Fast formatting with Pioneer's new DVD-R/RW drive

Pioneer has released its first rewritable DVD drive to support a technology that cuts down to one minute from one hour the time take the format at DVD-RW (DVD rewritable) disc.

The DVR-A04J drive supports the Quick Format system used in the Instant CD+DVD software produced by Germany's VOB Computersysteme Gmbh and bundled with the drive. By only formatting certain areas of the disc rather than the entire surface, the substantial reduction in time can be accomplished, said Pioneer.

The drive supports DVD-RW writing at single speed, DVD-R (DVD recordable) at double speed, CD-R writing at 8X and CD-RW writing at 4X.

With this product, the Tokyo-based company, a leader in DVD-RW technology, hopes to expand the share of the DVD-R/RW format in the DVD market, where other standards such as DVD+R/RW and DVD-RAM compete. DVD+R/RW is backed by companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV, Sony Corp. and Ricoh Co. Ltd. DVD-RAM is backed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.

The product was unveiled at CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, and rolled out in both North America and Europe last month at a suggested retail price of US$499. It will be on sale in Japan after April 20, the company said.

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