What are you doing with all those digital tapes you’ve shot on your video camera? With many camera owners, chances are they’ll be in a drawer somewhere, unwatched an decaying – usually because attaching the camera to the television or hunting through a linear tape for the bit that you’re interested in is just too much effort – as is making copies of a tape to share.
Sony have recognised that home video archives really need the convenience of DVD, yet attaching cameras to PCs, capturing content and then editing it down to a disk is a far from simple job.
Enter the DVDirect – a US$300 (€243) external drive that can record DVDs straight from a digital or analogue source. Sony claim that the appliance is a world first and hopes that it will extend home DVD recording to a much wider range of consumers.
Available in November, DVDirect can burn up to 12 hours of high-quality MPEG-2 video onto a double-layer DVD+R – or up to six hours on single layer DVD+R/DVD+RW discs. It does this through a combination of built-in real-time video capturing and hardware MPEG-2 encoding. DVDirect sports a USB2.0 interface, and supports 16x burning – writing a full disk in around six minutes.
To simplify playback, the device can automatically insert chapter points at timed intervals – though extra features such as special effects or music require it to be connected to a PC. For this, a copy of Nero is provided.
“Preserving precious moments onto DVD has never been easier than with the DVDirect burner,” said Robert DeMoulin, marketing manager for branded storage products in Sony Electronics’ IT Products Division. “Users can simply connect their camcorder to the recorder, hit the record button, and out comes a DVD disc that they can pop into their home DVD player. Meanwhile, computer-savvy users can attach the DVDirect device to a PC to perform all of the common tasks characteristic of computer-attached burners.”