"..Panasonic announced at PC Expo today that it will begin volume shipments of next-generation 4.7GB DVD-RAM drives and media in July. Priced about the same as Panasonic's first-generation 2.6GB/5.2GB DVD-RAM drives and media, the 4.7GB format combines the ease of use and random access of a hard drive with new enabling features that enhance the drive's value and versatility:
- A capacity of 4.7GB on a single side -- stores 2-hour theater-quality videos and matches the capacity of the DVD-ROM standard
- The availability of media in the more familiar bare disc format
- New cross-device playback options -- DVD-ROM drives, DVD players, and DVD recorders
- Faster transfer rate -- 22.16MB/sec
- A storage cost of .005 cents/MB, compared to 2.3 cents for a hard drive
Panasonic Industrial Company's 4.7GB OEM DVD-RAM drive is available as an internal drive with a SCSI-2 interface (model LF-D291N) or with an ATAPI interface (model LF-D211N). The Panasonic-branded internal drive, model LF-D201U, is available from Panasonic Document Imaging Company (PDIC) and has an MSRP of $549. DVD-RAM media, which is marketed under the Panasonic brand name, is available from several other leading manufacturers. The double-sided 9.4GB cartridge has an MSRP of $44.95. The 4.7GB single-sided media has an MSRP of $29.95. The 4.7GB bare disc DVD-RAM media has an MSRP of $24.95 and can be played back on the latest Panasonic DVD-ROM drives, as well as Panasonic's new DVD Player and DVD Recorder..."