New Take on Digital Video Converter has Encoding Capabilities

Plextor Adds Hardware DivX Encoding Capabilities to ConvertX Digital Video Converter

Plextor has announced the PX-M402U, a new version of their ConvertX digital video converter that includes DivX hardware encoding. The device attaches to computers via USB 2.0 and imports video from composite and S-Video sources in NTSC, PAL and SECAM television standards. The ConvertX digital video converter supports MPEG-1, -2 and -4 in addition to DivX. The included software bundle features InterVideo WinDVD Player and WinDVD Creator. The Plextor ConvertX digital video converter retails for $159 and is available now.

8X DVD Burners Today, Dual-layer Tomorrow?

The 8X DVD burners that we discussed last issue aren’t the only ones on the market. Here are a few more notable 8X DVD burners that have made their way onto store shelves. We’re positive this list will only get longer as time goes on.

However, bear in mind that there are not very many 8X blank DVDs on the market yet, so supplies are currently somewhat short and prices are still on the high side. Is 8X the upper limit? It seems so (for now): dual-layer DVD burners are definitely going to be the next generation.

Don’t forget to check out our April issue for our complete DVD burner manufacturer listing, as well as our buyer’s guide on DVD authoring software packages.

BenQ‘s DW800A was one of the first 8X DVD+R drives on the market. The $199 drive also writes DVD+RW discs at 4X and doubles as a 24X CD burner. The drive features an 8MB buffer and includes Nero Express disc authoring and burning software.

Creative‘s DVDRW DUAL 8x drive ($200) burns DVD+Rs at 8X, DVD-Rs and DVD+RWs at 4X, DVD-RWs at 2X and CD-Rs at 40X. Ahead’s Nero Burning ROM 6 software is prominently featured in the bundle.

HP has released the dvd400i, a $199 IDE burner and the $279 dvd400e, which includes both FireWire and USB 2.0 ports. Both drives burn DVD+Rs at 8X and DVD+RWs at 4X. The drives include a thorough software bundle, including ArcSoft ShowBiz 2, muvee autoProducer, Sonic RecordNow and Cyberlink PowerDVD.

Memorex has introduced the True 8X burner ($169), which burns both DVD-R and DVD+R at 8X. The drive includes a 2MB buffer.

TDK now offers 8X internal IDE ($280) and external FireWire/USB 2.0 ($370) versions of its popular IndiDVD line of burners. The drives burn DVD+R at 8X, DVD-R and DVD+RW at 4X, DVD-RW at 2X and CD-R at 40X. The drives follow in TDK’s tradition of fast audio extraction speeds, yielding 40X audio extraction along with 40X CD-R burning. The drives include 2MB buffers.

Apple Announces Final Cut Express 2 at MacWorld

As we were closing this article, Apple had just announced Final Cut Express 2 at the annual MacWorld Expo in San Francisco. The new version includes enhancements for Mac OS X 10.3 and adds Final Cut Pro 4’s RT Extreme rendering engine and color correction tools. FCX 2 is available now for $299. Existing FCX users can upgrade for $99.

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