NEC ND-3500A DVD Recorder Reviewed

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Video capturing, editing, authoring and recording is performed with a suite of applications. First, a powerful movie authoring application called NeroVision Express 3 has been developed. This tool allows you to import or capture video files from a digital video camera, TV tuner or video card. Adding titles, credits, background music and personalizing video files with powerful authoring tools is supported. With NeroVision Express 3, you can cut and edit your own movies with spectacular effects in a straightforward manner. When the project is completed, it can burn the final product to DVD (single or double layer), VCD, SVCD, MiniDVD or to the hard drive. For backing up full DVD movies, Nero Recode 2 uses DVD9 (double layer) to DVD5 compression. Recode 2 can maintain or remove any unwanted audio tracks, video titles or subtitles by trimming the movie. Even more powerful is the ability to fit an entire DVD on one CD by converting the video files to Nero Digital MPEG-4, a high-efficiency H.263 MPEG-4 video compression. In addition, 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound can also be converted to Nero Digital Audio to save more disc space. This powerful compression can easily remake a DVD from one or more DVD movies to create a seamless disc like The Godfather trilogy on one DVD.

A system backup utility called BackltUp may be the most valuable application included. It isn't flashy, but it does the laborious task of creating complete system backups that span several CDs or DVDs in either compressed or non-compressed form. BackltUp can schedule automatic backups and password protects your files for security.

If all these applications weren't enough, Nero is further complimented with a DVD movie file player called ShowTime that is better than Windows Media Player and RealOne. A photo management tool and viewer called PhotoShow Express lets you not only create photo albums and shows with music, but you can burn them to disc or share them online via e-mail. For photo editing duties, PhotoSnap lets you crop, rotate, retouch, and apply effects to photos from existing files. Also included is Nero Cover Designer for making jewel case covers and inserts, a burner benchmark tool called CD-DVD Speed and a drive rotational speed control called DriveSpeed.

The Nero MediaHome component allows you to stream content across a LAN from your PC to any machine running Nero's ShowTime media player. MediaHome is designed to integrate seamlessly into the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 architecture, but it will work with most LANs for media center performance as well.

Final Take - Once installed and launched, the StartSmart project manager interface appears at the start of the program and makes it easy to navigate through the many Nero applications. From the StartSmart command center, you have control over what project you want to complete. It may be hard to believe with so many applications under the Nero 6 Ultra Edition umbrella, but the StartSmart interface makes navigating this powerful program easy.

I spent a great deal of time authoring movies, burning DVDs and trying out as many features of Nero 6 as I could. And when the dust settled, I was pleased with
the product. I didn't experience any problems during my testing, but earlier versions reportedly had minor bugs that had been fixed. I was using version 6.6, and upgrades are available for download on the company website to correct flaws and improve upon an already awesome software utility.

My children tend to be destructive with CDs and DVDs. Sometimes, when they
don't know how to remove a disc from the case, the disc "accidentally" breaks in half. Nero Inc. clearly states this product does not copy DVDs with copy protection, but I was able to back-up many of my children's DVDs, thus saving me aggravation and/or replacement costs.

The Nero 6 is a well-rounded, feature-packed digital media software package. It is user-friendly enough for beginners to navigate, but has many advanced features that pros will be sure to love.

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NEC ND-3500A DVD Recorder
Emergency Eject
Horizontal & Vertical Use Tray Loading Mechanism
IDE/ATAPI interface with UltraDMA 33
Read Speed: 16X max. DVD-ROM and
48X max. CD-ROM
Write Speed: DVD+R: 16x max.,
DVD+RW: 4x max., DVD+R9: 4x,
DVD-R: 16x max., DVD-RW: 4x max.,
CD-R: 48x max., CD-RW: 24x max.
Access Time (CD): 120 ms
Access Time (DVD): 140 ms
Audio: Digital-out and line-out at the back
(MPC compatible)
2MB Cache
Media/Mode Supported: DVD-ROM, DVD-R,
CD-Audio, CD Extra, CD Text, CD-I Ready,
CD-Bridge, Photo-CD, Video-CD, Hybrid-CD
5.8"H x 1.65"W x 7.5"D
Weight: 2.2 lbs.
MSRP: $99

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