Toshiba launches its first HD DVD drive for desktop PCs

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tosh_hddvd_drive.jpgToshiba has been a little slow in getting out a HD DVD drive for desktop PCs – a notebook drive was announced a few months back. But in a month’s time, that wait should be over with the launch of the SD-H903A internal HD DVD drive.

Toshiba claims the new drive will feature “outstanding resolution, dynamic contrast and vivid colours” – but only if you have a HD-friendly monitor obviously. The drive will support read and write functionality to HD DVD-R discs, along with high-speed read and write to all types of standard DVD and CD discs. This includes writing speeds of 3x for DVD-RAM and 16x for CD-R. In addition, the HD DVD format supports the latest compression technologies used by Windows Media. Full native support for HD DVD will be integrated into Microsoft’s Vista operating system – which you’d expect, as it is one of HD DVD’s key backers.

The obvious selling point for the next-gen discs is capacity. HD DVD can offer 15GB on single layer discs and a dual layer capacity of 30GB. As an example of that, a 30GB disc can hold up to 8 hours of 1,125-line HD images and 48 hours of SD images. Triple layer discs are also in development.

Expect to see the drives in stores in February. No news on price as yet.

Toshiba website

Dave Walker