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Tech Industry

Sony introduces fastest DVD drive

The $349 kit includes a 5X DVD-ROM drive and an MPEG video decoder card, which frees the processor for other tasks.

Sony Electronics announced a new DVD (digital versatile disc) kit featuring the fastest DVD drive on the market.

The kit, which will be available this summer, includes a 5X DVD-ROM drive, a plug-in circuit board based on MPEG video technology for playing video titles, and two DVD-ROM titles for $349.

DVD-ROM drives are similar to CD-ROM drives, but can store much more information. The discs can store entire movies and play them back with much higher image resolution than videotapes, leading many to predict that DVD will eventually replace other home entertainment appliances.

The MPEG circuit board processes full-motion video, freeing up the main processor--such as a Pentium chip--to do other tasks and thereby improving overall performance.

The Sony DVD drive accesses data from CD-ROM discs in 75 milliseconds, and DVD discs in 100 milliseconds.