Recharging batteries wirelessly

It burns, it labels, it handles multiple CDs or DVDs

The main draw of Primera's new Bravo SE Disc Publisher is the ability to automatically burn and label multiple CDs or DVDs, all in one device. The US$1,495 disc publisher records 20 discs at a time, and labels in color at up to 4800 dpi (dots per inch). It can print labels on inkjet-printable discs, even 8G-byte dual-layer DVDs.

The printer doesn't burn Blu-ray or HD DVD discs yet, said Amie Hoffner, a Primera spokeswoman. At the moment they don't plan for Blu-ray or HD DVD support. It is a small system targeted at "anyone who has limited disc production," like individuals or small or medium-sized businesses, Hoffner said. Individuals can use it to burn and label vacation CDs, while music or video studios can produce labeled CDs/DVDs.

It comes with PTPublisher SE CD burning software and SureThing CD Labeler Primera Edition to design the labels. The software, with its typical interactive Windows interface, is easy to use.

The disc publisher uses a US$37.95 printer cartridge sold by Primera and other distributors. At the highest resolution, a single cartridge can print 114 labels, but the number can run into thousands if medium or low print resolutions are used, Hoffner said.

More product information is available here.

Portable video players: the next generation

Mobile video players have evolved with Archos' new line of portable media players. The Archos 604 and Archos 404, announced recently, have digital video recording capabilities and wide-screen displays that can display DVD-quality video.

"Consumers can enjoy hundreds of hours of their favorite TV programs in DVD quality," with its new Generation 4 of portable video players, said Henri Crohas, founder and chief executive officer of Archos.

The US$349 Archos 604 has a 4.3-inch TFT wide-screen LCD, which can display video at a 16:9 resolution. It measures 5.1 by 3 by 0.65 inches (130 by 78 by 17 mm) and plays MPEG-4, WMV and MPEG-2 video files stored on its 30G-byte hard drive. It has control buttons to manage programs and tracks on the right side of the player. It weighs 255 grams and doubles up as a photo viewer and MP3 player.

An optional 'DVR Station' digital video recorder attachment records TV programs in MPEG-4 format. That allows users to see TV while on the move.

It displays 4.5 hours of video and plays 17.5 hours of music on one full battery charge, said Samantha Steinwinder, an Archos spokeswoman.

The 604 Wi-Fi portable media player, which the company plans to announce in the future, sounds even cooler, with a touchscreen and wireless networking capabilities for Web browsing, media sharing and e-mail. An optional helmet camcorder accessory will allow the video player to film extreme sports from the top of a helmet. Its specs are otherwise similar to the Archos 604. Preliminary prices for it with a 30G byte hard drive hover between US$400 and US$450 on retail Web sites.

The US$299 Archos 404 portable video player is similar, feature-wise, to the Archos 604 but has a smaller 3.5-inch TFT LCD that displays video with 16-million colors at a 320 by 240 resolution. It will become available worldwide in October, according to the company.

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