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handwritten disc label can spoil the look of even the most carefully
crafted DVD video. What's needed is something much more professional,
and thatís whatís promised by the direct-to-disc printing
capabilities of Epson's Stylus Photo 950.
A neatly printed
disc label gives a professional appearance to a DVD video disc, but
the process can be fiddly and time-consuming if it involves the use
of sticky labels. Direct-to-disc printing is the way forward but, until
the recent launch of Epson's Stylus Photo 950, the cost of suitable
printers had been prohibitive.
The £329 Epson offers print resolution of 1440 x 2880 dots per
inch, and edge-to-edge printing on A4 paper as well as simultaneous
roll paper with sheet cutting. It can also print to card up to 2.5mm
thick if fed in straight from the rear. But we were largely concerned
with the 950's direct-to-disc capabilities. These require the use of
suitable full colour printable discs, as is also the case with a more
expensive (£599) A3-capable companion, the Stylus Photo 2100.
For our tests with the 950, we used Sony CDQ-74P1 CD-Rs, though printable
DVDs are a still expensive.
Epson's Print CD V1.0 program offers easy-to-use design tools but is
still in its early stages and needs to be tweaked to remove a few bugs.
Printer setup looks easy on the instructions but can be tricky. What's
really needed is a paper version of the manual for setting up the print-to-disc
side of things.
However, these shortcomings are easy to forgive because the quality
of disc prints is excellent. The Photo 950 is a very attractive proposition
for anyone wanting to produce professional-looking DVD or CD discs in
small runs, and its attraction is further enhanced by its offering double-sided,
roll paper and borderless printing. It isn't cheap compared to many
inkjet printers but, for many video editors, it will be money well spent.
For the full
review, see the November 2002 issue of Computer Video.
Reviewed in November's issue:
Pinnacle Studio 8
Epson Stylus Photo 950
In November's news:
moves to dual-processors
Panasonic £550 set-top DVD-R recorder
upgrade for DV500
JVC FireWire-equipped notebook PCs
capture-to-author DVD program
Formac Mac/Win analogue/DV converter
17in widescreen DVD burner Apple iMac
Canon MV5/5i bundled with Pinnacle Studio 7SE
Pinnacle Pro-ONE and DV500 Edition highlight in Evesham Video Tour 2002
Bug fixes for Apple FCP 3.0.2