LaCie has announced plans to be in the vanguard of the new dual-layer DVD market with its d2 Double Layer DVD±RW Drives, which ship this month.

This new technology gives users almost twice the capacity of current recordable DVDs on a single-sided disc. LaCie's new drives also feature the fastest speeds available – 8x DVD±R and 4x DVD±RW – for high-speed, dual-format recording.

The improved DVD capacity means users can store and archive as much as four hours of high-quality DVD video, up to 16 hours of VHS video, or up to 8.5GB of data, music or photos.

Using the same technology as Hollywood film studios, this drive creates video DVDs that are compatible with standard DVD players.

"Double-layer technology allows you to increase the video bit rate to create flawless, higher-quality DVD videos, and LaCie is excited to be continuously pushing forward in the realm of DVD entertainment," said Salem Tirane, LaCie product manager.

"The introduction of double-layer recording takes digital entertainment to the next level."

LaCie d2 DL DVD±RW Drives feature a slender, stylish design, and are created from a sturdy metal alloy that dissipates heat to prolong drive performance, the company says.

The drives ship this month and cost from £139 (excluding VAT). Drives with FireWire and USB 2.0 interfaces ship with recording software for Mac and Windows, including Toast 6.0 for CD/DVD recording and double-layer DVD recording.