Technology: Page (1) of 3 - 02/11/04 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Episode 2: Observations from the Dark Side of the DVD Industry

Inside look at new DVD discs By Miles Weston
With all of the discussion surrounding double/dual-layer burners weve been asked why we dont get more excited about the hardware that will deliver 8.5GB single-side writing capabilities.

Maybe we are a little negligent because the engineers at Philips, Pioneer and Matsushita have done a great job of proving the technology. But only a few firms (such as NEC, Toshiba and Matsushita) produce the laser diodes which are bought by the true burner manufacturers that are then bought by the PC manufacturers and branded product producers. After they are all done, you can buy the new burner, produce your great DVDs and send copies to business associates, friends & family?

Compared to the present DVD+/-R media you use (see graphic below) the new dual-layer discs are a beautiful work of art and technology.

The media chemists and scientists deserve a tremendous amount of credit for developing the two dye layers and special UV adhesive that bond the two breath-thin resin layers. Moving those specifications onto the high-speed media production line demands a lot of quality production attention. During the early stages only the name-brand media manufacturers will have the equipment and talent necessary to ensure you dont produce more coasters.

Dual Standards, Dual-Layer
Because neither side has yet to blink there will still be two different versions of DVDR9 media (+/-). By the time you read this the DVD+R9 media spec will be a matter of record. The DVD-R9 specs will still be making their way through committee and DVD Forum approval.

One format wont be better than the other (unless you ask someone deeply committed to one camp or the other). However, it is a lot easier for two companies to work on a common goal and have six others agree than have multiple camps reach agreement and then get the coliseum of interested parties to agree.

All Philips and MKM (Mitsubishi Kagaku Media)/Verbatim had to do is develop the hardware/media technologies, make certain it could be inexpensively and reliably produced and the +RW Alliance was off to the races. Most of the rest of the members dont care which way the wind blows?as long as it blows.

On the other hand, Pioneer, Toshiba and Matsushita/Panasonic (two of the three dont play well together) had to hammer out their differences, go through a series of different working group studies and get the 200+ members of the DVD Forum to agree.

Dictatorships just seem to reach consensus faster than democracies!

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Related Keywords:double/dual-layer burners, Miles Weston, hardware, 8.5GB single-side writing capabilities, DVD+/-R media, dual-layer discs, beautiful work of art, technology

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