Panasonic LF-D311 DVD Burner
Courtesy: Andre Malesh. Posted: Friday, January 10, 2003
There's been a lot of confusion surrounding DVD authoring, mainly because of the two competing standards. The first of these is DVD-R, for 'write-once' media that can then be used with consumer DVD players and DVD-ROM drives, while the second is DVD-RAM, which allows re-writing and which is of more use in data applications (backup, archiving, in-house application distribution and so on).
Installation and use of the drive are pretty straightforward. There are different drive letters for the cartridge and plain old DVD/CD reader sections (although obviously you can't use both at once) and Panasonic supplies some decent software with the drive, including DVDit! DVD video authoring and PrimoDVD mastering and duplication. There's also Cyberlink PowerVCR DVD video playback and capture software.
It's a good software bundle and it means that you can make use of the drive straight away. If you're familiar with using a CD-R or CD-RW drive, there's not a great deal of difference, apart from the huge capacity and the requirement for cartridges. Once you've written the discs, they can then be removed from their cartridges and used in any conventional DVD drive. The write performance is about 11Mbps for DVD-R and 22Mbps for DVD-RAM, which equates to 9x and 18x in CD-R terms.
So, assuming you have the necessary artistic skills, DVD movie creation is now quite straightforward and relatively inexpensive. But for companies, the massive capacity is likely to be far more appealing. As and when the prices for DVD-R and DVD-RAM media fall to a 'burn it and forget it' level, 4.7GB per disc is going to be very attractive for data archiving and backup, especially as the restore process will be much simpler than for tape.
Since this drive doubles as a CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drive (and will read CD-R and CD-RW discs too), it's a cost-effective way of adding huge backup potential to a PC. It also means we're likely to see an avalanche of amateur DVD movies produced. Which may or may not be a good thing.