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LightScribe: Burn, Flip, Burn

Labelflash vs LightScribe DVD/CD Labeling
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Last year HP and Lite-On launched LightScribe. The main difference between this product and Disk T@2 is that the DVD burner laser not only imprints the data surface, but can label the rest of the disc surface as well. The bottom side provides data storage as usual of up to a maximum 4.7 GB (There are not yet any LightScribe-compatible dual-layer discs). After writing to the bottom side you turn over the disc and insert it back into the DVD burner. Special software allows you to burn graphics and text on the top. That is how they came up with the LightScribe slogan : ’Burn, Flip, Burn.’ You need LightScribe-compatible blanks for the whole thing to work, which at first were still very expensive, but will soon retail for less than $1 each. LightScribe discs have a bronze-colored upper surface upon which the DVD-burner’s laser writes. LightScribe technology is similar to thermo-transfer printing, which is the same technology fax machines used to use.

The printing process takes up to half an hour in maximum quality mode. A positioning system allows you to imprint surfaces multiple times. Additions can be made to graphics and text this way, but you can’t delete the labels. A barcode ring inside the disc allows for precision positioning, letting the laser know at all times where to start burning.

Hardware

Only DVD burners bearing the LightScribe logo on the packaging support this printing technology, which number about a dozen. The drives can read and write DVD-R and DVD-RW discs, and LightScribe blanks are DVD+R- and CD-R-compatible, and can additionally be found in dual-layer format.

The following DVD burners support LightScribe :

ManufacturerModelPriceInterfaceBurning formats
Internal 5.25" drives
PhilipsDVDR16LSB*IDECD-R(+RW)
DVD+R(+RW)
DVD-R(-RW)
DVD-R DL
DVD+R DL
SamsungSH-W162L*$65IDECD-R(+RW)
DVD+R(+RW)
DVD-R(-RW)
DVD-R DL
DVD+R DL
Light-ONSHW-16H5S*$65IDECD-R(+RW)
DVD+R(+RW)
DVD-R(-RW)
DVD-R DL
DVD+R DL
BenQDW-1655$65IDECD-R(+RW)
DVD+R(+RW)
DVD-R(-RW)
DVD-R DL
DVD+R DL
LGGSA-4166B*$75IDECD-R(+RW)
DVD+R(+RW)
DVD-R(-RW)
DVD-R DL
DVD+R DL
HPHP dvd740i$129.99IDECD-R(+RW)
DVD+R(+RW)
DVD-R(-RW)
DVD-R DL
DVD+R DL
DVD-RAM
ToshibaSD-R6572M (Slimline)*$115IDECD-R(+RW)
DVD+R(+RW)
DVD-R(-RW)
DVD-R DL
DVD+R DL
External 5.25" drives
SamsungSE-W164L*$120USB 2.0CD-R(+RW)
DVD+R(+RW)
DVD-R(-RW)
DVD-R DL
DVD+R DL
HPHP dvd740e$159.99USB 2.0CD-R(+RW)
DVD+R(+RW)
DVD-R(-RW)
DVD-R DL
DVD+R DL
DVD-RAM
LGGSA-2166D*$125USB 2.0CD-R(+RW)
DVD+R(+RW)
DVD-R(-RW)
DVD-R DL
DVD+R DL
DVD-RAM

* Not available in North America

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