Sony Electronics announced a pair of dual-format 8X DVD burners on Monday, and a company representative said that a version utilizing next-generation blue-laser technology should be announced before the end of the year. Sony announced a pair of multiformat DVD burners: the internal DRU-530A, which will ship in December for an estimated price of $270; and the DRX-530UL, an external drive which will begin shipping in January for an estimated price of $350.
While both burners can theoretically burn 4.7-GB DVD+R or DVD-R media at 8X rates, the media manufacturers themselves have yet to deliver. Ricoh Company Ltd., like other media manufacturers, has said it will begin shipping 8X media during the fourth quarter. In related news, Memorex said Friday thit would raise its CD-RW prices by about 10 to 15 percent.
"We're still waiting," a spokeswoman for Sony said.
The new drives also support up to 4X DVD+RW and DVD-R recording, as well as 2X DVD-RW, 40X CD-R and 24X CD-RW recording. The external drive ships with both a USB 2.0 and an i-LINK (IEEE 1394) connection; Sony's internal drive uses an ATAPI interface. Both drives ship with a 2-MB buffer, and are rated at 160-ms random access times for CD-ROM discs, and 200 ms for DVD-ROMs.
In the meantime, Sony may actually deliver and ship a DVD burner using blue laser technology before the end of the year, a Sony spokeswoman said. Consumer DVD recorders using blue lasers (known as Blu-Ray) have already begun shipping in Japan, where the additional capacity is used to store high-definition video. The Sony representative said it was doubtful that Sony would ship Blu-Ray recorders in the U.S. before 2007, when the FCC-mandated switch to high-definition digital television takes place.
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