Formac brings complete DVD-R solution to Mac for $549
By Peter Cohen
Up until now, if you’ve wanted to master and burn DVD-Rs on your Mac, you’ve had a couple of different rather pricey solutions. You could either buy an external DVD-R player and add on an expensive and complex software package like Apple’s DVD Studio Pro, or you could throw the baby out with the bathwater and just replace your Mac all together with a new SuperDrive-equipped system which comes with Apple’s iDVD2 software. Now
Formac Electronic Inc. has announced its own proprietary DVD authoring solution for the Macintosh — the “devideon superdrive.” The devideon supports FireWire-equipped G3, G4, iMac PowerBook and iBook systems and works with Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. It’s a complete end-to-end solution that provides both software and hardware designed for mastering DVDs.
A FireWire-based DVD-R/RW and CD-RW combination drive, the devideon superdrive comes equipped with Formac’s own proprietary DVD authoring software. Formac said the solution has been created to ensure maximum compatibility with existing hardware and operating systems.
The software and hardware are designed to work together exclusively, according to Formac — the software checks for the presence of the proprietary bridge used on the hardware device itself.
Formac Inc. CEO Oliver Bergmann, Ph.D., said that the devideon superdrive is another example of Formac’s push to make high-end technology affordable to Mac users. “The latest product in Formac’s form + function family is in line with the company’s strategy to provide innovative solutions for the Macintosh as the center of the digital lifestyle,” said Bergmann.
The MPEG encoder used by the software converts iMovie files and QuickTime movies into the format required for DVDs. Users can adjust a special control feature to tune the quality of video and audio output — you can define video bit rates between 1.0 and 9.8Mbit and audio frequencies between 32KHz and 48KHz — this results in the ability to store more than 6 hours of video on one standard DVD-R disc, according to Formac.
Additionally, you can preview your DVD project using Apple’s own DVD player software before burning. The devideon superdrive burns DVDs that can be played back on set-top-DVD players and computers with DVD drives, according to Formac, and supports both NTSC and PAL video formats.
The devideon superdrive uses Pioneer’s new DVR-A04 technology, the latest iteration of the same technology used in Apple’s own “SuperDrive”-equipped flat panel iMacs and Power Mac G4s. The drive supports DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R and CD-RW formats.
Look for the Formac devideon superdrive to be available mid-April through Formac’s resellers (and via its online store) for US$549.