity is growing quickly. The number of write-once recordable DVDs sold worldwide is expected to climb from 55 million in 2002 to more than 300 million this year, according to research firm Santa Clara Consulting Group.

Retail movies sold on DVDs typically come with data written on two layers. But the commercial process involves "stamping" the discs rather than burning spots with a laser, the method used by DVD writers. Dual-layer recording has not been available to the average consumer in the past. The new technology will give consumers the ability to cram much more data onto discs burned at home.

"Dual layer is a great sort of incremental turn of the technology crank," Mr. Gerr said.

Both the plus and dash groups have created prototypes of dual-layer recording technology. Neither side has an official specification, but the plus group has a more aggressive schedule. It has finished writing up the details of a dual-layer, write-once standard for recording data at up to 2.4 times the normal playback speed (2.4x).

Dual-layer DVD recorders slated for PC use are expected to emerge by spring, with dual-layer recorders targeted at the consumer electronics market available later in the year, according to Hans Driessen, global communications manager for Philips' Optical Storage division.

Dual-layer DVD-R products are slated to come out some time next year, said Andy Parsons, senior vice-president in the business solutions division of Pioneer Electronics USA. But he said dual-layer recording, no matter what the format, faces hurdles. One is the importance of fully recording both layers of a dual-layer disc, he said. If that doesn't occur, Mr. Parsons said, some DVD players might behave unpredictably, for instance by causing a momentary interruption of the program.

Fully recording an 8.5GB dual-layer disc could increase the time needed to make a recording, according to Mr. Parsons. "That's what we're thinking about now," he said. "One must be careful not to rush things to market."

The dual-layer DVD+R specification does not require the entire disc to be recorded. Philips' Mr. Driessen said that if one layer of a dual-layer DVD+R has a recorded signal at a particular point on the disc, the other layer must have a matching signal; otherwise, a player may detect an error. For example, if one layer has 4GBs of data recorded, the other layer must have 4GB as well. But he said blank space may be left at the edge of the DVD without any playback problems.

Arranging for both layers to be recorded in equal amounts is relatively easy in the case of data files of a known size, Mr. Driessen said. When a user records a television broadcast of unknown length, however, the drive may need to add "dummy" data in order for the disc to be readable in DVD players. This could mean a finalization process of up to 25 minutes, Mr. Driessen said. "Future write speed improvements (such as 4x) will reduce this finalization time," he said.

The dual-layer DVD+R recording prototype created by Philips and media-maker Mitsubishi Kagaku Media uses focused light to mark areas on two dye surfaces stacked on top of each other. For each dye layer, reflective material sits underneath to send back light to the lens, which interprets the signal. One challenge is getting light to stop and record on the closest layer, and also to pass through it to record data on the subterranean surface.

Plus and dash can each claim victory in some regard. Sales of recordable DVD media using the plus format increased from 2 per cent of the U.S. retail market in July 2001 to 55 per cent in July 2003, according to market research firm NPD Group.

But the dash format has been holding steady around the world. According to Santa Clara Consulting Group, the combined factory sales of —R and —RW blank media amounted to 61 per cent of the total worldwide market share in the third quarter. DVD+R and +RW blank media accounted for 37 per cent, while DVD-RAM media sales made up 2 per cent. Dash media's worldwide market share hovered at about 60 per cent for the first three quarters of the year, according to the research firm.

The end result will likely be uneasy coexistence. Mr. Parsons said he used to think the dash forces would triumph, but no longer. The term "victory" isn't relevant any more, he said, because the price of dual-format drives soon will be close enough to that of single-format drives that few people will choose just one format. Pioneer has shifted to drives that can work with both plus and dash formats.

"I think they're both going to coexist for a long time," he said. "There's room for everybody."


Very interesting! Please note, when they mention next year, they mean 2004. This article was written at the tail end of 2003.

Chris
Old 03-17-04, 10:01 PM
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http://news.com.com/2100-1041_3-5174...l?tag=nefd_top

Sony debuts double-layer DVD drives
Last modified: March 17, 2004, 2:30 PM PST
By Dinesh C. Sharma
Special to CNET News.com


Sony Electronics unveiled on Wednesday two DVD recordable drives based on double-layer technology.

The internal DRU-700A and external DRX-700UL drives will offer almost double the storage capacity of current, single-sided discs, the company said. The forthcoming devices will let users record up to 8.5GB of data, which translates to 4 hours of video or more than 2,000 songs. They will have a double-layer data-recording speed of 2.4x initially, and also will feature the ability to record using both the "plus" and "dash" formats at high speeds (up to 8x DVD+/-R).

The new offerings are targeted at businesses and at entertainment buffs. Businesses could find the new devices useful for storing training information, while independent filmmakers could create prototypes of their work before committing to mass replication, Sony said.

Double-layer DVD discs are single-sided with two information layers that can be independently recorded to and read from, and both layers can be accessed from the same side of the disc. The internal drive can be installed on a PC, while the external one features connectivity with IEEE 1394 (FireWire) and USB 2.0 interfaces. Software for DVD video authoring and DVD/CD burning will come bundled with both the drives.

The electronics industry has been divided over which dual-layer standard to pursue. The plus camp, championed by the DVD+RW Alliance, is promoting one such technology, and Sony is using the "+R" format for double-layer recording in its new burners. The rival dash camp, which backs the DVD-R and DVD-RW formats, is working on its own double-layer technology.

Overall, the battle between plus and dash formats may not end with a clear victor. Sony, like some other manufacturers, has been at work on recorders that incorporate both technologies.

"As the pioneer of dual format drives, we were the first to address confusion over competing DVD standards; with double layer, we will now satisfy the need for higher capacity," Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager for branded storage products at Sony Electronics, said in a statement.

Sony said it hopes to begin shipping the products by the end of the second quarter. The internal drive will be sold for about $230, and the external drive for $330.



And here we are, price pretty low and coming soon. Though I wonder how much DVDz will be!

Chris
Old 03-17-04, 10:12 PM
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yeah, this is great news. hopefully the technology is good enough to prevent tons of coasters like there were when CDs first came out.
Old 03-17-04, 10:19 PM
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My question is how much will the dual layered media cost and how compatible will they be with existing DVD-ROM and DVD-Video players?
Old 03-18-04, 09:39 AM
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http://in.tech.yahoo.com/040309/137/2bwdp.html

Tuesday March 9, 4:21 PM

TOKYO (Reuters) - Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd said on Tuesday it will launch six new DVD recorders by July including an advanced model using blue laser light, in a bid to fortify its position as the top DVD recorder maker.

Matsushita, the maker of Panasonic brand products, will be the second electronics maker to offer the next-generation model after Sony Corp, which launched the world's first DVD recorder using blue laser light last year.

Sony and Matsushita are members of a consortium that backs a technology called Blu-ray, which is competing with another blue laser-based DVD technology, dubbed HD DVD, supported by Japanese electronics makers NEC Corp and Toshiba Corp.

Blue light, with a shorter wavelength than red light used in conventional DVD recorders, can read and store data at much higher densities needed for high-definition recordings.

The planned launch by Matsushita will put the rival camp behind in actual product offerings, since NEC and Toshiba have no plan to launch their blue laser light DVD recorders until 2005.

At a Tokyo news conference, Matsushita officials offered few details on the new product, which is scheduled to hit store shelves in July.

Instead, they chose to focus on growth potential of the overall DVD recorder market, which Matsushita dominates with a global market share of 40 percent.

"Demand for consumer electronics explode when their household penetration rates hit 10 percent. DVD recorders are going to cross that 10 percent line this year (in Japan)," Matsushita director Shunzo Ushimaru told reporters.

Matsushita, which aims to take half of the global DVD recorder market this year with the help of the new models, also hopes the Athens Olympic Games will spur global demand for recording devices.

Matsushita expects global DVD recorder demand to exceed 10 million units in 2004 and surpass 20 million units in 2005, compared with four million units in 2003.

Out of five conventional DVD recorder models to be offered in Japan from March to June, only two -- a basic model and an intermediate product with an embedded hard disk drive -- are scheduled to be launched in the United States and Europe.

The five models are expected to retail for 50,000 yen-120,000 yen ($450-$1,079) in Japan.

Matsushita officials declined to comment on the retail price of the blue laser light model, but industrial daily Nikkan Kogyo said on Tuesday it is likely to retail for about 300,000 yen.

To keep pace with growing demand for DVD recorders, the company plans to boost its DVD recorder output capacity to one million units a month by 2005, compared with 400,000 units now.

DVD recorders are one of the "3-Ds" that have been boosting demand for electronics goods in Japan, the other two being digital cameras and display panels for flat-televisions.

Shares in Matsushita closed Tuesday trade down 0.37 percent at 1,610 yen, underperforming the Nikkei average, which rose 0.25 percent.
Old 03-18-04, 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by belboz
My question is how much will the dual layered media cost and how compatible will they be with existing DVD-ROM and DVD-Video players?
I'd love to know this too! I just bought a DVD burner and it works great with no compatibility problems as of yet.
Old 03-22-04, 12:13 PM
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http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1550310,00.asp

Sony Ushers in Double-Layer DVD Burners
By Sebastian Rupley
March 17, 2004

Sony Electronics is looking to heat up the DVD recording arena. The company is adding two DVD+R Double Layer (DL) DVD drives to its line of Dual RW burners. An internal DRU-700A drive and an external DRX-700UL drive represent the company's move into double-layer recording.

The new burners and accompanying compatible discs promise to almost double the storage capacity of recordable DVD discs. Users will be able to store four hours of MPEG-2 video or up to 8.5GB of multimedia data on a single disc. Sony officials say the initial burners will have 2.4x DVD+R recording speeds, 40x CD-R speeds, and 24x CD-RW recording speeds.

"Double-layer recording is the next milestone in DVD technology," says Wolfgang Schlichting, research director for removable storage at the market research firm IDC. "Sony's double-layer drives put twice the recording power in the hands of the consumer, reducing the need to handle multiple discs."

The double-layer drives will let consumers store more than 2,000 songs, enough for over four days of continuous music, on a single disc, claims Sony. The company also expects the increased capacity to be important to companies storing training videos and information on DVD discs, and for independent filmmakers who want to put their work and promotional material on a single disc.

Two full-length films could conceivably fit on one DL disc. This higher capacity for recordable discs could draw the ire of entertainment companies concerned about piracy of movies and music, as the DVD format has already enabled quicker and better illegal duplication of copyrighted entertainment content.

The new DL discs are single-sided, but have two layers for storing information, and each layer can independently record material. DVD+R DL discs are compliant with DVD-9 discs, so they will work with most available DVD players and DVD-ROM drives.

So will dual-layer discs be readily available when the new burners appear? It's likely that supplies will be limited. "The new double-layer media has been a major challenge for Verbatim and its parent company, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media," Verbatim officials told PC Magazine. "The company is currently delivering media to Sony and others for compatibility testing, and products will be available at the time the new burners appear at retail.

"Because of the unique challenges the company faces in producing reliable writable double-layer media and the demand at the OEM and retail level, we expect the media to be on allocation for the first four to five months following introduction. The ability to write to DVD-9 or DL media has been widely anticipated by the video content development community because it will enable them to deliver more robust, interactive video content. Optical library manufacturers are already working to upgrade their storage systems because the technology puts much more data under the read/write head, which will improve their digital asset management performance."

Sony's internal drive has an ATAPI interface for installation within a PC. The external drive can be set up via high-speed USB (USB 2.0) or i.LINK (IEEE 1394). The drives will also come with DVD authoring software and a software suite for accompanying tasks, such as creating disc labels.

The internal and external drives will begin shipping by the end of the second quarter, at estimated prices of $230 for the internal drive and $330 for the external drive.


Chris
Old 03-22-04, 06:05 PM
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Dual Layer DVD-R and DVD+R Burners to hit market

Just a heads up...

A story is just breaking over the wires that says that both Sony (-R) and Phillips (+R) are going to bring Dual Layer DVD burners to the computer market in "about two months".

DVD-R and DVD+R Dual layer Burners in two months

Quote:
Sony will sell an internal drive for $230 and an external one for $330. They will be marketed only for Windows PCs, but the external one should work on Macintosh computers with the proper third-party software.
and (!!!)

Sony estimates the blank discs will cost $5 to $6
and finally:

A full 8.5 gigabytes will take about 45 minutes to burn
Hmmmm.... So much for the "We'll never see burnable DVD9 discs for the consumer market" argument.


John

PS: I could not find discussion of this anywhere else... feel free to move it to a more apporiate forum.
Old 04-07-04, 12:30 AM
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Just saw this at Digitimes:

Despite an expected short life cycle, Lite-On IT will offer 12x DVD Dual burners later this month because the new 12x models can command higher OEM prices, according to the company’s Optical Disc Drive Business general manager Michael Gong.

Lite-On IT plans to start volume production of 16x DVD Dual burners in the third quarter of this year, making 12x transitional model between 8x and 16x with an estimated life cycle of just one quarter, Gong indicated. However, 12x models will have a higher gross margin because their OEM prices of US$129-139 (depending on order volume) per burner are higher than the US$90-95 for 8x models, Gong pointed out.

In addition to 12x DVD Dual, Lite-On IT plans to offer 8x DVD+RW DL (dual-layer) in mid-April at the earliest, with the timing hinging on the availability of compatible double-layer DVD discs, Gong noted.

Lite-On IT has begun production of DVD+R DL burners, with the compatible double-layer DVD+Rs imported from Mitsubishi at a price of 5,000 yen per disc, according to Gong. Mitsubishi is currently the world’s only producer of double-layer DVD+R discs, and Taiwanese makers are only expected to start making such discs at the end of this quarter, Gong added.
Yikes, that's a helluva lot more than $5 or $6. I was thinking I'd be one of the early adopters on this one, but it seems like it'll be many months at least before prices on blanks even drop to the $5 or $6 range.
Old 04-07-04, 06:25 AM
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Originally posted by belboz
Just saw this at Digitimes:



Yikes, that's a helluva lot more than $5 or $6. I was thinking I'd be one of the early adopters on this one, but it seems like it'll be many months at least before prices on blanks even drop to the $5 or $6 range.
5,000.00 JPY Japan Yen = 47.2582 USD United States Dollars

Yikes! Once other producers start making disks they will come down.

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