Sonic Solutions Announces Dual-Layer Support

Reprinted from a Sonic Solutions press release:

Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC), the world leader in DVD creation applications, today announced that it has expanded its industry-leading HyperMux DVD formatting technology to include advanced algorithms specifically designed to support the new DVD+R Double Layer (DL) recording format. Sonic’s new HyperMux-DL engine leverages the company’s successful history of creating multi-layer disc authoring systems for Hollywood studios by applying advanced title layout, buffer management, layer-break management, and frame selection technologies to consumer DVD creation applications for the first time.

“Sonic has been creating dual-layer DVDs since 1996, and we have gained unmatchable experience with the nuances, pitfalls, and technical complexities of making dual-layer discs perform optimally in the broadest number of consumer players,” said Jim Taylor, General Manager of Sonic’s Advanced Technology Group. “DVD+R Double Layer technology represents a major breakthrough in recordable DVD, and we are proud to be playing a key role in its introduction, giving our consumer and professional customers the most reliable and technically advanced solution for supporting additional video and data capacity.”

“We are pleased to see that Sonic has implemented this new 8.5 GB high-capacity DVD+R DL feature in their HyperMux DL engine,” said Hans Driessen, Communications Manager at Philips Optical Storage and Vice Chair for the DVD+RW Alliance Products Promotions Group. “This again underlines the high innovation of the DVD+R/+RW format and the ability to quickly bring these new features to the market. Using Sonic’s HyperMux-DL engine, users are now able to create compatible DVDs with up to 8.5 GB of data or four hours of video in DVD quality.”

Sonic’s MyDVD, Sonic PrimeTime, DVDit! and RecordNow! consumer applications as well as Sonic’s “Hollywood” professional applications, Scenarist and DVD Producer, are the first to take advantage of this unique technology to create DVD+R Double Layer discs that can hold four to eight hours of video or up to 8.5 billion bytes of data on a single disc.

Sonic’s HyperMux-DL formatting technology optimizes the DVD data stream to minimize buffer usage, ensuring better stream quality and integrity while enhancing title playback performance across the broadest range of consumer DVD players. HyperMux-DL has been specially tuned to deliver maximum writing speed and disc compatibility for DVD+R Double Layer media while minimizing MPEG video frame stutter.

HyperMux-DL’s proprietary Double Layer features include:

  • Sonic SmartBalance — automatically balances data and video content across both disc layers for the fastest-possible write times. SmartBalance algorithms automatically adjust the layer break point to minimize lead-out time, dramatically speeding disc-burning time, while ensuring maximum read-back compatibility.
  • Sonic JumpSafe — selects the ideal title set layout and layer break point with precisely filled error-correction blocks to ensure optimum video playback and to avoid the frame stutter and visual distortion that commonly occurs in DVDs authored on standard formatting systems when the MPEG data streams are interrupted during layer switch.
  • HyperMux DL-enhanced DVD+R Double Layer versions of Sonic’s consumer products are currently available and will be included in bundles from major drive and PC manufacturers starting in the second quarter of 2004. Sonic AuthorScript with double layer support has been released to selected licensing partners in the PC and consumer electronics markets. Retail versions of Sonic’s professional product lines incorporating DVD+R Double Layer are slated for release in Q2 of 2004.
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