Toshiba driving DVD

Tech giant sets release dates for new hardware

TOKYO — Toshiba Corp. last week said it will have digital videodisc read-only memory (DVD-ROM) drives on the market by September of this year and rewritable DVD random access memory (DVD-RAM) models out by December.

Toshiba’s DVD-ROM drive, with features such as a pick-up head, can be used for notebook computers and will have a suggested price of 60,000 yen ($508).

The DVD-RAM drive will be able to accommodate a double-sided DVD, with a capacity of 5.2 gigabytes. The drive can also play other DVD and compact disc formats, the company said. The drive will be priced at 90,000 yen ($763).

Critical difference

DVD-ROMs are not rewritable, while DVD-RAMs allow users to re-write information on the disc.

The Toshiba DVD-RAM drive is for the format set by a 10-member international industrial consortium called the DVD Forum. The companies agreed on a preliminary DVD-RAM format, called 0.9, in April, and an updated 1.0 format in July. The Toshiba DVD-RAM drive is for the Forum’s 1.0 format.

Two Forum members, Sony Corp. and Philips Electronics NV, announced last week they are seeking approval from an international standards group for a rewritable optical disc that will compete with the DVD Forum’s DVD-RAM disc.

DVDs resemble compact discs, but they have a much greater storage capacity. DVDs can hold data, audio and visual information, and rewritable DVDs are being billed as replacements for videocassettes.

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