Print 31 comment(s) - last by ToeCutter.. on Jan 8 at 10:44 AM

Toshiba's newest recorder is for OEMs only

Toshiba today announced (PDF) a new HD DVD recorder, the SD-H903A. The SD-H903A sports a regular 5.25” form factor coupled with a SATA interface which makes it ideal for desktop and home theater PC systems.  The drive is also compatible with other optical disc formats including various DVD and CD formats as well.

As the SD-H903A is a first generation HD DVD recorder the write speeds are limited to 1x on HD DVD-R and HD DVD-R DL media. DVD-R and DVD+R write speeds are limited to 8x and 2.4x on DL media. CD-R writing speed is also limited at 10x, disappointingly.

“HD DVD adoption is growing rapidly in all applications – from gaming to A/V editing.  With its remarkable resolution, higher storage capacity and interactive offerings, HD DVD brings a superior media experience to consumers.  Toshiba’s new writer will greatly transform current PC offerings,” said Scott Maccabe, vice president and general manager, Toshiba Storage Device Division. 

Users expecting to purchase the SD-H903A for their desktop or home theater PC systems will be disappointed as Toshiba is only shipping the drive to OEMs. Toshiba expects to begin sampling the SD-H903A to OEMs later this month. 

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By daftrok on 1/5/2007 2:27:46 PM , Rating: 2
How many games are out on HD DVD?

RE: Gaming?
By S3anister on 1/5/2007 2:38:45 PM , Rating: 1
I don't believe that any are -- yet...

RE: Gaming?
By deeznuts on 1/5/2007 2:51:34 PM , Rating: 3
You mean for the X360? Never, according to MS. Unless they are lying.

RE: Gaming?
By Hydrofirex on 1/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: Gaming?
By masher2 on 1/7/2007 11:26:46 AM , Rating: 2
> No one is rapidly adopting HD DVD - at least as compared to Blue-Ray..."

As of December 15 at least, HD-DVD market penetration was substantially above that of Blu-Ray.

RE: Gaming?
By ToeCutter on 1/8/2007 10:44:01 AM , Rating: 2
No one is rapidly adopting HD DVD - at least as compared to Blue-Ray.

Really? I noticed over a dozen HD-DVD titles at the local Target, and now they're showing up at Wal-Mart.

Haven't seen a single Blu-Ray title (except for PS3 games, but neither store had PS3s in stock).

You're assumption that capacity will play some role in adoption is also moot as 99% of the purchasing public hasn't a clue about capacity of either format.

You're average middle class Best Buy shopper will simply look at the store shelves to make their decision: "There's an HD-DVD player, there's an HD-DVD movie, they work with my shiny new DLP HD set, decision made."

RE: Gaming?
By lwright84 on 1/5/2007 6:36:54 PM , Rating: 2
won't happen.. games will never be developed for the HD-DVD medium.

RE: Gaming?
By xphile on 1/5/2007 11:17:19 PM , Rating: 1
Wont happen - Hitler will never invade Poland... Great thing about democracies is people always have the right to an opinion.

RE: Gaming?
By Zirconium on 1/6/2007 7:48:58 PM , Rating: 1
What makes you say that? I'd say that there is a good chance that there will be games on HD-DVD. It used to be common for games to be released on multiple CDs, and recently games of that size have been released on one DVD. It is possible that some games will begin spanning multiple DVDs due to massive amounts of media on them. At some point, it will be more efficient to release those games on one higher-capacity disc. Whether or not that disc will be HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, or some other not-yet-released medium has yet to be seen, but it is still too early to say HD-DVD is dead.

It ia about time...
By gsellis on 1/5/2007 2:33:13 PM , Rating: 2
Finally, it is closer to real. Now I need to go find out how fast 1X is.

RE: It ia about time...
By dubldwn on 1/5/2007 2:50:18 PM , Rating: 1
It's 10 times as fast as .1 times. But that's slow enough to make it a deal breaker. Not sure what's taking so long to get a respectable writer out there...I guess it's so they can overcharge the early adopter.

RE: It ia about time...
By IsDanReally on 1/5/2007 2:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
According to the specs on a NEC HD-DVD reader, HD DVD: 2x (9349 kB/s), so 1x is half that :)

RE: It ia about time...
By dubldwn on 1/5/2007 3:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
For comparison, apparently blu-ray does 9MB/s at 2x as well.

RE: It ia about time...
By borowki on 1/5/2007 5:07:40 PM , Rating: 2
The data transfer rate of HD-DVD is 36 mbps. So I guess 1x means burning around 4 meg per second. One gig would take almost five minutes.

finally another SATA ODD !!
By Xajel on 1/6/2007 12:08:39 AM , Rating: 3
As I was guessing before the speeds of HD-DVD / BD-DVD will surly needs SATA not IDE, most ODD today only used ATA-66 ( not even 100 ), and some of them uses ATA-33 too...

surly they can go for ATA-100 or even ATA-133 but the move to SATA is more logical as in both ways they need to change the controller, just in case of SATA is bigger change.

now, just waiting for the universal writers with SATA interface :)
wow, this will be expensive !!

RE: finally another SATA ODD !!
By Missing Ghost on 1/6/2007 1:08:53 PM , Rating: 2
ATA-33 is fast enough for any optical drive, including this one. The sata interface is not chosen for speed here.

RE: finally another SATA ODD !!
By Axbattler on 1/6/2007 3:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if you are copying two DVDs on the fly from the same controller (not something I'd do), it is possible that ATA-33 will become a bottleneck. That said, there are DVDRW drives out there supporting ATA-66, and that is unlikely going to be insufficient in the mid term.

That said, I would welcome SATA optical drives, but pretty much just for the thinner cables. It's part of the legacy components I'd like to see gone.. physically at least.

I do welcome my motherboard bios's ability to emulate UDMA from SATA just in case, especially given that Windows XP SP2 does not include SATA drivers in the original CD.

What happened to the other article?
By GTaudiophile on 1/5/2007 6:41:35 PM , Rating: 2
I saw an earlier article on DT about LG or some other company about to release a HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Reader + Blu-Ray Writer. I tried to make a comment about it but when I did, I got an error saying that the article no longer existed. I guess DT jumped the gun.

But the first dual-format HD reader is on the its way!

RE: What happened to the other article?
By stmok on 1/5/2007 10:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm definitely waiting until the price of those dual-format drives comes down.

I won't bother with HD-DVD or Blu-Ray only drives. It has to support both.

By xphile on 1/5/2007 11:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. LG have announced a dual format read/write drive for consumer recorders. However since they are also a fairly good-sized PC DVD drive manufacturer as well, and one of the first to fully integrate DVD-Ram read/write cabability into their PC superdrives it is hardly likely to be long before they have a dual format PC drive in the marketplace. Id like to see them a little faster though as others have said, At least an hour to write a single layer 15 Gb HD-DVD is not going to make me pay 100 dollars for a PC based writer, let alone whatever they will actally cost.

The other factor people need to consider in all this too is reliabilty. If it is in any way an issue, it becomes a BIGGER issue the bigger the capacity gets. Not a big deal for a movie in some ways, but you put 15 to 50 GB of data onto ONE disc as archival storage and that baby drops out on you, then ALL that data is gone. Was the same story early on with dvd, "oh dear whoops I just lost 6 cds worth of data in one hit, at least with the cd it was only 700MB" So we are back to the same possible issue, with a dual layer BR being even worse at maybe 10 dvds worth of data. And early on it is very expensive to make duplicates to protect the contents.

And while a movie is just a movie and not maybe hundreds of thousands of important pr0n files, it could be a movie that took you quite a good damn while of torrenting to get that 30 to 50 GB, and losing it on a single disc would probably ssip you off just about as much. Really its deja Vu, back to how it was when we did dial-up downloads and put them on early dvds. Cost a packet to buy the writer, took ages to download the contents, was expensive as hell to put on disc, took forever to burn and 1 in 4 was regularly a coaster.

Future looks good though with all the news this week. One thing you can be sure of though, where Sony came in as the white knight regarding PC dvd recording standards and was the first to fully integrate + and - R/RW together into one drive and let everyone stop worrying about what format was going to win there, they are hardly likely to be in any hurry to help anyone out with a Blu-Ray drive that also supports HD-DVD.

By GTaudiophile on 1/5/2007 3:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
Will it be able to play HD-DVD movies when hooked up to a HDCP-enabled videocard and monitor?

RE: Movies
By Master Kenobi on 1/5/2007 3:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yes this can play movies, but everyone wants to be able to make copies of the movies they buy, thats whats important here :D

I'll take one
By tk109 on 1/5/2007 3:27:48 PM , Rating: 2
Awesome just what I've been waiting for for my Home Theater PC.

Of course It will cost way more than I want to spend right now though. But the sooner they get all these out the sooner I'll be able to buy an affordable one. (I'd get the x-box one but I do want to be able to back up some data from my Harddrive too).

RE: I'll take one
By tk109 on 1/5/2007 3:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
And by later I mean when they are offered to the general public too and not just oem.

How much?
By hubajube on 1/5/2007 5:56:48 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone know how much?

RE: How much?
By crazydrummer4562 on 1/7/2007 2:46:18 AM , Rating: 2
note how it says for OEMs only...

Sucker born every minute
By encryptkeeper on 1/5/2007 5:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
CD-R writing speed is also limited at 10x, disappointingly

Whoopdy shit, you'd have to be out of your MIND to spend hundreds of dollars to buy one of these and use it for CD-Rs. Buy a CDRW drive for that 'cause if it breaks, you're only out 20 bucks.

RE: Sucker born every minute
By Axbattler on 1/6/2007 3:08:18 PM , Rating: 2
For some SFF PC, that is one 5.25" slot too many.
(Still, at least it's there - 10x is fine for the casual boot CD making)

finally another SATA ODD !!
By Xajel on 1/6/2007 12:08:38 AM , Rating: 2
As I was guessing before the speeds of HD-DVD / BD-DVD will surly needs SATA not IDE, most ODD today only used ATA-66 ( not even 100 ), and some of them uses ATA-33 too...

surly they can go for ATA-100 or even ATA-133 but the move to SATA is more logical as in both ways they need to change the controller, just in case of SATA is bigger change.

now, just waiting for the universal writers with SATA interface :)
wow, this will be expensive !!

RE: finally another SATA ODD !!
By ajfink on 1/6/2007 3:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
Slowly more and more optical drives are moving to SATA. It's nice, since SATA drives are less space hogs on motherboards. Most optical drives can't even use all that bandwidth, but that's not really the point.

By BladeVenom on 1/5/2007 5:40:38 PM , Rating: 2
Did I miss it? That would be an important part of the announcement.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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