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Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Sony Delivers 4X DVD-R Dual Layer Recorders

Sony Electronics is expanding its lineup of award-winning DVD burners with a pair of new drives that support 4X DVD-R Dual Layer (DL) recording.

The internal DRU-800A and external DRX-800UL models can burn up to four hours of high-quality video or up to 8.5 GB of data, music and/or images onto a single DVD-R DL disc.

The 800 series marks Sony's ninth generation of dual format DVD burners and also features 4X DVD+R DL, 16X DVD±R, 8X DVD+RW, 6X DVD-RW, 48X CD-R and 24X CD-RW recording.

In addition, the DRU-800A and DRX-800UL drives come bundled with a software package from Nero for burning and authoring home movies, creating digital scrapbooks, and backing up crucial data.

"Our double layer drives have been very popular with consumers, commanding number one market share at retail, and now we're taking the next step by providing dual layer recording, allowing users to choose from the widest possible selection of blank discs," said Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager for branded storage products in Sony Electronics' IT Products Division. "Sony's 800 series of DVD burners is a superior option for consumers wanting to store and share home movies, digital photos, and music; businesses deploying DVD video-based training and sharing large files; and filmmakers creating prototypes on DVD videodisc before proceeding with mass replication."

The internal DRU-800A 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-800UL drive features a radical, space-efficient vertical 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.

Double Layer vs. Dual Layer

There are currently two formats on the market that support recording to two layers of a DVD disc. The first was presented by the DVD+RW Alliance for the plus ("+") format and given the formal name "Double Layer." The DVD Forum followed with its own standard for the dash format ("-"), which it dubbed "Dual Layer." For now, drives are only available in write-once formats called DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL.

According to DeMoulin, "Sony was a pioneer of dual format DVD burners that support both plus and dash standards, and the first to introduce Double Layer recorders for the PC. With the 800 series, we now also support both double and dual layer burning."

DVD and CD Software Suite

The burners come bundled with award-winning Nero DVD video authoring software, as well as with 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 Nero StartSmart launcher, which serves as a command center and gives the user one-click access to all programs in the package. The software suite includes:

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

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;

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

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

Nero PhotoSnap captures digital photos right from a digital camera or scanner and provides basic image editing as well as a viewer utility;

Nero MediaHome streaming media server allows sharing of media files over a home network;

Nero Recode2 DVD-Video converter makes backup copies of unprotected DVDs - ideal for making copies of home movie DVDs to share with friends and family. Can also compile multiple DVD discs into a single DVD;

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

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

Nero Cover Designer disc label creation software for creating individual CD/DVD covers and labels; and

Nero Toolkit drive tool software for critical media and drive analysis used by drive manufacturers worldwide.

Availability and Pricing

The internal DRU-800A is currently shipping for about $130, while the external DRX-800UL is expected to ship in late May for around $210. 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 calls "worry-free" installation, along with easy operation in addition to toll-free customer and technical service, Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT. The company also provides a one-year limited warranty from the original date of purchase.

Specification for Sony's New 800 Series of Dual RW Drives

Sony DRU-800A DVD/CD Rewritable Drive

ATAPI (EIDE) internal interface
DVD+R DL: 4X CLV (max.) writing
DVD-R DL: 4X CLV (max.) writing
DVD+R: 16X CAV (max.) writing
DVD+RW: 8X Z-CLV (max.) rewriting
DVD-R: 16X CAV (max.) writing
DVD-RW: 6X CLV (max.) rewriting
DVD-ROM reading (single layer): 16X CAV (max.)
DVD-ROM reading (dual layer): 8X CAV (max.)
CD-R: 48X CAV (max.) writing
CD-RW: 24X Z-CLV (max.) rewriting
CD-ROM: 48X CAV (max) reading
Dimensions: 145.8 x 41.3 x 165 mm - excluding bezel (W x H x L) 1" shorter depth than standard form factor
Burst data transfer rate: 66.6 MB/s max. Ultra DMA66
Random access time: 135 ms (CD-ROM), 130 ms (DVD-ROM)
Buffer memory: 2 MB
Buffer under-run error protection technology: Sony Power-Burn conformed

Recording method (CD): Disc at Once, Track at Once, Session at Once, Packet Writing (DVD): Random Access Write (DVD+RW/DVD-RW/CD-RW), Sequential Write (DVD+R/+R DL/+RW, DVD-R/-RW/CD-R/RW)

Compatible disc format: DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD-DA, Video CD, Photo CD (multi-session), CD TEXT, CD Extra, and others

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