Reprinted from a Maxell press release:
Maxell Corporation of America has nearly doubled the capacity of DVD media with its introduction of DVD+R Double Layer media capable of storing up to 8.5GB of data or four hours of video. The new introduction is part of Maxell’s overall product strategy of offering premium step-up products that provide higher performance for end users and consumers.
In addition to four hours of DVD quality video, the new media has a capacity of 16 hours of VHS quality video and one hour of high definition quality video on one side of the disc. Double layer DVD+R media will be available from February 2005.
"The technology timeline for DVD is advancing more rapidly than with any other recording technology in our experience because end users and consumers have recognized the superior quality and versatility of the format," said Peter Brinkman, vice president of marketing for Maxell. "They will embrace this latest format development because it offers them even greater flexibility in data storage applications, as well as in recording and storing personal memories at home and in the office."
Unlike conventional DVD, double layer technology utilizes a laser with a variable focal length to encode and read the data on the disc. One focal length writes and reads to the top layers, while the other deals with the second layer, nearly doubling capacity.