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The Media Hardware

New DVD Burners To Double Capacity 420

clester writes "CNN reports that new dual-layer DVD-burning drives will be released very soon by Philips and Sony that will double the capacity of DVD drives, making a complete copy of your dual-layer DVDs theoretically possible. It will use dual layer technology that will hold up to 8.5GB, and will cost around $230 for an internal and $330 for external, burning all 8.5GB in approximately 45 minutes."
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New DVD Burners To Double Capacity

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  • by michael path ( 94586 ) * on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:22PM (#8638963) Homepage Journal
    This is a very low price for the technology to be released at. At those prices, we'll probably see a large number of early adopters. It makes me wonder what we'll see it for next year.

    Considering I spent $250 on an external USB2 DVD+R/RW drive just last year, I can already regret my purchase.

    • by pcx ( 72024 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:24PM (#8638991)
      The drive is $250, the blank DVD is $75.00 :-P
    • I'm just waiting for the media prices to drop.

      Given, a spindle of Ritek G04's (50) are about 46$ on, and price/gig of data is actually quite good compared to a spindle of 50 CD-R's.

      I've been doing a lot of.. .ahem... backing up of ... well, you know. But, what I'd like to see is dirt cheap media that I can rely on for about a year and then re-burn on newer media -- my full album rip backups. Then I'd be set.

      So far, I've not used any media but Ritek's, since the price isn't like CD-Writables
    • You got a _USB2_ drive? Yeah, you should've regretted your purchase right away. Shoulda gone FireWire! :)

      I just spent $110 for a black NEC 8x dual format burner, and I don't regret it a bit. If you think finding 8x media is hard (and lemme tell ya, no-name brand 4x media often only works at 2.4x!), you just wait till you try to find decent dual-layer media, and for a decent price. Here's a tip: don't hold your breath, unless you look good in blue.
      • It supports Firewire as well. It's an HP DVD300EX. I had to use the Firewire piece for quite a while as the USB port on it stopped working. I had to ship it back to HP to repair.

        Good deal on your burner too.
        • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:37PM (#8639209)
          You should find the thing much faster when used with FireWire than with USB2. Even plain ole FireWire a (400Mbps) is much faster than USB2 (at 480Mbps) due to latency type issues. I'd _love_ to have an external Firewire b (800Mbps), Firewire a (400), USB 2, USB 1.1 drive cage to maximum portability/compatability.

          My NEC drive isn't the best 8x on the market, but I'm _amazed_ at how quiet it is. It also doesn't heat up the discs at all, unlike most every other burner I've ever used. It'd be great for a HTPC project. I think the price has dipped even lower than the $110 I paid for it (from
          • I just burned my first DVDs using USB2 in a long time, and I was finding that yes, they were indeed faster with Firewire.

            I may even switch back to Firewire burning tonight, as I need to finish archiving MST3K episodes.

          • by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @08:54PM (#8640965) Homepage Journal
            it's the effort required of the CPU that matters
            I have a external harddrive that can connect via USB 2.0 or firewire, and a DVD external with the same options... on usb2.0 heavy read/write traffic puts a 4-10% (once 16%) processor load on my 2.53 p4, firewire puts maybe 1% load....

      • If you think finding 8x media is hard (and lemme tell ya, no-name brand 4x media often only works at 2.4x!),

        I use Verbatim media for my long-term backups, and while their 4x media are not the cheapest, my burner (Plextor PX-708A) actually decides to burn them at 8x most of the time.

        In case you're wondering, I do regular integrity checks of my backups and haven't had a single read error yet.

    • by agslashdot ( 574098 ) <sundararaman.krishnan@g m a i l . com> on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:38PM (#8639218)
      At those prices, we'll probably see a large number of early adopters

      I'm one of those early adopters ( bought the 6x DVD-R Pioneer drives right after it debuted ). IMO, it is unwise to splurge on this. The early versions produce few good DVDs & a large proportion of coasters. It took 2-3 months for Pioneer to resolve all the errors & issue a firmware patch, & in a few more months, the 8X drive was out, cheaper than 6x, but with problems of its own :) Best to wait.

      • If you purchased a 6X DVD-R (probably DVR-106) from Pioneer, sorry, you're not an "early adopter." Early adopters bought the DVR-101. The 106 can be considered a 3rd-generation DVD writer. While it is Pioneer's first dual-format writer, but it came out quite a bit later than Sony's offerings.
    • by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @06:25PM (#8639778) Journal
      It is a good price, but I think it's because it's not really new tech. DVDs compared to CDs are new technology, and DVD burners were very expensive at first. Dual layer DVDs compared to single layer are updated technology and therefore do not need a high entry price.
  • Compatibility??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by parvenu74 ( 310712 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:23PM (#8638973)
    But will the new dual layer DVD's be compatible with set-top boxes or legacy DVD ROM drives???
  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gr33nNight ( 679837 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:23PM (#8638978)
    Now I can finally back up my porno collection to 10 easy-to-find dvds...*phew*
  • What about... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EpsCylonB ( 307640 ) <.eps. .at.> on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:24PM (#8638994) Homepage
    double sided dual layed dvd's... possible ?
    • Well, certainly movie DVDs are that way - I'd imagine they'll get around to the double-sided burnable variety soon enough, but having to turn over a disc to use the other side went out of favour back in the old days of 5.25" floppies. I don't think anyone would want to pay the extra money needed to get a drive that'll burn/read both sides without flipping a disc.

      Better than that would be a multilayer drive using a blue laser - that'll get you north of 20Gig, and plans are afoot for such drives. Yay.
      • Useless Tip (Score:3, Funny)

        by Dogtanian ( 588974 )
        Well, certainly movie DVDs are that way - I'd imagine they'll get around to the double-sided burnable variety soon enough, but having to turn over a disc to use the other side went out of favour back in the old days of 5.25" floppies.

        I've had a fantastic idea; maybe it's already possible to use both sides of writable CDs and DVDs in the same way that you could do it with 5.25" floppies- you cut a great big notch at the edge.

        I definitely think that you should try this excellent tip on your collection of
    • Re:What about... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      I don't see any technical reason why not provided that the two inner layers are far enough apart to avoid interference while burning. Of course the same applies to the current 4.7GB disks and I can't recall seeing any dual sided versions of those anywhere. In short; don't hold your breath if you were thinking of putting the entire LoTR trilogy on a three disk "portable edition".
    • Just glue two of the suckers back to back
  • Media Reliability? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cyclopedian ( 163375 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:24PM (#8638997) Journal
    That's cool that dual-layer DVD burners are coming out, but I have concerns about the reliability of dual-layered dvd(+|-)r media.

    Would adding an extra data layer be much more complex than just having a single layer? I haven't been happy with some of the reliability of some of the single layer DVD-R media I've bought.

    • I haven't been happy with some of the reliability of some of the single layer DVD-R media I've bought.

      In my own personal experience, that tends to be a result of low-quality discs, not complex technology. Luckily for myself, I recieved a huge number of TDK blanks over the holidays, and I haven't had a single issue since with over 40 discs burned.
      • by Pieroxy ( 222434 )
        You'll tell me that in 10 years when 50% of your disks will be as good as dead.

        Seriously, the quality-longevity of the media is a great concern for some people that wants to use it as back-ups. Any numbers over there anyone?
  • by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) <(su.rorreoi) (ta) (rorre)> on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:26PM (#8639016) Homepage Journal
    (The software used to copy encrypted movie DVDs is illegal in the United States, according to recent court rulings.)

    So the 'dd' command is illegal now?

    • Re:'dd' illegal? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ejdmoo ( 193585 )
      I was wondering the same thing. It's not against the DMCA, at least, to copy something that's encrypted, right? It may be against copyright law, but in no way if you copy a DVD bit for bit then play the copy back are you circumventing any copy protection.
      • It's not against the DMCA, at least, to copy something that's encrypted, right?

        Wrong. Dead wrong. That's exactly what the law says: if you circumvent copy protection, it's a felony. If you find a way to make a copy, here come the cops.

      • Re:'dd' illegal? (Score:5, Informative)

        by wfberg ( 24378 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @06:07PM (#8639572)
        Encrypted DVDs store the encryption key in a special area on the disc that is not writeable on DVD-R/+R discs. So you can't make a bitwise copy that works. You have to use DeCSS to decrypt it first, thereby circumventing the copy protection scheme.
    • by modder ( 722270 )
      cp? What if the bits move from some medium into volatile memory? Something one might do in order to process and render them?

      I'm a criminal :( I'm nothing more than a common theif. Where do I turn myself in?

      What if I take the bits on some kind of "bus"? What if... what if... ah the hell with it. I'm going to Moe's.
    • You won't be able to just "dd" the content and have it play in just any DVD player, unless you decrypt it, and the decrypting is against the DMCA law.

      The CCS key is in a protected part of a DVD, and the place to put the key on DVD blank media is pre-burned to all zeros, which is effectively a "no key"
  • blue lasers, really (Score:2, Informative)

    by nil5 ( 538942 )
    Blue lasers are really what's letting this technology take off! Here is some backgroudn info from this snippet off USA Today:

    Most lasers use red or infrared. Blue lasers exploit the benefits of blue light, which has a smaller wavelength. Consequently, blue lasers can get into much tighter spaces than other lasers, and do jobs others can't, or at least do them a lot better and faster.

    Blue lasers are only now starting to fledge from some of the world's leading commercial R&D labs, with several major Ame
  • 45 minutes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jeffasselin ( 566598 )
    Isn't that slow? The Pioneer DVR-106 I'm currently using does a full 4.5GB in less than 20min at 4x, and the 107 at 8x does it in about 10min. 45min is almost 5 times longer for only double the capacity. That's somewhat disappointing.

    OTOH I suspect it could burn regular single-layers DVDs at a better speed. Might be worth it for those who need a lot of them or can wait, but it won't be for me at first. Unless there's an error in that number...
    • I second that. I have a Plextor PX-708A and I've managed to rip off a full 4.5 disk in a hair over 8 minutes.

      This Sony takes about 2 1/2 times longer to burn? Something doesn't seem quite right. The only possibility I'd hazard is that the dual-layer media is being burned at 2.4X, which I have a gut feeling is the case.

  • Ok... (Score:2, Funny)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) *
    But where's Blue Light?
  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:27PM (#8639051) Homepage Journal
    Hopefully I'm joking, but don't be surprised if they don't file a suit to block sales of the devices in the US.

    Now that you could copy an entire 'real' DVD at once.. with no compression, they might start to panic. Since they obviously buy into the ' pirates are eating us alive syndrome'
  • usb (Score:4, Funny)

    by maxbang ( 598632 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:28PM (#8639065) Journal

    I don't have usb 2.0 or firewire. will this come with a serial adapter?

  • Finally! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ziggy_zero ( 462010 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:28PM (#8639069)
    This is what I've been waiting for.

    Actually, now I have to wait until all the compatibility issues are figured out, THEN I'll finally get a DVD burner.
  • Pictures! Pictures! (Score:5, Informative)

    by prostoalex ( 308614 ) * on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:30PM (#8639097) Homepage Journal

    see them pictures []

    Also, press release from Philips [] and press release from Sony [] with even better pictures.

  • Robert Moore, Founder and President of 321 Studios. "There is no difference between making a copy of a music CD for personal use and making a backup of a DVD movie for personal use."

    DVDXCopy [] was presumably one of the biggest consumer application for these DVD recorders. People made backups of their existing DVD collection using that software, and why shouldn't they ?

    But 321Studios was found guilty of violating the DMCA, and today we have the hardware to make copies legally available, getting cheaper & faster, while the software remains illegal.

  • by MathFox ( 686808 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:32PM (#8639136)
    I guess you should be able to create bootable DVD's for the XBOX with those burners. Anybody wants to try a Linux DVD image?
  • by saintp ( 595331 ) <> on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:33PM (#8639142) Homepage
    This is lovely:
    They will be marketed only for Windows PCs, but the external one should work on Macintosh computers with the proper third-party software.
    I suppose Linux is right out. You gotta love desktop dominance. And, of course:
    The Sony and Philips drives will use somewhat different discs. Sony calls its variant DVD-R DL. The Philips equivalent is DVD+R DL.
    Standards!?!? We don't need no stinkin' standards! This is basically everything wrong with current peripherals, writ large. Give me a Linux-compatible DVD writer and a standard DVD format (+ or -, I don't care; leave that to the wonks), and that will be something to care about.
    • They will be marketed only for Windows PCs, but the external one should work on Macintosh computers with the proper third-party software.

      Well, if history proves anything, any -R compatible drive will work internally (or externally via FireWire) in a Mac with no drivers. "SuperDrives" are basically standard Matsushita or Pioneer hardware.
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:33PM (#8639144)
    According to the CNN article (which is the nutritional equivilent of sugary cereal), Sony's format is "DVD-R DL". Does this mean:

    A) it's the -R (as we've all come to know -R) equivilent of dual layer technology? What happened to Pioneer's -R DL effort? Does this moot it, add to it, or surpass it? Will Pioneer ALSO release a -R DL format?

    B) Or is this just a marketing name used by Sony for what is in fact the same DL technology used by the +R group, and the discs/drives will be basically interchangeable among the Sony/Philips standard?

    C) Will the -R DL discs be readable in set tops or computer drives that cannot read +R/RW media but can read existing dual-layer media?

    $5 per disc smells kind of expensive. I'm impressed enough with the job done by DVDShrink that I don't know if a direct copy of a DVD-9 means much at this point. It WOULD motivate me to replace my Panasonic E80 set-top DVD recorder if SP mode would now mean 4.16 hours of recording, or XP at 2.16 hours, or, if I'm willing to tolerate it, *16* hours at EP mode.
  • If I wanted a dual layer DVD, I'd just put two of them in the drive at the same time.

    Me, I'm waiting for *triple*-layer DVDs. Now that'd be something. Yessiree. Yessiree *bob*.
  • by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @05:41PM (#8639258)
    When I attempt to get a DVD writer it's just a mess with all the RW + - x # +_.

    The capacity upgrade is expected overtime, but the format it feels like it's pending for changes year after year. And whatever happened to SCSI devices. 95% of the drives are IDE and it eats up your processor.
  • Sony is supporting both DVD+R and DVD-R with its new drive, however, the 8.5 GB will be available only in DVD+R mode
  • Mmmm 40 322/480/nyet25203221828
    click moi []

    "This is an undated photo provided by Sony of their DRX-700UL external DVD-burning drive designed to record on two layers.(AP Photo/HO/Sony)"

  • I say that because I had always been told that dual layer DVD's were "sandwiched" together after each layer had been burned separately. This obviously means a single disc burned all at once with dual layers. So what's the deal?
  • by dbkluck ( 731449 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @06:00PM (#8639486)
    They will be marketed only for Windows PCs, but the external one should work on Macintosh computers with the proper third-party software.
    correct me if i'm wrong, but aren't ide devices pretty platform independent? why wouldn't an ide device for win32 work in ppc? and, (what i actually care about) are they going to work in some sort of proprietary bs that will prevent me from using it in linux?
  • by mblase ( 200735 ) on Monday March 22, 2004 @06:00PM (#8639487)
    So now we can look forward to boxes and ad flyers with specs like "8XDVD+/-R DL 8XDVD+/-R 4XDVD+/-RW 16XDVD-ROM 48XCD+/-R 8XCD+/-RW 48XCD-ROM"?

    I mean, I know what that all means, but it still makes my eyeballs want to scurry behind my ears and hide.
  • by Patik ( 584959 ) * <`cpatik' `at' `'> on Monday March 22, 2004 @06:50PM (#8640024) Homepage Journal
    Click here []

    Always use for AP and Reuters articles, they don't have any banners, popups, or registration.

"To IBM, 'open' means there is a modicum of interoperability among some of their equipment." -- Harv Masterson