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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders Double Layer

Friday, April 22, 2005
LightScribe Drives Comparison

2. The media

You can see in the following picture, a magnified picture of a lightscribe media top layer.

The labeling layer of the media is chemically sensitive. Exciting the 780nm sensitive layer with enough power from the burner laser, a chemical reaction is triggered making the dye change color.

In the following picture, you can see a simple diagram of the disc's label side layout.

The media ID code can be read on both sides of the media. If a non LightScribe disc is inserted in a LightScribe drive, it recognizes the media features and disables LightScribe media. This means that users cannot experiment with non LightScribe media. Of course, you can still use the drive as a normal burner to burn your compilation.

The control feature zone is used by the burner to control at which spot it will focus the laser (index mark). This means that if you want to reprint a disc label, the drive will automatically rotate the disc and align it to the same point of origin every time and hence will always print at the same spot as before. So, you can print the same label more than once on the same disc, to achieve better printing quality.

The available printing area is the "label zone" (shown above). This is a power sensitive coating, that produces monochrome images with the appropriate power (typical write power at 1x=32mW). There is no track spiral or other tracking aid.

Two of the biggest media manufacturers, Moder Baer India Ltd. and Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation, already support LightScribe technology, for both CD and DVD media and as a result, there is a wide range of LightScribe media brands available on the market. You can see below the Philips (media ID: Moser Baer India Ltd.), Verbatim and Imation media. Of course, these are not the only brands available. As an example, we can also mention HP and Memorex.

HP was kind enough to give us some detailed information regarding LightScribe enabled media: "LightScribe-enabled media have a unique, laser-imageable, screen-printed coating on the label side. This coating absorbs laser light, which triggers a chemical reaction that produces a color change. LightScribe media also have embossed functional features, which enable these capabilities:

  • Optimized label creation: Information on disc type, size and color can be accessed by the software application to optimize the labeling process
  • Optimized imaging: Media-specific parameters are matched to the drive's capabilities to ensure optimal imaging
  • System safety: Media-specific information ensures the data, label and drive are not damaged during labeling"

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