Print 20 comment(s) - last by R65Guy.. on Apr 4 at 12:32 PM

Lite-On and Philips form world's second largest optical drive manufacturing company

This week Lite-On IT Corporation and Royal Philips Electronics announced that the joint venture between the two companies will officially take shape on May 1 of this year. The joint venture between the two companies will focus on the manufacturing and marketing of optical storage drives.

The move between Lite-On and Philips is one that industry analysts have been expecting to happen for about a year now. Last April, Lite-On took over BenQ's optical disc drive manufacturing operations. At the time, Lite-On and BenQ were partners in the optical drives business but the takeover placed Lite-On up to the number two spot in the list of biggest drive manufacturers in the world. According to the release:

PLDS will be effective in Europe from 1st of May 2007. Lite-On IT BV, the European head office of Lite-On IT Corporation, will continue to provide the same service to its customers under the new flag of PLDS. The company will handle sales, marketing, service, finance and logistics of Optical Disc Drives (ODD). PLDS will continue to sell ODD under the brand names Lite-On and HP (under exclusive license from Hewlett-Packard).

Under the new agreement between Lite-On and Philips, the new venture will be called Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions (PLDS). The European Commission has fully approved of the new venture as of April 2.

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No Phillips drives for me
By R65Guy on 4/3/2007 1:11:33 PM , Rating: 5
Way back in antiquity (the late 80's) I bought a couple of $500 Phillips CD recorders for a project I was developing. It turned out that neither model actually recorded to the whole blank disk correctly, just the first 400MB or so. It would just return a "OK" no matter what. Drove us nuts that the CDs all seemed to fail. I replaced them with another vendors drives which worked correctly. I think I got a $100 credit each from a class action lawsuit years later.

I still won't knowingly buy Phillips DVD drives either. I'm sorry to see Lite-On get hooked up with them. Of course, maybe the Lite-On guys will do the engineering, not Phillips.

RE: No Phillips drives for me
By JazzMang on 4/3/2007 2:07:42 PM , Rating: 2
Weren't CD recorders going for $1000+ in the mid 90's?

RE: No Phillips drives for me
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/3/2007 4:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
Around 1997 CDR (CDRW came out a year later) came out forget speeds something like 1 x 2 x; in the distribution channel we sold them to the stores for around $650 or $750 - store fronts would probably added about $100. tax, and then maybe labor, bring it close to the $1,000 range. So, I would guess he had typo; late 1990's verse late 1980's. In the late 1980's uni-disks 3.5 inch size was the popular write to media.

By marvdmartian on 4/4/2007 9:59:39 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, until recently, I still had my old Sony external cdrw drive. That was a whopping 4x4x6 speed!!! Go, speed racer, go!! LOL

If memory serves, I think I paid ~$350 for that drive, likely in 1999. Amazing......

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 4/3/2007 4:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
Lite-on has done a great job of putting out really good optical drives over the last several years, and Phillips has always been one of the top optical drives you can find. Phillips was one of the core companies in creating optical drives. However, over the course of time all the companies go through high and low quality build periods. When CD burners first came out, the first few generations were all a little problematic. You just had a really bad experience with Phillips, however odds were you'd had trouble with any company. Keep in mind a generation for CDR's was about 30 to 60 day's, when they first came out. So, if it took 6 months to fix your CDR, you'd been 3 to 4 generations down the road.

RE: No Phillips drives for me
By R65Guy on 4/4/2007 12:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
Previous post should have read the late 90s, not 80s.

What really steamed me at the time was the attitude of the Phillips techs when the problem was pointed out. They really didn't want to stand behind the warranty, which is what lead to the class action lawsuit.

By Slaimus on 4/3/2007 1:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe this will finally bring the build quality of LiteOn drives to the same level as BenQ/Philips drives. The way the door opens and closes, and the noise that the drive makes while writing tells you that LiteOns are much flimsier than BenQ/Philips drives.

I hope they will now use Philips chipsets rather than Mediatek.

RE: Good
By Tedtalker1 on 4/3/2007 2:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
I am also a fan of the Nexperia based BenQ drives.Hopefully we will see new Philips based drives in the near future.If not,what a waste.

RE: Good
By Phillycat on 4/3/2007 2:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that lite-on has been manufacturing BenQ drives for about a year now right?

RE: Good
By Slaimus on 4/3/2007 5:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
I meant REAL BenQ drive, and not rebadged ones. I have a DW1655 (last or close to last real BenQ drive) and none of the current generation drives from LiteOn/LG-Hitachi/Samsung-Toshiba/NEC even come close to its quality, both design and write.

RE: Good
By Tedtalker1 on 4/3/2007 7:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.That's why the Nexperia based BenQ drives are in demand, but supply is almost gone.My wish is that someone at lite-On wakes up and uses the Philips Nexperia chipset in future drives.I don't care what name they stamp on the front.

I've always been a fan...
By Twitch22 on 4/3/2007 12:01:41 PM , Rating: 3
...of Lite-On optical drives. Used them in every one of my builds with zero problems. However, Lite-On rarely was the first to market with anything "new". In the past, other drive makers like Sony or Plextor would come out with new innovations that would slowly trickle down to the Lite-Ons, NEC, etc. of the world. Hopefully, Philips/Lite-On will be a new source of cutting-edge drive models at prices all of us can afford.


RE: I've always been a fan...
By feelingshorter on 4/3/2007 12:54:50 PM , Rating: 1
Lit-On shouldn't be compared with NEC though. NEC drives hogs your CPU a lot, and it also makes a lot of noise when it is reading or burning a disk. Lite-On drives are so much quieter and doesn't hog your CPU at all. Thats the reason why i've been buying Lite-on over NEC.

RE: I've always been a fan...
By rklaver on 4/3/2007 1:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'll agree with the noise issues with NEC.

RE: I've always been a fan...
By Visual on 4/4/2007 3:39:17 AM , Rating: 2
It hogs YOUR cpu, not mine, and probably just because you have it in PIO mode.

So who...
By SeanMI on 4/3/2007 1:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
Is number 1? Sony? Plextor? Just curious...

RE: So who...
By rmaharaj on 4/3/2007 3:59:33 PM , Rating: 2
Hitachi-LG is the largest, according to this article:

By gramboh on 4/3/2007 2:00:46 PM , Rating: 2
I've gone with LiteOn my past few drives and been extremely pleased with their quality and compatibility as well as the community support with custom firmware etc.

This time around my retailer was out of stock of the 20x DVDRW DL SATA model so I went with the Samsung 18x DL DVDRW Litescribe instead for the same price. So far so good, it's realtively quiet (still loud when burning at max speed, but what isn't) and feels like it has good build quality.

By sprockkets on 4/3/2007 2:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
Probably did this due to NEC and Sony Joining together. Look at optical drive reviews here and you will find a Sony PCB in a Liteon drive, but not now.

Real Reason
By Slaimus on 4/3/2007 6:01:51 PM , Rating: 2
The real reason for the venture is to prepare for HDDVD-R and BD-R drives. LiteOn needs the technical expertise from Philips, just like how they partnered with Sony at when DVD-+Rs came out.

LiteOn has good mass production and cost cutting expertise, and they want to add some technical expertise.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
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