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CyberLink Corp., a developer of optical media recording and playback software for personal computers, announced on Thursday its new software suite that allows burning Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. The company says it has released the world’s first retail software that allows burning both types of next-gen formats.

“CyberLink has been an early supporter of both Blu-ray Discs and HD DVDs, and while there has been much discussion about a format war, we believe the key issue is providing support for all disc formats: CDs, DVDs and now both types of next-generation discs,” said Alice H. Chang, chief executive of CyberLink.

The new Power2Go 5.5 Next-Gen Edition software allows to burn single-layer and dual-layer HD DVDs as well as single-layer Blu-ray discs along with different types of media, including CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD-RAM, double-layer DVD-R and DVD+R, BD-R, BD-RE, HD DVD-RAM, and HD DVD-R.

The new software also features new security features, such as 128-bit encryption for protecting data discs. Easy utilities allow users to copy and erase discs, rip tracks, convert audio files and burn a CD folder. Drag-and-drop express icons automate data burning and the creation of audio CDs, as well as simplify copying and authoring, according to the company.

CyberLink Power2Go 5.5 Next-Gen Edition is available at the price of $39.95/?34.95 at CyberLink’s online store. CyberLink also offers OEM versions to computers and consumer electronics manufacturing customers.

Traditional single-layer DVDs allow consumers to watch movies in 720x480 (NTSC) or 720x576 (PAL) resolution with Dolby Digital audio. The blue-laser discs will provide consumers 1920x1080 resolution as well as DTS or Dolby Digital Plus audio along with some additional interactive features.

Blu-ray and HD DVD formats compete for replacing the DVD standard. HD DVD discs can store up to 15GB on a single layer and up to 30GB on two layers. Its competitor, Blu-ray, can store up to 27GB per single layer and up to 50GB on two layers, but Blu-ray discs are more expensive to produce. The HD DVD is pushed aggressively by Toshiba and NEC as well as being standardized at the DVD Forum, which represents over 230 consumer electronics, information technology, and content companies worldwide. Blu-ray is backed by Sony and Panasonic, which are among the world’s largest makers of electronics. Among Hollywood studios HD is supported by Warner Bros. Studios, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures, whereas Sony Pictures, Walt Disney, Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox endorse Blu-ray.

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