Hitachi has announced it will ship the first DVD-RAM drive for the European market in April.
The GF-1000 family of products is based on the DVD-RAM standard established by the DVD Forum, and includes SCSI-2 and EIDE models.
The first product to ship will be the GF-1050 internal SCSI-2 model, with an external SCSI-2 model (GF-1055) and external EIDE drive (GF-1000) available later in the year.
The drives will have read-compatibility with DVD-ROM and CD-ROM disks, as well as CD-R, CD-RW and other CD formats.
The drives will be able to accept bare, single-sided disk media with a capacity of 2.3Gb, or double-sided cartridge media with a 4.6Gb capacity.
The GF-1000 family can accept both types of media as well as operate both horizontally and vertically.
In conjunction with a DVD decoder card, the units can play encrypted video material such as feature films. The encryption is part of the DVD standard.
"Once film companies bring out the software, that will help fuel the market," commented Richard Buckley, strategic planning director at IDG Marketing Services.
There is a lot more involved in producing films on DVD, he added, as film companies want to use the extra capacity offered by the medium to add actors' biographies and background information to the disks.
The GF-1050 will be available in early April, with the GF-1000 EIDE device available in June and the external SCSI-2 model in Q3.
Hitachi refused to state the exact retail price, but said it expects the drives to come in around the #400 mark.
Hitachi: 01628 585000.
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