DVD Multi-Writers

In 2001, the DVD Forum approved the first DVD Multi specification – covering all currently developed formats approved by the Forum. Hitachi and Panasonic were first off the mark to announce DVD Multi-compliant drives, providing read/write support for all DVD Forum recordable DVD specifications – DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW – as well as read/write support for CD-R and CD-RW media. Importantly, however, formats created outside the DVD Forum – notably the DVD+R and DVD+RW formats supported by Dell Computer, Hewlett-Packard and Philips and other members of the DVD+RW Alliance – were not covered by the DVD Multi specifications.

In the autumn of 2002 it looked as though the longstanding and damaging standards issue that had so hampered the mass-market acceptance of DVD recording equipment was about to come to an end, with two companies – Sony and NEC – announcing drives that would support both DVD Forum and DVD+RW Alliance formats!

Supporting a number of interfaces – IDE/ATAPI, USB2 and FireWire – these drives exhibited differing performance characteristics for the various media they handled. The table below gives an indication of what these early DVD Multiwriter drives were capable of, providing a best composite specification of the two drives:

Media Write Rewrite Read
DVD-R 4x
DVD+R 4x
DVD+RW 2.4x
CD-R 24x
CD-RW 10x
CD-ROM 40x

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