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Thursday, January 09, 2003
Sony enhances its line-up of dual RW drives for the PC


Sony Electronics is building upon its leadership in the DVD-recordable market with a new generation of 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 internal DRU-500AX and the external DRX-500ULX drives are capable of recording to both 4X compatible DVD+R and DVD-R discs at up to 4X speeds, offer enhanced software for mastering and drag-and-drop file management, and playback DVD recordable media faster than before.

Like their first-generation predecessors, the new Dual RW drives encompass four DVD recording formats for recording functionality and playback compatibility. By supporting all the popular DVD recordable/rewritable 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 consumer DVD players and DVD-ROM drives without worrying about format variations.

Sony’s DRU-500AX and DRX-500ULX models are also the industry’s first to support both up to 4X DVD+R and DVD-R recording when using 4X speed media, making them among the fastest on the market. Users can now create write-once discs in approximately half the time of drives writing at 2X speeds.

The new drives additionally support up to 2.4X DVD+RW/+R recording and 2X DVD-RW recording, as well as 24X CD-R and 10X CD-RW recording (using high-speed CD-RW discs), making them ideal all-in-one recording devices.

“Sony has taken the lead in the DVD recordable market, delivering high-speed and high-performance drives that eliminate confusion and risk for consumers, and allow them to create DVDs without worrying about formats,” said Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager for branded storage products in Sony Electronics’ IT Products Division. “The DRU-500AX and DRX-500ULX drives offer high recording speeds for users looking to quickly create video or audio discs, edit and share home movies and slide shows, and perform data backups.”

Sony’s first generation DRU-500A drive has already garnered a number of industry awards last year, including Editors' Choice Awards from both CNET and CDRLabs.com in October, a Best Buy Award from PC World's December issue, and Maximum PC's Gear of the Year and Kick Ass Awards, also bestowed in December.

The internal Sony DRU-500AX drive comes with an ATAPI interface for easy installation inside a PC, while the external Sony DRX-500ULX drive features both an i.LINK (IEEE 1394) and a USB 2.0 interface for simple set-up and maximum flexibility.

DVD & CD Software Suite

Both new Dual RW drives come with CD/DVD burning and video editing, authoring and mastering software. The full-featured software suite also includes backup and packet-writing 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 DX™ 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™ backup and data protection software that provides users instant backup and disaster recovery capabilities;

• VERITAS Drive Letter Access™ packet-writing software that enables users to format, drag-and-drop or delete files similar to a hard drive or floppy disk;

• Sonic Solutions MyDVD™ authoring software that allows users to quickly and easily transfer home videos to customized DVD and Video CD discs;

• Arcsoft ShowBiz® video editing software for customizing video footage with easy import/export to and from the Sonic Solutions MyDVD software;

• CyberLink PowerDVD® DVD-Video playing software that enables interactive viewing of both DVD-Video and Video CD discs on a PC; and

• MUSICMATCH® Jukebox‘ 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-500AX and the DRX-500ULX DVD/CD rewritable drives will be available in February for an estimated retail price of under $350, and under $430, respectively. The DRU-500A and DRX-500UL first generation models are currently available.

Sony DVD/CD rewritable drives are sold through retailers and resellers 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

Sony DRU-500AX DVD/CD Rewritable Drive
• ATAPI (EIDE) internal interface
• 2.4X (max.) writing (DVD+RW)
4X (max.) writing (DVD+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 Mbit/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
• Estimated Selling Price – Under $350

Sony DRX-500ULX 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 (max.) writing (DVD+RW)
4X (max.) writing (DVD+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
• Estimated Selling Price – Under $430


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