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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 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.


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