BlazeDVD review

BlazeDVD lets you play DVDs on your computer anytime you want, and it offers a full set of controls to enhance your viewing experience. With the app's streamlined navigation, all you have to do is pop in your movie and press play. It also lets you save and convert your DVDs into a format compatible with your iPad, iPhone, iPod, or PSP.


High-quality playback: The image that this program produces is great, and to go along with it, you also get 7.1 audio channels and picture in picture. Of course, the viewing experience will only be as … Read more

Sony, Panasonic unveil Archival Disc for long-term digital storage

Sony and Panasonic have teamed up to provide a new option for those looking to leverage long-term digital storage.

Starting next year, the companies will offer the Archival Disc, a high-capacity disc capable of storing 300GB of data. Over time, Sony and Panasonic plan to improve the offering, upping its storage to 500GB and then 1TB.

According to the companies, the Archival Disc will be a write-once, dual-sided-recording media. The companies, which worked together to get Blu-ray off the ground, say that the effort is a response to growing data-recovery needs and the relative reliability of disc media.

The companies … Read more

Smart Defrag review

Smart Defrag 3 hits all the notes you'd expect from a defragger, but it is too aggressive in terms of advertising. It throws recommendations for other programs at you at every turn. Still, it makes up for that pestering with performance that rivals most defrag programs for Windows.

This program tries to replace Windows' default defragmentation widget by being more advanced and offering more style, features, and customizations. We're not kidding about replacing, either -- the program will turn off your usual defragmenter and install other programs if you don't uncheck those options during install, so be … Read more

Discless Xbox One would be amazing, but too radical a move for Microsoft

When a NeoGaf user started leaking Xbox One-related bombshells Wednesday night, alarms must have started going off in Redmond.

Microsoft has since come out and confirmed that yes, its first Xbox One dashboard update will indeed come in March, and yes, the company will be releasing its previously employee-only all-white console later this year. The rumors didn't stop there, and ranged from leaked photos of the purported Titanfall bundle to a concise roadmap for the Halo series.

But what was most important to the future of Xbox hardware -- and the console market as a whole -- slipped in … Read more

Xbox One rumors abound: March update, white console, and more

The Xbox One rumor mill is on overdrive. Word has it that the console could come in white, might get an update in March, will arrive in more markets, and could soon be available without a Blu-ray drive.

These speculations come via a report from The Verge, which has been checking out online forums and talking to inside sources. Chief among the rumors is a possible major update to Xbox One's dashboard. Apparently, Microsoft is working to fix various issues with the console's Live service. This update release could come as soon as March.

The Verge has also … Read more

Microsoft admits glitch with some Xbox One disc drives

If you hear a grinding noise when you insert a disc into your new Xbox One, you're not alone.

Following the launch of the new console on Friday, more Xbox One owners are reporting that their disc drives are malfunctioning. The problem? Inserting a disc into the drive triggers a grinding or clicking noise, with the unit unable to read the disc.

Some early buyers had already posted comments and YouTube videos late last week detailing the glitch. But with 1 million Xbox One consoles sold during the first 24 hours, the problem has spread, triggering a response from … Read more

Xbox One buyers beset by buggy disc drives

Some early Xbox One buyers are complaining that their disc drives don't work.

Commenting via the Neowin and NeoGAF forums as well as other sites, users say the console makes a clicking or grinding noise after a disc is inserted and then just stops right there or spits the disc out. Either way, the console is seemingly unable to read the disc.

A few Xbox One owners have posted videos to YouTube that display the problem. One user who who dubbed his post "Redmond, we might have a problem," served up links to videos from four different … Read more

Apple's plan to wipe out disc drives is nearly complete

The disc drive is dead -- or it's at least issuing a triumphant death rattle.

Not in PCs just yet, but certainly in Apple's Macs. Earlier this week Apple introduced updated versions of its MacBook Pro with Retina Display, alongside an all new Mac Pro. What wasn't updated was Apple's line of non-Retina MacBook Pros, the only Apple devices that were still sporting a disc drive. In fact, Apple axed the 15-inch version and trimmed the non-Retina line to a single, 13-inch machine. The company has whittled away at product lines like this in the past, … Read more

100GB discs point to 4K Blu-ray

A physical media standard for next-generation 4K video now looks closer than ever.

A German optical disc replication equipment maker by the name of Singulus Technologies has announced details on a new machine, the Bluline III, capable of manufacturing triple-layer Blu-ray discs that can store up to 100GB.

"The triple-layer Blu-ray discs with 100GB storage capacity, is the preferred playback medium for the new 4K technology" reads the Singulus release.

The current Blu-ray disc standard used by most home video releases supports capacities up to 50GB.

The announcement of machines capable of delivering higher-capacity pressed discs comes prior … Read more

Sony, Panasonic team up to develop 300GB optical disc

Sony and Panasonic aim to provide a big boost to the amount of data that can be housed on a single disc.

The two companies will work together to create a new standard for an optical disc capable of recording at least 300GB of information, Panasonic announced Monday. The goal is to unveil the actual technology before the end of 2015. The new disc format will be targeted toward professional users, specifically businesses that need to archive huge amounts of data for long-term storage.

Pointing to one potential customer, Sony cited the video production industry, including motion picture houses and … Read more