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Review: Primera Bravo Disc Publisher
Posted Feb 1, 2003 - July/August 2004 Issue Print Version     Page 1of 2 next »
  

With its lovable size, full range of features, integrated label printer, and competent operation—all at price to die for—Primera's Bravo Disc Publisher sets a new standard for personal CD and DVD duplication, and may prove the ultimate digital studio peripheral. Anyone interested in desktop convenience should take a long hard look. While the jury is still out on whether or not the Bravo will be successful in attracting a wider audience—or merely steal sales from more expensive systems—there's little doubt that it indeed suggests the shape of things to come.


When it comes to expanding the market for CD and DVD duplication systems, talk is cheap. Primera Technology (www.primera.com), however, has put its money where its mouth is with the new Bravo Disc Publisher. A compact unit offering tons of power, the small-scale Bravo brings full-featured disc duplication and in-line color label printing to the masses for a song, compared with the competition.

The diminutive desktop Bravo is a truly liberating device akin to the first inkjet printers. Just as use of the personal paper printer has mushroomed due to its incredible convenience, Primera hopes that the same will happen with the Bravo. Rather than absorbing the expense and hassle of sending out to have a handful of discs professionally produced or navigating the bureaucracy of the internal IT department, why not just have your own desktop CD/DVD duplicator? Such wishful thinking has been prohibitively expensive until now. But with the Bravo comes the ultimate digital studio peripheral for affordable commercial and corporate DVD authoring and audio and data duplication for small and large enterprises alike.

With its thoroughly egalitarian disposition, the Bravo is available in both $1,995 CD-R and $2,495 DVD-R configurations. The system tested here came equipped with one of Pioneer's 2X DVR-A04 DVD-R recorders. For those seeking life in the fast lane, CD-R models sport LG's latest GCE-8480B 48x16x48 recorder. Looking more like an oversized office paper printer than the latest in disc duplication technology, the Bravo employs a conventional horizontally moving pick-and-place robot serving removable 25-disc input and output bins and the single centrally mounted recorder. Without a doubt, however, the Bravo's most distinctive feature is its fully integrated 2400dpi color inkjet disc-label printer. A $1,495 autoprinter (recorder-less) version is also planned for the near future.

Another endearing feature typically reserved for much larger and expensive systems is Bravo's soon-to-be-released $199.95 Business Card Adapter Kit. Consisting of disc-bin adapters, printer shields, and some modified software, the kit allows the Bravo to duplicate and print 8cm round, 63mm x 80mm "hockey rink," and 85mm x 59mm rectangular business card media as needed.

Beyond these impressive functional capabilities and its groundbreaking price, the Bravo also sets new standards for compact and elegant design. In a world of disappointingly ugly production behemoths, the Bravo is refreshingly comely, weighing only 18 pounds and measuring a svelte 7.25"H x 17.25"W x 16"D.

System Requirements and Installation
Recommended minimum system requirements for the Bravo consist of a 700mHz Pentium PC with 256MB RAM and a 7200RPM hard drive with 2 to 5GB of free space running MS Windows XP or 2000. Connections are delightfully modern and use an IEEE 1394 (Firewire, i.LINK) interface for the recorder (card not included) and a USB hookup for the printer and robotic disc-loader.

While the Macintosh crowd has long been ignored by the duplication community, Primera has a Mac OS X version of the Bravo on the drawing board for spring 2003 (at press time, prototype demos were planned for January's MacWorld San Francisco). A $149.95 personality kit is also planned to allow existing PC Bravo units to work on the Mac.

For this evaluation, the Bravo was given a workout using a 1.7gHZ Pentium 4 PC with 256MB RAM running MS Windows XP Professional, a Western Digital 60GB Ultra ATA/100 EIDE hard disk, Adaptec DuoConnect AUA-3121 combination USB 2.0/IEEE 1394 host adapter, and a Matsushita SR-8588 16X Max ATAPI DVD-ROM drive.



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