By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Pioneer Electronics is notifying purchasers of its DVD-RW recorders and PC drives to apply a "mandatory" software fix to avert potential damage to the products when recording on new high-speed discs.
Pioneer is distributing a free software download on its Web site or via mail to remedy the problem. The company said it is "extremely important" that consumers perform the update.
Pioneer said the use of new 4x DVD-R and 2x DVD-RW discs could cause its drives to freeze, which could cause the laser to permanently damage a critical optical lens and the blank disc.
Pioneer said the DVD Forum recently established new standards for the high-speed recordable discs. Various media manufacturers have begun disc production and product is expected in stores soon.
Pioneer said the problem is related to "a firmware bug" in certain Pioneer DVD-R/RW recorders and drives, and not with the high-speed media itself.
The problem exists in its computer DVD recordable drives and two stand-alone DVD recording decks. The company said it has sold about 1 million DVD-RW PC drives and about 10,000 recording decks in the Unites States, so far.
Affected products include the following:
Pioneer DVR-7000 DVD recorder
Pioneer PRV-9000 Professional DVD recorder
Pioneer DVR-A03 computer drive
Pioneer DVR-103 computer drive
Pioneer DVR-A04 computer drive
Pioneer DVR-104 computer drive
Computer makers that use Pioneer drives — called "Superdrives" — in PC systems include: Compaq, Apple and Sony.
The Pioneer support line for the repair is: 800-421-1623.
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