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Review: CenDyne DVR-104 DVD-R/RW Drive
Posted Sep 1, 2002 Print Version     Page 1of 1
  

CenDyne's DVR-104 is exactly what its name would suggest—a CenDyne bundle of Pioneer's fourth-generation DVD-Recorder, the A04, which combines 2X DVD-R and DVD-RW recording with 8X CD-R and 4X CD-RW. The drive ships with Sonic's always welcome MyDVD 3.1 and InterVideo WinDVD for DVD playback. An ATAPI-only offering, the bundle also includes everything you need to connect and mount an ATAPI drive in an available bay in your PC.

Evaluated on our testbed PC, a 1.5gHz Pentium IV Dell with 256MB RAM running Windows ME and roughly 20GB of available HDD space, the DVR-104 met all expectations, which are pretty high in these predisposed-to-DVD-R parts. Tested with several DVD-R discs from two manufacturers (Pioneer and Verbatim) for DVD images created in MyDVD 3.1 and neoDVD, one Verbatim DVD-RW disc, and a dozen or so CD-Rs in VideoCD, Super VCD, and CD-DA formats, the drive performed up to spec on all occasions, not even blowing a single disc. All discs played back in consumer players, as well as the DVD-R drive itself via (with the DVD-Videos) the bundled WinDVD.

Installation was a breeze, and I was ready to burn within minutes. I use the term "ready to burn" advisedly—although DVD recording happens relatively fast these days with the A04's 2X speed, and will accelerate considerably when 4X drives debut later this year—if you've got video to render, encode, compress, etc., before burning, you're in for a wait. Those of us who have graduated to DVD-R from CD-R (as opposed to other video output devices) left real-time behind us a long time ago. Quad-speed DVD-R will take us further down that path when it hits the streets, but video formatting will keep us waiting still. But we can't blame CenDyne or Pioneer for that. We can, however, credit them for delivering a rock-solid reliable drive that records widely compatible DVD discs on increasingly inexpensive media.

CenDyne DVR-104 www.cendyne.com

MSRP: $449

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