Pioneer has unveiled one of the first computer drives to support the new rewritable DVD-RW format.
DVD-RW is capable of storing 4.7GB on a single-sided disc. Final standardization of the format is expected within the next two months and, in anticipation of that, Pioneer is preparing to put the new drive on sale in the first quarter of 2001. It is likely to cost less than £1,500, a Pioneer spokesman said here. The drive will replace Pioneer's current DVD-R drive in the company's line-up, which costs around £4,000. The big drop in price is due to improvements in technology, according to Pioneer.
Initially, the new drive is expected to be favoured by professional users because of the price, said Pioneer, although the company added it hopes the price will fall further bringing it into the reach of consumers. Most users of the company's current DVD-R drive are professionals who use the format for prototype DVD-R authoring, Pioneer said.
In addition to the DVD-RW capability, the drive can also record to write-once DVD-R discs at double speed, rewritable CD-RW discs at 4x speed and write-once CD-R discs at 8x speed.
The drive's unveiling at Comdex follows its appearance as a prototype product on Pioneer's stand at the CEATEC show in Tokyo.