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printing is the way forward for professional looking DIY-authored DVDs.
But how does Odixion's printer compare with the more expensive Epson
printer, the £224 DigiPrinter Universal (DP-02), is based on a
sub-£60 Canon colour model. It can be used with inkjet-printable
discs and also as a conventional paper printer.
Maximum resolution is 2880 x 720dpi (dots per inch) - an improvement
over Odixion's previous, Canon S400-based, DP-04, which offered 1440x720dpi.
The company also makes a professional standalone model, the DigiPrinter
Automatic 60 - aka DigiMatic (DM V2-60) - said to automatically print
up to 50 CD or DVD discs at a time at 2400x1200dpi.
For our tests, we used Odixion's own printable Photo Label CD-R discs
- rather than more expensive DVD media. These are said to be waterproof
and to allow real photo quality printing. Odixion, though, also recommends
Mitsui, Verbatim, Philips, Kodak and Hi-Space printable discs.
The DP-02 has an ink droplet size of seven-picolitres, compared with
the Epson Stylus Photo 950's two-picolitres. As a result, fine detail
can't be expected to be up to the same standard as the Epson. Two Canon
S200 ink cartridge types are used - a BCI-24 (black) and a BCI-24C (cyan,
magenta and yellow). Each carries a chip to store print data. Unfortunately,
the non-refillable cartridges aren't transparent, so the only way to
tell if they're empty is to rely on reports from the printer's firmware.
The print head accommodates 64 nozzles for black and 24 nozzles for
each of the other three colours. The company says that up to 150 discs
can be printed in colour before the cartridges run out, but this will
of course depend on what's being printed.
As a standard printer, the DP-02 accepts glossy photo paper as well
as plain A4, and has a claimed print speed of five pages per minute
in black and three in colour. Our tests, though, dealt only with the
DP-02's direct-to-disc printing capabilities.
The Odixion is over £100 cheaper than the Epson 950 - a significant
saving. But, it isn't purpose-built for disc printing - it's a re-working
of an inexpensive (sub-£60) Canon printer - and it shows.
Disc printing problems arose because of the rather dodgy make-over.
CD-Rs didn't sit securely in the supplied caddy, which was too flimsy
and had to be forced into the back of the printer, displacing the disc.
This in turn meant we had to tweak the disc alignment settings in the
supplied software, and that we had problems with the disc moving around
in the caddy during printing. This is a shame, because the quality of
the disc prints was impressive. The prints on Odixion's own Photo Label
CD-Rs were colourful, sharp and detailed - though with some artefacts
- and dried quickly.
We also weren't happy to see mention of OS X driver compatibility issues
for the DP-02 when, in fact, while the Discus software is OS X 10.2
compatible, the drivers only allow for the printer to operate under
a Classic environment (OS 9) under OS X - not natively.
We can't recommend the Odixion DigiPrinter as a cheaper alternative
to the Epson 950 for printing to DVDs or CDs. Sometimes spending more
is money well spent - opting for the Epson is likely to mean fewer wasted
discs and less wasted ink, and much better results.
Read the full
review in May 2003's Computer Video magazine.
Reviewed in May's issue:
Odixion DigiPrinter Universal
Lightwave 7.5 & 3ds max 5.1
Discreet Combustion 2.1
In May's news:
Edition gains DVD authoring and
Final Cut Pro on a budget
Canopus pro DV/analogue converter
Video Forum 2003 roundup
Faster, quieter dual-G4 PowerMacs
Faster, fitter Cleaner XL
More burn for your bucks
AE 5.5 with Parhelia
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