HP, Philips To Ship Dual Layer +R Drives


Las Vegas – Hewlett-Packard and Philips Electronics reported today that in 2004 they will ship DVD+R drives capable of burning to the new 8.5GB dual layer DVD+R media.

Maureen Weber, HP’s general manager, optical storage solutions, said PC variants of the new drive will ship during the spring. The initial shipment will include aftermarket internal and external versions. Pricing has not been set, but Weber was confident the new products would follow the same price trend that has made current DVD rewritable drives very affordable.

Chris Buma, Philips program manager for A/V, said his company will have PC and consumer electronic dual layer drives available. The PC drive will come out in the first half for the aftermarket and OEM. The CE model will follow in the second half of 2004. Philips has also not set pricing.

The dual layer technology, which was demonstrated for the first time in Japan last October, will write at 2.4x speed two a single-sided disc, Weber said. The media is backward compatible with all DVD players and ROM drives.

However, current DVD Plus burners will not be able to utilize the new media. Weber said the laser in current drives is not powerful enough to properly burn down to the second recording layer.

The DVD+RW Alliance is now studying whether the dual layer technology can be utilized with rewritable media. At this time they consider it very possible that a dual-layer rewritable technology can be developed, but there are many backward compatibility issues that still must be solved, Weber said.


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