Price Guides June 2004: Optical and Magnetic Storageby Anand Lal Shimpi & Manveer Wasson on June 19, 2004 12:00 AM EST
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Welcome to the latest in our series of Price Guides. This guide will cover current trends and products in the areas of DVD burners and hard drives. Be sure to check our Realtime Pricing Engine for the latest on product prices and fluctuation.
DVD BurnersThe last time that these guides reported on DVD burners, the thought of Dual Layer and 12x drives were still more of an idea than an implementation. Today, not one but both technologies are out and showing us what they have to offer.
Now that Dual Layer technology is available, it's finally possible to make perfect 1:1 backups of everything from games to movies to anything else that you can find on a DVD and want to protect. Sony recently announced their DRU-700A model, which we recently reviewed. Going over this drive with a fine-toothed comb, it becomes apparent that DVD-/+DL isn't so different from single layer hardware as far as the chipsets are involved. In fact, some single-layer models have been shown to be flash-upgradeable to Dual Layer mode. Of course, this probably isn't what manufacturers have in mind as they build and try to market Dual Layer hardware and technology. To make things more interesting for DL, media is extremely difficult to find, let alone in any quantities or at affordable prices.
Regardless of the above factors, Dual Layer technology is here, at least for now, and if you need to be on top of things, the DRU-700A is one real way to go. With no set timelines for technologies such as Blu-Ray, it's hard to say just how long DVD-DL will last, or if it will end up becoming the new standard, but DVD-DL has time on its side, which is certainly an advantage for the technology. Of course, no storage technology can go anywhere until blank media becomes much more readily available than we have seen thus far. Drives such as the LG GSA-4120B, which seems to be capable of burning to virtually every format under the sun, may be the kind that suffers the most from lack of media availability.