When 4.7GB DVD writers started popping up and bold statements pointing to the swift demise of the inferior CDs were all over advertisements and marketing slogans, the larger storage space provided by DVD±R/RW weren't embraced by consumers as rapidly as manufacturers had initially hoped. The primary reasons (like almost anything else) are due to pricing and personal needs. The first generation DVD writers were painstakingly slow and the thought of owning such drives weren't on the minds of many as the cost of ownership (the drive plus recordable media) at the time was still a sizeable sum. CD writers and its associated media, on the other hand, were cheap and readily available. CD-R and CD-RW media were (and are still) abundant plus the 700MB storage space on these discs (including 99 minute discs as well) were strongly holding their ground against the influx of DVD writers.
Time has changed and thankfully, DVD writers are now at a pricing where it's much more affordable, speedier and supports multiple formats as well. The first retail DVD+R DL capable DVD writer from SONY, the DRU-700A, supports the age old CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD±R/RW and now, the latest DVD+R DL format. The addition of this new format puts 8.5GB storage capacity on the same DVD disc and for the first time, consumers are able to store almost twice the amount of data or home videos.
Coincidentally, this drive happens to be our first retail DVD+R DL writer and at the same time, the first SONY optical drive to spin in our lab. So, will the DRU-700A be the first DVD+R DL capable drive to perform a successful DVD+R DL write here at HardwareZone.com? You'll find that out soon enough in the next few pages.