The recordable optical media marketplace is getting larger fast. While a host of brand new formats, such as DVD+RW, are nearing launch existing formats are getting makeovers that allow more data to be stored on seemingly identical 12-cm optical discs.
The latest to get the makeover treatment is DVD-R, the write-once DVD media format. The new "DVD Recordable disc for General version 2.0" format enables users to store 4.7GB of data per side on DVD-R discs, almost 20 per cent more than the capacity of first generation 3.95GB discs.
Hitachi Maxell and TDK have both announced new DVD-R blank media that support the revised format. Each company plans to put on sale two types of discs - one for basic data recording that can be played back in DVD-ROM and other computer DVD drives and another that can be used to store video and is playback compatible with DVD-Video players.
TDK is putting both versions of its discs on the market from Tuesday, while Hitachi Maxell said its data disc will go on sale in early December with the video-compatible product available from Jan. 25 next year. Both companies said they will sell their data discs for £12, but declined to provide pricing for the video-compatible discs.
Drives to support the new format are also just hitting the market. At the Comdex show in Las Vegas last week Pioneer was demonstrating a new combo drive that supports both the 4.7GB DVD-R and DVD-RW formats, while other companies were also showing drives that included support for the new format.