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CES 2004 (Consumer Electronic Show)

By Terry Currier

This is my fourth part of a series. First thing to remember here is when USB 2.0 is mentioned the devices are backward compactable with 1.0, but just slower. For the most part the manufacturers state that the USB devices will work with Win98, 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, MAC OS 8.6 & higher, Linux 2.4.0 and higher. In this part there is information about portable DVD players, DVD writers, Home DVD Recorders.

To see information about Computers click here for Storage for Digital Cameras for DVDs /Portable players/home use (TV recording)/a few unique recorders for Portable Media/TV/USB TV/Speakers for Video Projectors

Dell, Hewlett Packard, Mitsubishi Chemical/Verbatim, Philips, Ricoh, Sony, Thomson and Yamaha, members of the DVD+RW Alliance, announced the feasibility to make a dual layer DVD+R disc compatible with the dual-layer DVD-ROM standard (DVD9). The dual layer DVD+R disc nearly doubles the storage capacity from 4.7Gb to up to 8.5Gb, while remaining compatible with existing DVD Video players and DVD-ROM drives. Final specifications and the format book are expected to be available within this year and recordable media and recorder products that will use this new dual layer technology are expected in the course of 2004. The technology will allow consumers to record DVD quality video up to 4 hours and up to 16 hours in VHS video quality on a single dual layer DVD+R disc. It will also enable PC users of dual layer DVD+R discs to enjoy increased storage capacity of up to 8.5Gb. They also said the new 8X speed DVD burners will be followed up with a 16X in late 2004.
Further in the future is the Blu-ray. By employing a short wavelength blue violet laser, the Blu-ray Disc successfully minimizes its beam spot size. The Blu-ray Disc's tracking pitch is reduced to 0.32um, almost half of that of a regular DVD.
Information from the Samsung website.
The BD Recorder is designed to be compatible with the Blu-Ray disk format which writes HD digital broadcasting source to a 23Gb disk. The Blu-ray Disc was established by 9 companies (Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Thompson, Hitachi, Philips, Sharp, Pioneer) under BDF (Blu-Ray Disc Founder). Currently, the DVD recorder writes analog broadcasting source to a 4.7Gb disk, and the BD Recorder is considered to represent the next generation of DVD Recorders. In April of 2003, Sony introduced the first model to the Japanese market, and currently other companies have models under development or are ready to introduce this futurist product. It is forecast the market will rise after 2005, when digital broadcasting will become widely available. The key advantage of this product is that it incorporates a number of cutting edge technologies in one product. It is a futuristic product that combines a digital broadcasting receiver (Set Top Box), recorder and DVD Player, and also provides an editing function for recorded media. The easy to use, convenient GUI (Graphic User Interface) is also a key selling point. Their BD Recorder is the BD-R1000. They have no time set for its launch.
I won’t bother with DVD players – too many of them. I did find some interesting portables. Even recordable DVD’s are common so I collected information about those set up for home TV recording (video and data also). There were a couple of DVD recorders I found interesting.

Portables Players

AMW – Amphion MediaWorks www.a-mw.comAMW portal DVD player
They had some really cool looking portable DVD players, including their UFO brand. These of course look like UFOs. They also have several other models with 7” and 10” LCD displays. All have 3-D surround sound technology, S-video input/output, and can play CD/MP3/CD-R/CD-RW/WMA/Kodak Picture CD, besides DVDs.

Apex Apex PD-710S and PD-660S portable DVD players
PD-710S, it Apex’s 7" portable DVD player. It can play 16:9 widescreen on it’s TFT LCD. Capability is for MP3, WMA, Kodak Picture CD, JPEG playback. It has an S-Video jack. The PD-660S is a 6.5" 16:9 widescreen portable DVD player. It will play MP3, and has jacks for S-Video and composite video. Both weigh one pound, with a battery life of just over 2 hours. Optical Digital Audio output, stereo audio jack, and Input / Output selector switch

Mintek Mintek MPD-1010 & MPD-1810
Thinnest line of portable DVD players. Their latest the MDP-1010 is a 16:9 TFT widescreen format. Screen size is a big 10.2”, and it can play up to 3 hours using a lithium battery. They are made with A level glass, with up to 170 degree viewing. They include an AV car adapter, and remote control. It weighs 3 pounds with battery. Two built-in speakers, S-video, AV input/output, memory stick reader and USB port. They include parental control. It will be out April at an MSRP of $499. The MDP-1810 is a 8" 16:9 TFT widescreen display, built-in stereo speakers. It can play DVD/MP3/CD/CD-R/CD-RW/Kodak Picture CD. The MSRP is $349

Norcent www.norcent.netNorcent MV 0702 & MV 1000
The MV 0702 has a 7” with a built-in CF Card reader. Playback format: DVD+RW, DVD-RW, DVD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-DA, Photo-CD, JPEG, MP3. Simulated surround with 2 speakers. AC/DC power, the Li-Ion battery pack last 3 hours. Both S-video and Composite video output capable. The MV 1000 is a 10''16:9 Wide-Angle TFT LCD display. Built-in stereo speakers, with Lithium battery that will play for 2.5 hours.

Panasonic DVD-LA95 & DVD-LA65
The DVD-LA95 has a 9-inch LCD widescreen monitor with an MSRP of $700. Their DVD-LV65 is a 5-inch widescreen for an MSRP of $500. Both have built-in stereo speakers and Dolby Digital® Surround Sound decoder. Multi-Format Playback (Playable Disc Type) including DVD-Audio, DVD-Video, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, Video CD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW. Playback time for both with battery pack is approximately 2.5 hours, and comes with a built-in recharger. SD Card playable file formats  are AAC, MP3, JPEG, and MPEG4. 

Pixa www.pixainc.comPixa MP-710
MP-710 comes with a 7” LCD Wide Screen, with 400 lines hi-resolution and 350  nits hi-brightness. Viewing angle is 170 degrees, aspect ratio: 16:9, AV input for Game/camcorder, build-in stereo speakers, and Dolby Digital decoder. S-Video, and PAL/NTSC out. Rechargeable battery pack will last 3 hours. Supports DVD , CD, SVCD, CD, HDCD, MP3, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3, JPEG, Kodak Picture CD. Connections include Dual stereo AV inputs for Game /camcorder, dual stereo AV outputs for indoor TV, dual powerful stereo speakers built in monitor, dual stereo headphone inputs on monitor, and S-Video.

Samsung www.samsungusa.comSamsung DVD-L200
Their is a 10” TFT LCD portable DVD player. It is only 1” in height and widescreen format (16x9.) The batteries will last you 3 hours. Playable video include DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD. Playable Audio Formats CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3. Weight is 2.6 pounds, has S-video out. There are 2 headphone outputs.

DV-L80U is an portable 8" Widescreen DVD/RW video player from Sharp. It can play disc at 16:9 widescreen capability andSharp DV-L80U even play DVD-RW discs. Features 3 luminous enhancement levels for dark scenes. Improves picture quality when viewing in a brightly lit area. It has a GUI (Graphical User Interface), and weighs less than 2 pounds without the dock-like lithium-ion battery.. It measures just 8.2 inches by 6.1 inches by 1 inch and The battery adds a half inch and about 14 ounces. The device is so thin that, when closed, it can easily fit between documents in a briefcase.

DVD Recorders for Home

Recording mode and time (based on 4.7GB DVD, single-sided, 1 layer)
HQ: 60mins 9.6Mbps
SP: 120mins 4.8Mbps
EP: 240mins 2.6Mbps
SEP: 360mins 1.6Mbps

Norcent www.norcent.netNorcent’s DVR3000
Norcent’s DVR3000 DVD recordable player will record up to 6 hours on DVD+R / +RW at EP speed. Build-in PAL/SECAM or NTSC TV tuner, S-Video and RCA inputs. Real-time OTR and scheduled recording (6-event program timer; 1year; daily/ weekly.)  Playback support for: DVD+R/RW,DVD , CD+R/RW, MP3-CD, CD Audio and picture CD (JPEG).

Panasonic DMR-E80H
The DMR-E80H has a built-in 80Gb hard disk with time slip playback ability. It can store up to 106 hours of recording in EP mode. It can record to DVD-RAM and DVD-R discs. MSRP is $700. The DMR-E60S has built-in SD & PC card slots and records to DVD-RAM and DVD-R discs. MSRP $550. Both are progressive-scan, DVD-Audio (2-channel), with inputs for Composite Video x3 (RCA Jacks), and S-Video. They support DVD-Video, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, Video CD, CD, CD-R, CD-RW.

Philips DVDR80
The DVDR80 comes with Faroudja DCDi progressive scan video output. It has 10-bit video processing, with i.LINK digital connection, and component video input. It has GUIDE Plus+® on-screen TV program guide. Announced at CES the HDRW720 provides consumers with an easy-to-use TV Guide On-Screen (EPG) that enables consumers to just point and click to record their favorite programs. With the FlexTime feature, consumers are able to watch the beginning of a program while it is being recorded or replayed if an important moment is missed during the recording. High Speed Archiving it can make a copy of a recording from the Hard Disk onto a DVD+R/+RW up to 20 times the speed of recording time. The built-in 80 GB Hard Disk can store up to 130 hours of television, allowing consumers to digitally record their favorite programs. Available Summer 2004 it will have a suggested retail price of $699.

Pixa www.pixainc.comPixa DW-804
The DW-804 is a DVD +R/+RW Recorder (-R/-RW Recorder Optional). Progressive scan with NTSC/PAL/SECAM ability. Build-in Dolby Digital 5.1ch decoder, DTS digital out. Play DVD video, CD, SVCD, VCD, JEPG, MP3, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW. OTR: One-Touch-Record. Programmed timing record (up to 20 tasks). Programmed timing record setting: commencing day, time, ending time, signal source recording quality. Record modes (once, every day, weekly). Delete the last title, or the entire disc. Manual or automatic insertion of chapter mark. Inputs: composite video, 2ch audio (L,R), S-video, DV (IEEE 1394). The PVR-907 has a build-in 40Gb hard drive (80Gb and 120Gb Option) supports long duration recording. Up to 2-Hours Time Shifting. NTSC/PAL/SECAM. Play DVD, VCD, CD, MP3, CD-R, CD-RW. Composite Video, and S-Video in and out. Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS digital audio out.

Samsung www.samsungusa.comSamsung DVD R4000
Samsung’s DVD-R4000 will record onto DVD-RAM and DVD-R. It has Simultaneous Recording and Playback, with Live Picture Pause and Replay. It has Digital Noise Reduction, and MPEG-2 VBR Recording. 480P Progressive Scan Video Output. Terminals - Audio: Optical Digital Out 1 set Coaxial Digital Out 1 set L/R Stereo Out 2 sets. For Video: Composite Video in 3 sets Composite Video out 2 sets S-Video in 3 sets S-Video Out 1 set Component Video Out 1 set.

Sharp www.sharpusa.comSharp's DV-HR300
Sharp’s newest recordable DVD player provides consumers with an internal hard disc drive (HDD) that can record and store over 100 hours of programming, so consumers can record a full season of several shows and watch them anytime. The DV-HR300 combines an 80GB hard disc drive and a DVD-R/RW recorder to create the ultimate all-in-one viewing, recording and storage device. It can do high-speed dubbing, CD/MP3 playback and simultaneous recording/playback. The unit provides programming with VCR Plus+ and has a DV Terminal with i.Link™ so consumers can digitally transfer video directly to DVD. Searching for a specific moment on a disc is made easier on the DV-HR300 with the “High Speed Access” thumbnail view and Quick Search functions. Records on DVD-R and DVD-RW, and playback DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD-Video, CD-DA, CD-R/RW, audio CDs, video CDs and MP3 files. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $800.

Sony Sony RDR-GX300
Their RDR-GX300 was created for first-time users. It includes many advanced features such as the proprietary Precision Cinema Progressive™, a DVD playback technology which incorporates Pixel-by-Pixel I/P Conversion technology to augment and balance DVD-video elements. It also features Time Base Correction, Pre Frame Noise Reduction and Pre-video Equalizer technologies that rebalance and equalize video content before it is recorded onto a DVD, improving the original source content even before the encoding process begins. New features added to the recorder include chasing playback allowing viewers to rewind the recorded material while it's still recording to view and catch up to the real time recording. Simultaneous recording and playback allows viewers to watch pre-recorded content while recording new content on the same disc. Another convenience feature new to the recorder is its ability to control satellite receivers and cable boxes through the unit's IR remote controls. It will be available in July for about $500.

Toshiba D-R1
Super Multi-Drive Recorder D-R1 writes to DVD-R/RW discs, designed to work exactly like a floppy disk. Compatible with virtually all DVD-Video players. Record up to 8 hours of programming using a double-sided 9.4GB DVD-RAM disc. ColorStream Pro® component video outputs allow for a high quality video signal. Digital Cinema Progressive provides smoother, clearer picture from discs encoded at 24 frames per second. QSound™ Virtual Surround Sound provides a simulated surround sound effect. Time Slip lets you 'pause' a live recording and then return to it later. Comes with VCR Plus+™ timer recording with a 181-channel cable compatible tuner and a 2-month, 32-event timer programming functionality. Each compilation of desired footage can be separately titled and edited (for removal of commercials or other unwanted sections) and then seamlessly played back for review. Disc Play DVD/VCD/CD-R/CD-RW/CD/DVD-R/DVD-RAM

Here are a some unique DVD recorders I thought were cool, because of their slim design.

Freecom Freecom’s Classic DVD +/-RW writer
The Freecom’s Classic DVD +/-RW writer is less than two inches in height. It is a DVD 8x writer / recorder, connects with USB 2.0. Writes to CD-R/CD-RW: Disc At Once, Session At once, Track At Once, Multi-Session, DVD RW/DVD R: DVD-ROM, DVD-Video CD: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD Extra, MP3 CDs, Mixed-ModeCD, VideoCD, PhotoCD, CD TEXT, Bootable CD. Comes with a two years manufacturers warranty, and unlimited free helpdesk support. Their Freecom X2 is less than one inch in height. Also connects with USB 2.0 but it’s speed is only 4x DVD +/-RW. The information on this one is marked preliminary so it could change.

Sunland International (SLI) Digistor UltraSlim DVD Multi Burner
The Digistor UltraSlim DVD Multi Burner is an external 2X –R/-RW drive weighing 1.05 lbs, and measures 6 1/2"(L) x 5 1/2"(W) x 1"(H). Features a combination USB 2.0/ FireWire interface for connectivity. Beyond that they have both internal and external 8X DVD ±R/RW burners which will enable users to write a 4.7GB +/-R discs in under 10 minutes.

It’s not slim, but I liked the set up this unit had.

mediaGear mediaGear Flash-DVD
The external Flash-DVD is an external unit with medial slot readers. Media supported include: Compact Flash Type I & II(CF), MicroDrive, MemoryStick (MS), MemoryStick Pro, SmartMedia (SM), SecureDigital (SD), MultiMediaCard (MMC), and eXtream Digital (xD). It uses USB 2.0 and they provide a hub for you in the unit so you have two more USB ports from it. For DVD it is a dual 4x +/-R write.


HP was showing their new labeling program. It lets users burn labels directly onto discs. One of their engineers did not like LightScribe disc from HP sticking a label on his disc. So he thought about using the laser already in the disk burner to make the label for the other side of the disc. What he came up with is called LightScribe. After burning the disc the user flips it over and it burns silk-screen-like image (label) on the topside of disc with a LightScribe dye coating. It is not of course in color, but it does look really sharp. You will have to use a LightScribe compatible media material which enables a LightScribe-enabled ODD laser to impart energy to the label side. Look for the LightScribe logo on the drive and media. This is expected to be out the second half of 2004. Other companies besides HP are supporting the technology including Hitachi-LG, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, and others. These drives will cost a little extra (not much) while the LightScribe disc will cost about 10 cents more.

Have any of you every burned a CD which said it was successful, and then could not read it – when you needed it? I’ve got one that said there was a problem with the burn. I checked it out on the computer I burned it (at work), and it could read it fine. Brought it home, and of course it could not be read at home. CD/DVD Diagnostic cost $50 from Arrowkey, and can help you retrieve unreadable files. It recovers data from unreadable, scratched, or corrupt CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+/-R and DVD-RW. It will also work on disc created on Macintosh and Linux systems. Note: Since CES Arrowkey was sold to Infinadyne, so I put it’s link there.

Norazza www.norazza.comNorazza Data Destroyer
The Data Destroyer will help prevent unauthorized use/recovery of data from CDs or DVDs. Put a disc in and it applies thousands of small imprints to both sides. It can process one disc in four seconds.

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