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Violet-laser recorder comes to market

07 Mar 2003

Sony plans to release the first DVD recorder based on a violet diode laser next month.

Sony has announced plans to start sales of the world's first DVD recorder that uses a violet laser light source, according to Reuters. The recorder will use the format developed by the Blu-Ray consortium, of which Sony is a founder member.

The new machine will be available in Japan from mid-April, priced at 450 000 yen (about $3800). Conventional DVD recorders using red lasers are priced at 50 000-70 000 yen ($420-590).

The recorder can pack a two-hour high-definition TV program onto a single Blu-Ray disc. The discs hold up to 23 gigabytes of data and will be priced at 3500 yen ($30) each.

With a small but growing number of households in Japan, the United States and elsewhere now receiving high-definition TV from digital satellite broadcasts, Sony is clearly aiming to gain a head start in this market.

"The market has already been established, and although it's still looking for direction, there will be a growing number of users who want high-definition recording," said Sony spokeswoman Shoko Yanagisawa.

Sony's Blu-ray machine will be able to play red-laser discs using the DVD-R and DVD-RW formats, but not those using the DVD-RAM or DVD+RW formats.

Last December, Sony formed an alliance with Nichia to develop nitride-based semiconductor lasers for the Blu-ray disc recording format, with both companies planning to commence mass production by spring 2003.

A second industry group led by Toshiba is promoting an alternative to the Blu-Ray format, which it says will be less expensive and more compatible with existing recorders. Toshiba hopes to have a violet-laser recorder on the market in about one year's time.

Changchun Jiu Tian  Optoelectric Co.,Ltd.Schaefter und Kirchhoff GmbHOmicron-Laserage Laserprodukte GmbHPhoton Engineering, LLCDiverse Optics Inc.CHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.AVANTES BV
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