By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
With the arrival of a handful of dual-layer DVD (DVD DL) compatible camcorders at retail in the United States, Mini DVD DL media has been introduced by a number of blank media suppliers.
The new 8cm single-sided, double-layer discs hold up to 2.8GB, almost double the recording capacity of conventional single-sided 8cm DVD-R single-layer blank media, according to suppliers.
The discs are designed to allow up to 60 minutes of continuous recording using the standard mode on DVD camcorders; up to 120 minutes of continuous recording is possible using extended mode. They will work in dual-layer DVD-R camcorders only.
Introduced earlier this year, dual-layer DVD-R camcorders from suppliers such as Samsung and Canon accounted for 3 percent of camcorder sales in the first half, according to The NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y. But that will certainly grow in the second half and into next year as more suppliers bring DL cameras to the market, some in time for the holiday selling season.
Verbatim and TDK both announced DVD DL media last month.
Verbatim's +R and –R DL discs are available in three-pack blister and jewel cases, and shipped in August at a suggested retail of $24.99. The media features Verbatim's proprietary VideoGard technology. The protective coating on the disc surface improves resistance to damage. Recorded videos can be played back with the majority of DVD players on the market, according to the company.
Verbatim Mini DVD+R DL media has been approved by Samsung for use with its Mini DVD+R DL-compatible camcorder. Verbatim Mini DVD-R DL media has been confirmed to be compatible with Canon's B!G Mini DVD-R DL-compatible camcorder and recommended by Canon. The Mini DL discs can also be recorded with drives supporting the –R and +R DL formats.
JVC's +R blank media is to be available in two versions: VD-RDL26GU ($9.99 suggested retail), which comes as a single-disc pack, or VD-RDL26GU3 ($28.99), which comes as a three-disc pack. They are scheduled to ship this month.
Sony's 8cm DVD+R DL media is available now for $12. It was designed for use with Sony's new HDR-UX1 Handycam camcorder using AVCHD technology. The disc provides up to 45 minutes of HD recording and is built with built with Sony's AccuCORE technology to ensure high quality and reliability, the company said, claiming the discs are 100 times more scratch-resistant than standard discs for optimal video protection.
Maxell is offering DVD-R DL media in two-pack and three-pack configurations. The new 8cm DVD camcorder media features capacity of 2.6GB and 54 minutes of high quality video recording capability. The media's packaging features Maxell's icon-based graphics to give consumers a complete picture of hardware compatibility, capacities and applications.
Pricing has not yet been set but will be competitive with the rest of the market, according to a company spokesman.
“This introduction rounds out our complete line of camcorder media and puts us in a strong position to maintain our dominant market share in the overall camcorder media category,” said Don Patrican, executive VP of Maxell.
TDK will be offering DL media by Spring 2007 at an estimated price of $29.99 for a 3-pack, the company said.
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