By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Maxell and Verbatim were the latest blank media companies to roll out recordable dual-layer HD DVD discs. Both companies introduced the discs at International CES and will begin shipping this year.
Maxell's new HD DVD media line, which includes single-layer and dual-layer configurations, will be available in write-once and rewriteable formats.
"Consumers are beginning to understand the benefits of high-definition video and relive the amazing picture and sound quality it provides. Maxell is excited to offer recording media that enables consumers to expand their enjoyment of this new technology," said Don Patrican, executive VP of Maxell. "Our new HD DVD media has been engineered and manufactured to fully complement advanced HD video."
Maxell's new HD DVD-R is a write-once, single-layer disc that can record up to 15GB. The new HD DVD-R DL dual-layer discs are write-once and offer 30GB of capacity. Maxell is also offering rewritable HD DVD media in single layer and dual-layer configurations. The HD DVD-RW provides 15GB of capacity, while the HD DVD-RW DL offers 30GB.
Maxell also showed new Blu-ray media including single-layer and dual-layer and write-once and rewriteable formats.
Maxell's new BD-R is a write-once, single-layer disc that can record up to 25 GB at up to 2x recording speed. The new BD-R DL dual layer discs are write-once and offer 50GB of capacity at up to 2x recording. Maxell is also offering rewritable Blu-ray media in single layer and dual layer configurations. The BD-RE holds 25GB, while the BD-RE DL offers 50GB, both at up to 2x recording speed.
All of the new Maxell high-definition media will be available in the first quarter. Pricing will be announced "at the end of January," according to the company.
Verbatim will begin shipping single-sided, dual-layer 30GB HD DVD-R media to the United States "as soon as new HD DVD PC drives with HD DVD-R support become available," according to a release. The dual-layer HD DVD-R media has been shipping throughout Japan since July 2006, when hardware became available in the country. In addition, Verbatim's next-generation 2x HD DVD-R media is ready to be shipped "as soon as the specification is released," according to the company.
With two layers, the new 30GB HD DVD DL media can be used to store about 150 minutes of high-definition video on a single side without having to stop and flip the disc. The media records at 1x, corresponding to the Ver.2.0 standard set by the DVD Forum. Verbatim's HD DVD DL media also supports the Advanced Access Content System copy-protection technology.
Verbatim's parent, Mitsubishi Kagaku Media, leveraged its proven dye technology to develop a new highly sensitive recording dye. The new dye permits an enhanced recording process which can be applied on both the near-side and -more-inner storage layers, according to Verbatim. The company added the the high recording sensitivity plus the wider power margin of the new recording layer ensure a low error rate, regardless of drive power fluctuations or smudges on the disc surface.
Verbatim also announced at CES that it has started producing 2x speed 50GB dual-layer BD-R and BD-RE media for shipment to the U.S. market.
The dual-layer discs can store up to 50GB, or about four hours, of HD-quality video on a single disc without having to flip or change the disc.
Pricing will be announced closer to the ship dates.
In a release, Verbatim said it "is preparing to launch 4x BD-R single-layer and dual-layer media in 2007."
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