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Sony introduces first double layer DVD drives

Santa Clara (CA) - Sony is the first company to officially announce DVD burners which can record double layer (DL) DVDs. Scheduled to ship at the end of the second quarter of this year, Sony's drives will support DVD±R which boast a capacity of 8.5 GByte.

DL DVDs are finally making their way into stores. Sony illustrated the capacity of the DL DVD that its single-sided, two-layer structure is enough to store about 17,000 digital images, 2,000 music tracks, or up to four hours of MPEG-2 video.

Sony will offer its first DL DVD drive as internal (DRU-700A) and external (DRX-700UL with IEEE 1394 and USB 2.0 port) model. Suggested retail prices will be $230 and $330. A spec sheet provided by the company indicates a DL DVD+R recording speed of 2.4X, DVD±R at 8X, DVD±R at 4X, CD-R at 40X and CD-RW at 24X. The drive comes with Ahead Nero software bundle.

According to Sony, both layers of DL DVDs can be accessed from the same side of the disc, so there is no need to turn the disc over during recording or playback. DVD+R DL discs, when recorded, are also fully compliant DVD9 discs, and therefore compatible with most consumer DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives, Sony said.