OK, which currently available drive do you guys think is most likely to get a dual layer firmware update and why??
Official updates - I suspect no drive will, though I may be mistaken. If there are any official upgrades, I expect that they’ll be of the pay-for variety unless the alliance that controls the DVD-plus formats is not charging an extra royalty for adding DVD+R DL capability to an existing DVD+R(W) drive.
Unofficially, the ND-2510A (DVD+R DL capable version of the ND-2500A) might - the FCC filing for that drive was based on the hardware being the same as the ND-2100A (DVD-plus only version of the ND-2500A). However, whether drives sold as anything other than ND-2510A are upgradeable remains to be seen - they may, for example, lack the necessary factory calibration data for dual layer writing.
Dual layer DVD+R media is likely to be in very short supply for several months, and very expensive when it can be obtained. I suspect that it may be hard to obtain dual layer media to start with other than discs bundled with retail packed drives. A few dual layer coasters from a failed upgrade attempt may go some considerable way towards the cost of a new drive that’s dual-layer capable from the factory.
As I’ve posted before in the forums, it’s possible that by the time dual layer media is freely available and the price has come down a somewhat (probably some time between September and the end of the year), we may have seen a speed jump from 2.4x to, say, 4x, possibly requiring a new writer to get the faster speed. On a two layer write, that’s a considerable time saving.
I, personally, will be letting others be the early adopters of dual layer - there again, I don’t really need the added capacity. Single layer is reasonably mature, robust and relatively cheap now. I’ll wait for dual layer to get faster and cheaper before getting into it myself - though if NEC do offer a free or cheap upgrade for the ND-2510A, I would probably buy it simply to maximise the value of my drive.
The BenQ DW822A will. It’s in their product description and it will be free.
It’s also likely that the first 8.5GB DL DVD+R media are going to cost more than 20-30GB Blu-ray and AOD media.