Sony Announces Dual Layer DVD Recorders

From Sony’s press release:

Sony Electronics is adding two DVD+R Double Layer (DL) DVD drives to its family of Dual RW burners. The internal DRU-700A and external DRX-700UL drives mark Sony’s entry into Double Layer recording.

Nearly doubling the storage capacity of current DVD recordable discs, the double layer DVD drives allow users to record up to four hours of high-quality MPEG-2 video or up to 8.5 GB of data, music and/or images on compatible DVD+R DL media.

The new burners will debut with an initial DVD+R DL recording speed of 2.4X. They will also feature up to 8X DVD±R, 4X DVD±RW, 40X CD-R and 24X CD-RW recording, providing users with double layer, dual format, and high-speed burning all in one drive.

“Sony continues to be a forerunner in DVD technology by leading the charge in delivering double layer technology to the market,” said Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager for branded storage products in Sony Electronics’ IT Products Division. “As the pioneer of dual format drives, we were the first to address confusion over competing DVD standards; with double layer, we will now satisfy the need for higher capacity.”

Sony’s double layer drives will benefit both consumers and businesses in need of ample, yet cost-effective storage solutions. Consumers can store more than 2,000 songs on a single DL DVD – about seven days of music without a commercial break. Double layer recording also makes sense for businesses that deploy training information and video on DVD, and for independent filmmakers who want to create a prototype of their work on a double layer DVD videodisc before committing to mass replication.

“Double layer recording is the next milestone in DVD technology,” said Wolfgang Schlichting, research director for removable storage at IDC. “Sony’s double layer drives put twice the recording power in the hands of the consumer, reducing the need to handle multiple discs when working on new storage-intensive applications.”

DVD+R DL discs are single-sided with two information layers that can be independently recorded to and read from. Both layers can be accessed from the same side of the disc, so there is no need to turn the disc over during recording or playback. DVD+R DL discs, when recorded, are also fully compliant DVD9 discs, and therefore compatible with most consumer DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives.

The internal DRU-700A drive comes with an ATAPI interface for easy installation inside a PC and includes a black replacement bezel for those with black-colored PC cases. The external DRX-700UL drive features a radical sleek and space-efficient design, and offers connectivity with both i.LINK® (IEEE 1394) and hi-speed USB (USB 2.0) digital interfaces for simple set-up and maximum flexibility.

DVD and CD Software Suite

Both of Sony’s double layer drives come bundled with DVD video authoring software, as well as DVD/CD burning software for creation of data, music, and video DVDs and CDs. The full-featured software suite also includes packet-writing software for users to easily record files and folders by dragging to the icon of a DVD+RW/CD-RW disc. All tasks and applications are accessible via the unique Nero StartSmart launcher, which serves as the ultimate command center, giving the user one-click access to all programs in the package. The software suite includes:

  • AHEAD Nero Burning ROM 6 SE/ Nero Express 6 CD/DVD mastering software for data, audio and CD/DVD writing and copying;

  • AHEAD Nero VisionExpress 2 VCD/SVCD and DVD authoring software for advanced video capturing, authoring, full video editing and photo slideshow creation; users can crop, clean up, add special effects to photos and then add transitions and a soundtrack, as well as cut, edit, dub, and turn videos into Hollywood-style masterpieces;

  • AHEAD InCD 4 packet writing software for formatting rewritable discs so they can be used like large floppy disks with drag-and-drop capability;

  • AHEAD Nero ShowTime DVD-Video playing software for viewing DVD movies and personal video projects, along with MPEG-4 compatibility;

  • AHEAD Nero BackItUp backup softwarefor complete PC backup, with an easy-to-use wizard interface for multiple backup modes, automatically scheduled backups, and backups spanning several CDs or DVDs;

  • AHEAD Nero ImageDrive virtual disc drive software for setting up a virtual CD/DVD-ROM drive, which looks like a real drive to the PC and behaves in just the same way;

  • AHEAD Nero MediaPlayer / Wave Editor management/jukebox software and audio editing software for audio file creation with various filters and effects;

  • AHEAD Nero Cover Designer disc label creation softwarefor creating individual CD/DVD covers and labels; and

  • AHEAD Nero Toolkit drive tool softwarefor critical media and drive analysis used by drive manufacturers worldwide.

Availability and Pricing

The new drives are expected to start shipping by the end of the second quarter at an estimated selling price of $230 for the internal DRU-700A and $330 for the external DRX-700UL. Sony DVD/CD rewritable drives are sold through resellers and retailers nationwide, mail order catalogs, and select online shopping sites, including

Sony supports what it has coined as “worry-free” installation, along with easy operation in addition to toll-free customer and technical service, Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CST. The company also provides a one-year limited warranty from the original date of purchase.

Specifications for Sony’s New 700 Series of Dual RW Drives

Sony DRU-700A DVD/CD Rewritable Drive

ATAPI (EIDE) internal interface

DVD+R DL: 2.4X CLV (max.) writing

DVD+R: 8X Z-CLV (max.) writing

DVD+RW: 4X CLV (max.) rewriting

DVD-R: 8X Z-CLV (max.) writing

DVD-RW: 4X CLV (max.) rewriting

DVD-ROM reading (single layer): 12X CAV (max.)

DVD-ROM reading (dual layer): 8X CAV (max.)

CD-R: 40X P-CAV (max.) writing

CD-RW: 24X Z-CLV (max.) rewriting

CD-ROM: 40X CAV (max) reading

Dimensions: 145.8 x 41.3 x 165 mm – excluding bezel (W x H x L)
1″ shorter depth than standard home factor

Compatible with Microsoft® Windows® 2000 / Windows XP

Burst data transfer rate: 33.3 Mbit/s max.

Random access time: 160 ms (CD-ROM), 200 ms (DVD-ROM)

Buffer memory: 2 MB

Buffer under-run error protection technology: Sony Power-Burn

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