Pioneer DVD Recorder Features Progressive Output

Following the successful launch of its DVD-R/RW computer drives, Pioneer has released its first DVD recorder for the US market, the Elite DVR-7000. Camcorder inputs, progressive video output, and instant one-touch recording are among the recorder's attractive features.

The DVR-7000 records on DVD-R (write-once) or DVD-RW (rewritable) discs, both of them format-compatible with computers made by Apple, Compaq, and Sony. 46 member companies of the RW Products Promotion Initiative (RWPPI) support the DVD-R and DVD-RW formats. Pioneer claims that discs recorded on the machine are playable on "most other DVD players and DVD-ROM computer drives. "

The DVR-7000 allows the transfer of camcorder-originated video onto the permanent medium of the DVD-R, or the capture of television shows through its inboard 181-channel cable-ready tuner. VCR+ and a fourteen-day timer allow for unattended recording of favorite TV shows. The machine is also capable of progressive output from prerecorded DVD-video discs, thanks to Pioneer's "PureCinema" technology.

Each recorded disc can contain up to two hours of material in "Video Mode," or six hours of better-than-VHS quality video in "Manual Mode." Partially recorded discs are instantly cued to available recording space, eliminating videotape's need to fast-forward or rewind to find an appropriate starting point for the next recording. Recordings can be indexed and titled for easy access in the future. A Disc Navigation Mode allows quick identification of all recordings through a directory of still images or "thumbnails." From there, it's a simple matter of selecting any thumbnail to play; the thumbnails can be used to create "play lists," and can be edited if recorded onto DVD-RW discs.

Hardware advancements on the DVR-7000 include an IEEE 1394 Digital Video terminal for easy hookup of a DV camcorder. Other terminal inputs and outputs include three audio/video inputs (one on the front panel), three S-video inputs (one on front panel), two audio/video outputs, two S-video outputs, one component video output, one optical and one coaxial digital audio output. The DVR-7000 uses what Pioneer calls "a three-dimensional Y/C separation circuit for high-quality picture recording." Separating the luminance and color difference signals increases the precision of recorded images and reduces noise. The DVR-7000 incorporates an MPEG-2 video encoder for improved picture quality, and Pioneer's Variable Bit Rate Control technology, claimed to perform "ideal video image compression encoding, resulting in significantly improved picture quality compared with conventional Constant Bit Rate control technology." A "Time Base Corrector LSI" is said to insure "jitter-free recordings."

The DVR-7000 also offers high-resolution audio output, thanks to a Burr-Brown 24bit/96kHz digital-to-analog converter. The machine is compatible with Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound formats.

The possibility of creating personal video archives is expected to be one of the DVR-7000's best selling points, according to Pioneer Electronics v.p. Michael Wakeman. " The ability to create your own home movie and archive it on a long-lasting, easy-to-use DVD-R disc is one of the most exciting advancements in consumer electronics since the advent of the DVD itself," Wakeman stated. "The DVR-7000 will help Pioneer . . . confirm DVD as the de facto storage solution at the heart of IT and consumer electronics applications." The Pioneer Elite DVR-7000 sells for approximately $2000.