New Releases Boost "Tabletop" CD/DVD Production
Posted May 1, 2002

May 2002| Three key new releases from CD production system manufacturers Primera Technology, MediaFORM, and Trace Affex, have bolstered the professional CD/DVD production potential of front-office desktop environments.

Primera Technology, Inc. (www.primera.com), a leading manufacturer of CD/DVD disc duplication and printing equipment, is now shipping its ComposerMAX Optical Disc Duplicator. ComposerMAX is an automated CD-R/DVD-R duplication system designed for high-volume production environments. The ComposerMAX produces up to 400 discs per job without operator intervention, and up to 250 discs per hour. Advanced robotics are used to "pick and place" discs into either two or four recordable drives. After discs are recorded, they are transported into individual 100-disc output bins. Discs can also be transported to an optional, built-in Primera inkjet or thermal transfer optical disc printer for full-color printing with up to 2400dpi print resolution. ComposerMAX attaches to any PC running Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP through its built-in FireWire interface. The high-speed FireWire interface (aka IEEE 1394) permits longer cable lengths than the SCSI interface that was previously used on Primera's CD and DVD duplicators. Depending upon the model purchased, ComposerMAX comes equipped with either Prassi PrimoCD Pro or PrimoDVD duplication software or both. Prassi, a division of well-known software vendor Veritas, has partnered with Primera Technology on ComposerMAX to offer a complete, professional disc duplication solution. Pricing ranges from $6495 for a two-drive CD-R (32X) system to $10,995 for the two-drive DVD-R/CD-R (8X) version. Optional disc printers include the 1200dpi Signature IV CD Color Printer, which sells for $1495, or the SignaturePro CD Color Printer that prints at 2400dpi and sells for $1895. Primera's Inscripta Thermal CD Printer is also available at $2995. Up to two Inscripta Thermal CD Printers may be used with ComposerMAX for faster disc production. (See review, www.emedialive.com/r1/2002/bennett12_02.html.)

MediaFORM (www.mfdigital.com), another leading manufacturer of CD-R/ DVD-R duplication, publishing, and printing technology, has released the Spectrum 2, a thermal transfer printer engineered to provide industrial performance in the desktop environment. The Spectrum 2, which began shipping in April, provides several unique features, including Print Image Retention, which allows users to download/ offload images from a PC or a media source. Spectrum 2 also features interchangeable printing trays specific to an assortment of media sizes currently available on the market. With business card and 80mm CD-R duplication gaining popularity in desktop media production, the trays are designed to accommodate the various media sizes while reducing misprinting and "slipping," as is often experienced with template printing, according to MediaFORM. The system offers black, blue, and red monochrome printing, as well as color process printing, at 600x300dpi quality. Spectrum 2 also includes MediaFORM's exclusive Quick-n-Easy ribbon change feature and an advanced CD/DVD design software suite. The thermal printer became available February 15 through MediaFORM's worldwide network of channel partners at an MSRP of $3,699. (See review, www.emedialive.com/r4/2003/bennett0103.html.)

Meanwhile, Trace Affex (www.traceaffex.com) has introduced the APS 2002, a fully automated and unattended, on-demand, CD-R/DVD-R and business card production and duplication system featuring 100-disc capacity and HP-based inkjet printing. According to Trace Affex, the system features four-color printing with 2400x1200dpi resolution, and boasts a three-year warranty on its autoloading robotics. Targeted for corporations, service bureaus, and studios, the APS 2002 uses two high-speed CD/DVD burners that are fully integrated in-line with the HP printing system utilizing PoiNT Publisher V5 publishing software. Virtually all Microsoft Windows operating systems, and NT 4.0/2000 are compatible with the APS 2002. Minimum system requirements are Pentium II, 300mHz, 64MB RAM, and 100MB free hard drive space. Template files provided include Adobe Illustrator, PhotoShop, Corel Draw, and Canvas for use with most graphics applications. Parallel, and USB cables are included. SRP for the APS 2002 is $8500 for CDs, and $9995 for DVDs and CDs.