Siren DVD Duplication Station test and review

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Siren DVD Duplication Station

Another contender for the big burning marathon is Siren's standalone DVD Duplication Station. But is complete independence really the right way to go?

The second DVD duplication solution to reach us at Computer Video was Siren's DVD Duplication Station, which takes a very different approach to the task of making large numbers of DVD and CD copies. Unlike the Primera device, this machine has no printer for decorating disc faces. It does, however, carry seven multi-format DVD burners.
At first glance, the unit looks like a PC - being housed in an uninspiring beige tower case. But, around the back, there are no connections apart from power sockets (one input, one output) - and the front is just a collection of DVD disc trays, broken only by a small central control panel with an LCD and, along the bottom, a row of 10 LEDs. The model reviewed here carries one DVD-ROM drive for reading and seven DVD burners, but cheaper models are available with fewer burners, or CD writers. As everything is based around accessible EIDE technology, the cheaper units are easily upgradeable with more burners (up to the maximum of seven) as and when they're needed.

Another thing that sets the Duplication Station apart from Bravo DVD Publisher is that it works standalone - independent of a PC. Indeed, there's no means to connect it to a computer for burning. While some potential users might feel disappointed that they can't output projects directly from their authoring software to seven DVD discs, the approach has the obvious advantage that your computer is free to work on while discs are being duplicated. With Primera's solution, there's nothing you can do with the host system until all discs are burned and printed. On the downside, however, the Duplication Station has no disc auto-changer, so discs have to be changed between burning sessions, and disc printing must be carried out separately.

Siren's DVD Duplication Station is a great tool for anyone who finds themselves repeatedly running off multiple copies of DVD projects. The appeal becomes clear when you consider that, even with 2x media, seven discs took 22 minutes to burn - as opposed to two and a half hours if they'd been one at a time. While the price tag is quite hefty, it's readily justifiable if you need this sort of functionality. Our only real grumble about the unit is that burning speeds can't be selected manually by the user. While we've had no problems burning our video projects at full speed, many readers feel safer sticking to single-speed writing, hoping to prevent errors and maximise player compatibility. And perhaps it's these people that need a duplication tower most of all, as they're really going to feel the sting when running off multiple copies! On the whole, though, this is a great machine and one that's sure to appeal to many freelance professionals.

Peter Wells

Read the full review in February 2004's Computer Video magazine.



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Primera Bravo DVD Publisher
Siren DVD Duplication Station
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Canopus Edius 1.5

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