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Monday, September 09, 2002
SONY introduces first drives to support recording of popular DVD formats


Sony Electronics today introduced its Dual RW drives, the first combination drives for the PC to support the DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD-R formats. The new Dual RW drives, the internal DRU-500A and the external DRX-500UL, encompass four popular DVD recording formats for the utmost in recording functionality and playback compatibility.

By combining the DVD rewritable (DVD+RW/-RW) formats with the DVD write-once (DVD+R/-R) formats, the Dual RW drives allow computer users to transfer home movies from tape to DVD discs, customize and edit them for a personal touch, and then play them back in nearly all DVD-Video players and DVD-ROM drives.

Sony's new drives are also the industry's first to support up to 4X DVD-R recording, making them the fastest DVD rewritable drives on the market. In addition, the drives support 2.4X DVD+RW/+R recording and 2X DVD-RW recording. It is expected that 4X DVD-R and 2X DVD-RW media will become available in the near future.

Both Dual RW models also support 24X CD-R and 10X CD-RW recording (using high-speed CD-RW discs), making them ideal all-in-one recording devices.

"Sony is eliminating the need for consumers to choose one format over another by introducing a drive that supports the most popular DVD formats," said Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager for branded storage products in Sony Electronics' IT Products Division. "Whether consumers are looking to create write-once discs to inexpensively share home movies, or rewritable discs for video or data storage, the Sony DRU-500A and DRX-500UL drives offer complete solutions for digital recording."

"Two of the key issues for the success of rewritable DVD drives in the future are affordability and compatibility. The increasing market acceptance of DVD players and digital camcorders underlines the need for recording formats that are compatible with the majority of DVD players," said Mary Craig, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest. "Vendors in this market need to do as much as possible to remove the guesswork in the selection of a DVD recording format and to help prepare users for the future of home video and DVD recording."

"The popularity of DVD players, digital camcorders and powerful but affordable multi-media PCs are quickly increasing the appeal of DVD recording," said Wolfgang Schlichting, Research Manager Removable Storage for IDC.

"Playback compatibility with DVD players will be vital for the technology's success, and Sony's new multi-format drives allow users to record on all widely available DVD media formats. Also, these multi-format drives greatly reduce the risk for consumers to depend on less compatible or more expensive media in the future," he added.

The internal Sony DRU-500A drive comes with an ATAPI interface for easy installation inside a PC while the external Sony DRX-500UL drive features both an i.LINK and a USB 2.0 interface for simple set-up and maximum flexibility.

DVD & CD Software Suite

Both Dual RW drives come with CD/DVD burning and video editing and authoring software. The full-featured software suite also includes backup software for users to easily create custom backup discs of up to 4.7 gigabytes (GB) of audio, video and data, along with software to organize music files on a PC and record them onto a CD or DVD. The software suite includes:

- Veritas RecordNow™ is mastering software that allows users to create custom CDs and DVDs, in addition to creating backup copies of CDs or DVD-ROMs;
- Veritas Simple Backup™ is full-featured backup and data protection software that provides users instant backup and disaster recovery capabilities;
- Sonic Solutions MyDVD™ is authoring software that allows users to quickly and easily transfer home videos to customized DVD and Video CD discs;
- Arcsoft ShowBiz® is video editing software for customizing video footage with easy import/export to and from the Sonic Solutions MyDVD software;
- CyberLink PowerDVD® is DVD-Video playing software that enables interactive viewing of both DVD-Video and Video CD discs on a PC; and
- MUSICMATCH® Jukebox™ is a personal music system to play, record, organize and discover new music with a guide to thousands of streams of personalized music programming.

Availability, Pricing and Warranty

The DRU-500A DVD/CD rewritable drive will be available in October for an estimated retail price of under $350, and the Sony DRX-500UL will be available in November for less than $430. Sony DVD/CD rewritable drives are sold through resellers and retailers nationwide, mail order catalogs, and select online shopping sites, including SonyStyle.com. Sony supports what it calls "worry-free" installation and easy operation with toll-free customer and technical service, Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CST, along with a one-year limited warranty from the original date of purchase.

Key Specifications for the Sony Dual RW Drives

Sony DRU-500A DVD/CD Rewritable Drive
ATAPI (EIDE) internal interface
2.4X writing (DVD+RW/+R)
2X (max.) writing (DVD-RW)
4X (max.) writing (DVD-R)
8X (max.) reading (DVD-ROM)
24X (max.) writing (CD-R), 32X (max.) reading
10X (max.) writing (CD-RW), 32X (max.) reading
Dimensions: 5.75 x 1.63 x 7.56 inches (W x H x L)
Platform support: Windows 98SE/2000/Me/XP
Burst data transfer rate: 33.3 MB/s max.
Random access time: 160 ms (CD-ROM), 200 ms (DVD-ROM)
Buffer memory: 8 MB
Recording method
(CD): disc at once, track at once, session at once, packet writing
(DVD): Random Access Write (DVD+RW/DVD-RW), Sequential Write (DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW)
Compatible disc format: DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD-DA, Video CD, Photo CD (multi-session), CD TEXT, CD Extra and others
Availability - October 2002
Estimated Selling Price - Under $350

Sony DRX-500UL DVD/CD Rewritable Drive
USB 2.0 and i.LINK external interfaces
USB 1.1 compatible with sustained read speed of up to 6X and write speed up to 4X
2.4X writing (DVD+RW/+R)
2X (max.) writing (DVD-RW)
4X (max.) writing (DVD-R)
8X (max.) reading (DVD-ROM)
24X (max.) writing (CD-R), 32X (max.) reading
10X (max.) writing (CD-RW), 32X (max.) reading
Dimensions: 5.75 x 1.63 x 7.56 inches (W x H x L)
Platform support: Windows 98SE/2000/Me/XP
Burst data transfer rate: 480 mbit/sec max
Random access time: 160 ms (CD-ROM), 200 ms (DVD-ROM)
Buffer memory: 8 MB
Recording method
(CD): disc at once, track at once, session at once, packet writing
(DVD): Random Access Write (DVD+RW/DVD-RW), Sequential Write (DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW)
Compatible disc format: DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD-DA, Video CD, Photo CD (multi-session), CD TEXT, CD Extra and others
Availability - November 2002
Estimated Selling Price - Under $430


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Sony Europe announces DRU500A supporting DVD±R/RW formats!     Optical Storage News      Sony Europe announces DRU500A supporting DVD±R/RW formats!

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