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CeBIT: Sony to Launch Blu-ray Vaio PCs in Midyear

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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Jeff(R)


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Posted March 09 2006 - 10:46 AM


CeBIT: Sony to Launch Blu-ray Vaio PCs in Midyear

Blu-Ray Disc drive to come in both Sony desktop PCs and notebooks.

Martyn Williams, IDG News Service
Thursday, March 09, 2006

HANOVER, GERMANY -- Sony plans to launch desktop and laptop PCs with Blu-ray Disc drives in the middle of this year, an executive said Thursday at the CeBIT technology show here.

The first computers to feature Blu-ray Disc drives will be high-end models aimed at multimedia use, but over time the technology will trickle down to other models, said Tasuku Yazaki, general manager of Sony's Vaio product planning department. The machines will be launched worldwide at around the same time, he said, without revealing product details.

Players and computer drives for the Blu-ray Disc format, an optical disc format that boasts a storage capacity of 25GB on a single layer disc the size of a CD, are due out in the coming months.

The first consumer Blu-ray Disc players are due on May 23 when Samsung Electronics launches the BD-P1000. On the same day Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Lionsgate Films will launch several movies on Blu-ray Disc media.

Competing Format

But the future of the market is far from certain. A competing format called HD-DVD is also about to be launched and offers much of the same benefits. Users will be faced with choosing one of two competing formats or putting off a purchase until a dominant format has emerged.

Executives from the Blu-ray Disc Association talked up their format at CeBIT today and supporting companies announced hardware launch plans. Pioneer previewed an upcoming Blu-ray Disc drive for computers and both Matsushita Electric (Panasonic) and Koninklijke Philips Electronics said they would launch consumer players in the second half of this year.

Philips said its computer drive, the SPD700, will be available in the U.S. in the second half of the year and will be able to write to recordable BD-R and rewritable BD-RW media in addition to DVDs and CDs. No price was given for the drive.

#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Jeff(R)


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Posted March 09 2006 - 05:57 PM


CeBIT 2006: Blu-ray & HD DVD

"Being a mischievous fellow I made a bolt for NEC. The HD DVD proponent this week merged its optical drive business with that of Blu-ray founder Sony and I wanted some clarification. A charming NEC rep was good enough to enlighten me.

On the QT is the situation is that both companies want to hedge their bets. Until this point Sony has steadfastly refused to consider supporting HD DVD and NEC stuck its nose up at Blu-ray. The new venture (Sony NEC Optiarc Inc.) provides them a way out. Even more interesting, however, was information that neither company really desires to make two separate product lines but is focused on interoperability.

The rep I spoke to said little was expected to come from the merger along these lines until the second generation of devices but unification is once again on the menu. In this journalist�s opinion that equally may or may not happen, but I�m glad common sense is starting to prevail once more.

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"Moving swiftly on I came to BenQ, a Blu-ray fan, and its rather stunning BW1000 drives. This �tripe� writer (spelling problems methinks?) is available in both internal (above) and external (below) versions and not only burns BR discs at 2x but also writes to CDs (32x) and DVDs (12x). This was rather a surprise as HD DVD backers have long harked on that it was the sole format to offer backwards compatibility.

Upon further investigation I discovered this is still technically true but the strong trend I saw not only with BenQ but also from every other Blu-ray backer was to build its equipment with multiple lasers on different wave lengths therefore allowing their products to be just as user friendly as HD DVD. Given Blu-ray�s far greater storage capacities (25GB to 15GB single layer and 50GB to 30GB dual layer) this could yet prove a telling blow."

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