MCE offers DVD/CDRW combo, decoder card for older PBs

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Jealous of your iBook-using friends who can play DVDs and burn CDs on their new laptops? If you've got a PowerBook G3, who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? MCE Technologies LLC announced today that they're shipping products designed to give Wall Street and Lombard-era PowerBook G3 models a new lease on life. The company said that its Xcarét Pro Expansion Bay DVD/CDRW and DVD Decoder Cards are now shipping. According to MCE, they're available as "Limited Editions" as limited quantities for a limited time only.

The Xcarét Pro Expansion Bay DVD/CDRW drive fits into the PowerBook G3's expansion slot, and provides it with the ability to play back DVD-ROMs and CD-ROMs, as well as to master CD-R media. The expansion bay drive has been developed for the right-hand expansion interface in Wall Street-model PowerBook G3 systems (circa 1998) -- the 300, 292, 266, 250, and 233MHz models. The Combo Drive writes CD-Rs at 4x, burns CD-RW media at 4x, reads DVD-ROMs at 6x, and reads CD-ROMs at 24x.

The DVD Decoder CardBus Card has been developed to enable DVD playback that works with the lower PC card slot of 1998-vintage "Wall Street" PowerBook G3s as well as the single PC card expansion slot available on 1999-era PowerBook G3 "Lombard" models operating at 333MHz. These PowerBook models lack built-in DVD decoder hardware. The device is an MPEG-2 decoder card that decodes video data found on commercial DVDs and displays the images on the PowerBook's screen at 30 frames per second.

MCE Technologies president Arnold Ramirez noted that since shipping the Xcarét Pro 2000 Expansion Bay DVD/CDRW Combo Drive for the Lombard and Pismo systems, his company's customers have clamored for a similar product for even older Wall Street-style PowerBook G3s.

"We are happy for the opportunity now to fulfill those requests as well as to support a machine with such a large and devoted following," said Ramirez.

The MCE Xcarét Pro Expansion Bay DVD/CDRW Combo Drive carries a retail price of US$449. The price includes the drive, Roxio Toast CD mastering software, owner's manual, one CD-R and one CD-RW media, and a protective carrying case. MCE noted that the drive works with Mac OS 8.6 through Mac OS X, and is supported by Apple's iTunes and Disc Burner software. The DVD Decoder CardBus Card carries a retail price of $99.

This story, "MCE offers DVD/CDRW combo, decoder card for older PBs" was originally published by PCWorld.

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