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LabelFlash is a technology which allows users to burn custom designs or images onto DVD media, introduced by NEC in December 2005 (Yamaha's DiscT@2 patent). This is similar to the LightScribe technology invented by Hewlett-Packard earlier. The technology is most commonly used on Toshiba and Gateway branded laptops.
- The resolution is adjustable, some DVD drives have settings for "Draft", "Normal" and "Best" between 300 and 1800 DPI.
- Uses up to 256 shades in the image.
- Monochromatic with 4 color technology in development
- Labeling process takes 7 minutes at minimum depending on the resolution.
- Burning images on the top side of a disc requires specialized media.
- Specialized Labelflash discs use 0.6 mm thick top coating to avoid fading of image over time, and to protect from scratches.
- Discs are blue on top, thus providing greater contrast with the printed image.
- Current media is approximately two to three times the price of the similar Lightscribe technology; around €1 ($1.31, ¥116.97) per DVD
- DiscT@2 is a part of Labelflash technology — burning on bottom side (data side) of disc area which is not used by data is possible with any DVD±R media.
Nero 7 and newer versions support this technology. All full versions of Nero 8 support Labelflash, but Nero 7 only supports it with OEM versions bundled with Labelflash-capable recorders and with Nero 7 Premium. For reasons that are not entirely clear, North American purchasers of Nero 7 (Ultra Edition) are not entitled to Labelflash or DiscT@2 support, even though exactly the same software sold to European customers (Nero 7 Premium) includes both Labelflash and DiscT@2 functionality. The only difference between Nero 7 Premium and Nero 7 Ultra Edition appears to be the inclusion of (or lack of, respectively) support for Labelflash and DiscT@2.
The NEC ND-3550A, ND-3551A, ND-4550A, ND-4551A all share the same hardware but only the ND-3551A and ND-4551A were sold with Labelflash support, so some users have changed the firmware to get the Labelflash function. In addition NEC sold the ND-4571A DVD burning Labelflash drive and also the Sony NEC Optiarc drives AD-7173, AD-7203, AD-7243, AD-7263, AD-7543, AD-7593, AD-7633, AD-7713H and AD-7913 supporting Labelflash writing.
The Pioneer DVR-111, DVR-111L (Original product is Buffalo DVSM-XL516FB series), DVR-111D, and DVR-A11XL all share the same internal hardware as well as Asus DRW-1608P3S, but only the DVR-111L is sold with Labelflash support. By replacing the kernel on the other models with the DVR-111L's, Labelflash and DVD-RAM writing can be enabled on unsupported models.More recently the Pioneer DVR-112D's firmware can also be replaced with a DVR-112L's firmware.
After initially being introduced in Europe, Fujifilm announced on 25 May 2007 that they will introduce Labelflash media to the US. Until this date, only NEC and Sony NEC Optiarc sold drives supporting the technology. As of fall 2007, Memorex-brand media has started showing up in small quantities at US Best Buy stores, despite minimal initial drive support at retail. LabelFlash drives have since begun to appear in more notebook computers sold at retail in the US (especially retail models).
Early hardware support appeared to provide Lightscribe with a clear advantage over Labelflash, leading to some predictions that LabelFlash would go the way of HD-DVD. However, in late 2007 and the first half of 2008, more US laptops began to feature LabelFlash drives, notably from Toshiba and Gateway.
Some early Mac Pros were shipped with Pioneer DVR-111D SuperDrives. This meant that if a user could cross-flash their drive's firmware, they could burn LabelFlash labels.