Primeta Bravo II DVD Publisher test and review

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Primera Bravo II DVD publisher

Making numerous copies of DVD projects can be a tedious business. Primera's Bravo II disc-duplicator-cum-printer turns the job into an automated process. But who could justify the £2,000 price tag?

Freelance video makers and DVD authors are often called upon to deliver a batch of discs for clients. In the case of wedding videos and corporate presentations, the run won't be big enough to justify the cost of commercial pressing, but the process of burning 15 or 20 discs one after the other can be a frustrating waste of time and resources.
A few months ago, we examined two different approaches to small-scale DVD replication. One was the DVD Duplication Station - a tower unit from Siren featuring eight drives - one DVD-ROM drive and seven burners. The other was Primera's Bravo DVD Publisher - a unit combining a single DVD burner, a disc printer, and a robot arm to move discs from one step to the next. Siren's solution promised to deliver seven discs in the time it would normally take to make one, Primera's took longer over each disc but could not only deliver larger quantities unattended but also printed directly to discs.
Primera's second-generation duplicator-cum-printer, Bravo II, sees some basic improvements over the original - in particular a more up-to-date multi-format DVD burner (a Pioneer DVR-A07) and USB 2.0 support - but the basic premise is unchanged. There are two spindles on which discs are stacked - under normal conditions, up to 25 blanks are stacked on the right and finished discs are delivered over to the left. For larger runs, the unit offers a kiosk mode in which both sides are filled with blanks and the burned product slides out of the front of the unit into a receptacle sold as an optional extra.
Bravo II, like its forerunner, is available for Mac and Windows PCs, the only difference being the supplied software bundle. The Windows version reviewed here comes with Sonic Solutions' PrimoDVD 2.0 (previously Prassi PrimoDVD) for disc burning, and SureThing CD labeller for disc-face printing. The Mac version features Charismatic Engineering's Discribe software for burning, plus Discus for label design and printing. The unit can also be bought as CD-only and printer-only versions.

The potential for Bravo II is vast - from DVD Video, through promotional CD-ROMs to audio CDs. Stand-alone duplication towers make shorter work of the disc burning process and don't tie up your PC in the process, but Bravo's strength is its ability to create an attractive professional printed disc with minimal fuss. Not only is the robotic device impressive, but the level of integration between hardware and software is first-rate. It's rare that we see such specific hardware support within an OEM software application. Possibly the biggest disappointment with Bravo II is its price. A ticket of £2,000 puts it well out of reach of most video enthusiasts, but those that make money from the craft should give it serious consideration.

Peter Wells

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


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Primera Bravo II DVD
Apple DVD Studio Pro 3
Neuston Virtuoso MC-500
Canopus ProCoder 2

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