Both DVD-R/RW and CD-R/RW capable, the DVR-A04 burns DVD-R discs at 2x (roughly the equivalent of 18x CD-R), DVD-RW discs at 1x, CD-R discs at 8x and CD-RW discs at 4x. CD read speeds are 24x and the DVD-ROM read speed is 6x. High-end users interested in professionally mastering DVD movies need to note that the DVR-A04 doesn't support DVD-R for authoring media.
The drive, which can be mounted for use either horizontally or vertically, has an IDE interface and features a 2MB data buffer. In the box is a full installation kit including a manual, screws, audio cable and jumpers, along with extras such as a permanent marker pen, single DVD-R and DVD-RW discs and five Blockbuster Video DVD movie rental vouchers. Bundled software includes Sonic Solutions MyDVD 3.1 for DVD-Video authoring (see review on page 29), ArcSoft ShowBiz 1.1 for video editing, and Cyberlink PowerDVD 4.0 XP for DVD playback. Veritas RecordNow DX is provided for general burning needs and Veritas DLA (Drive Letter Access) allows you to read and write files to CD or DVD just like a floppy disk.
In testing, on a P4 2.4GHz system with 1024MB of DDR RAM and a 60GB 7200rpm, ATA100 Seagate hard disk, 4.6GB of data took about 29 minutes to burn onto DVD-R using RecordNow DX, and copying the information back took about 27 minutes.
The DVR-A04 is available in three bundle versions. The basic package that we tested, the A04P, is priced at $999. The A04FW, which includes DVDit! PE DVD authoring software and a FireWire card, retails for $1299. The $1899 DVR-A04PRO boasts ReelDVD for professional quality DVD authoring.
Using DVD-RW technology which "allows the burning of DVD-R discs, "the DVR-A04 is priced competitively and comes with all the software beginners should need to start "creating their own DVD movies.
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