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Primera Bravo Disc Publisher

Automated CD/DVD duplication and label-printing system By Dave Nagel
Primera's Bravo Disc Publisher falls into a class of devices for which a review such as this is almost a mere formality. That is, its value is so immediately apparent that, as long as it does what it's supposed to do and its price is somewhere within the realm of attainability, there are simply very few questions left to ask about it. The Bravo Disc Publisher is a line of DVD and CD duplication systems designed for desktop manufacturing, integrating media burning and label printing into one unit, all tied together with a robotics system for hands-free production of up to 25 discs in its default configuration. And all of this at a reasonable price.

For professionals working in video and presentation, DVD production on the desktop has become integral to the job. Whether you're in post-production delivering work to clients, in videography producing DVDs for limited distribution or in marketing putting together a corporate presentation, you're as likely as not to make DVD your format of choice. This has all been made possible, of course, by solid consumer- and professional-level authoring software and the advent of personal DVD burners, which are now available--at least as options--in most computer systems today. But as wonderful as these technologies are, they do have their limitations, especially when it comes to producing DVDs and CDs in any kind of quantity. I don't know about you, but I've never been a big fan of sitting around for 15 to 20 minutes a pop just to hand-feed the next blank DVD into the burner's tray.

Enter Primera with its Bravo line of disc publishing systems.

Hardware: setup and functionality
The Bravo Disc Publisher eliminates this problem by providing automated optical disc production and labeling in one system, cutting out the time-consuming manual process of creating discs and freeing you up to move on to your next paying project. Bravo systems are available in two configurations, one offering a 52x CD burner, the other a Pioneer combo 4x DVD/16x DVD burner. Both come equipped with a 2,400 DPI inkjet disc label printer for use on inkjet-coated media. And both are available in separate Macintosh and WIndows versions. The primary difference is that the Windows CD/DVD combo version uses a Pioneer A06 mechanism, which supports DVD-R and DVD+R, while the Macintosh version uses a Pioneer A05, which does not have the ability to write DVD+R. Also, as of this writing, the only the Windows version supports Primera's optional Kiosk Mode kit, which allows you to double the capacity of the unit to 50 discs. For this review, we're examining the Mac version of the base CD/DVD configuration.

Setting up the Bravo Disc Publisher is a simple affair. Connect up the cables, run the software installer, and you're good to go. The Bravo system requires both a FireWire (400) and USB (1.1) connection. (Both cables, plus AC adapter, are included.) The DVD burner is connected through FireWire, and the disc printer is connected through USB. As with all inkjet printers I've encountered, the printer on the bravo Disc Publisher is highly susceptible to line noise and attenuation, magnified by the problems inherent with USB technology in general, so you will need to keep it in close proximity to your computer and route it through one high-quality, full-power USB hub at most. Ideally, if it at all possible, you'd want to connect it directly to one of the USB ports on your host system to avoid device errors, which I'll cover below.

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