Iomega unveils multiformat DVD burner

Iomega unveils multiformat DVD burner

Iomega is taking multi-format DVD burning a step further, with its new Super DVD Drive, which combines all three rewritable DVD formats into one drive.

The internal drive, previewed at CeBIT in New York recently, can write to DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM. It is slated for release in August. An external USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 model is scheduled to ship in September.

Pricing will be announced upon release, but Iomega plans to offer the drive at a price competitive with the dual-format drives (which support DVD-RW and DVD+RW) currently flooding the market.

“We are positioning this product at parity with Sony’s dual-drive,” the DRU-510A, which costs about $US329, a product manager at Iomega, Scott LeFevre, said.

Drive specs

The drive will support write speeds 4X DVD-R and DVD+R, 2.4X DVD+RW, 2X DVD-RW, and 3X DVD-RAM. It also serves as a 24X/16X/32X CD-RW drive, joining the Sony DRU-510A as the only other drive to support 24X CD burning. It ships with Iomega’s Automatic Backup and HotBurn (for mastering and packet-writing CDs and DVDs) software, as well as Sonic MyDVD 4.0, Sonic CinePlayer, and MusicMatch Jukebox.

Iomega’s first DVD burner was a single-format DVD+RW model. But the company always intended to support multiple formats, given customer interest, according to Iomega product manager for branded solutions, Richard Giannini.

“From the DVD side, obviously dual — to have the dash and plus formats in the same drive — is the way to go,” Giannini said. “With video, you find that some players support one format better than the other. So, this way, it serves consumers to be able to choose.”

Only one drive manufacturer — LG Electronics — has announced intentions to ship a drive that supports writing to the dash, plus, and RAM formats. That drive, the latest in the company’s Super Multi DVD drive line, is expected to ship next month.

Boosting RAM

Although DVD-RAM is the oldest of the three DVD-burning formats, it hasn’t caught on in a significant way, partly because the media is interchangeable with comparatively few DVD-ROM drives and standalone DVD players. Even so, once it became technologically feasible to support all three formats, Iomega said it made sense for the company to offer such a product.

Users might find it a useful bonus, Giannini said.

DVD-RAM is the best optical format to record data to. It provides the customer with a more reliable data back-up medium,” he said.

Help from a Wizard

Created by Iomega, the DVD Solutions Wizard helps guide users through tasks such as making a movie, backing up data, and making an audio CD. It launches the appropriate software application and recommends the best media to use for that task.

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