CES 2007: Toshiba to ship HD DVD writer in February

Pre CES 2007 coverage - Irvine (CA) - Toshiba today said that it will bring the first HD DVD writer drive for desktop PCs in volume next month. The new SD-H903A is also expected to make its way in consumer electronics devices such as family room HD DVD players.

The SD-H903A will reappear at this year's CES, after it already had been showcased at the 2006 show one year ago. This time around, Toshiba said it is set to sample the drive to original equipment manufacturers this month and ship it in volume in February. The company declined to comment on a possible price; competing Blu-ray drives, however, currently retail for around $1000 and we expect the SD-H903A's price to undercut Blu-ray devices substantially.

According to Toshiba, the new writer, which will only be available with a SATA interface, supports single and dual layer discs, which provides users up to 30 GB of storage capacity - enough to accommodate up to eight hours of HD DVD movie content with extended cuts and interactive features, up to five full-length standard DVD films, up to 7500 MP3 songs or up to 10,000 six-megapixel images.

The device uses a blue-violet laser diode to read and write HD DVD-R discs and supports playback of HD DVD-ROM discs, including high-definition movie and video images.