As the industry pushes users towards the Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) format, Sony has announced an external portable DVD drive for notebook PCs based around the design of the Sony Discman CD player.
"The market is ready for the Digital Versatile Disc, with the expanding supply of DVD games, educational software, movies, and the vastly-increased storage capacity," said Debbie Arnold, marketing and communications manager at Sony.
Although DVD has a wide brief as a storage medium, its flexibility and storage capacity is likely to position it as an engine for business presentations by potentially allowing ready access to a range of video, audio and text-based material with hyperlinking to connect related material.
The PBD-D50 will be supplied with cables and interfaces to allow it to be connected to most corporate notebooks, including Sony's recently launched VAIO Notebook PC. The DVD-ROM format can provide 4.7Gb of data, seven times the capacity of standard CD-ROM, according to Sony.
The drive unit achieves a data transfer rate of 1,350Kbps and supports both Dolby Digital AC3 and MPEG 2 audio standards and will be available from the beginning of next year, priced around #800, including VAT.
The unit weighs 560g and is compatible with PC/AT notebooks with a minimum system requirement of 486SX processor, 16Mb memory (32Mb recommended) and 3.5in internal or external floppy disc drive. It uses a SCSI-II connector and comes supplied with SCSI-II PC card and cable, wireless remote controller, and AC adaptor, AV cable and SCART adaptor.
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