Pioneer Elite DVD Recorder To Launch In U.S.

Building on the successful U.S. launch of its DVD-R/RW computer drive, Pioneer is set to release its first DVD recorder for the U.S. market, the Pioneer Elite DVR-7000.

The DVR-7000 puts a wide range of recording and editing functions at consumers' fingertips, including instant one-touch recording without the cumbersome task of cueing a videocassette to the correct location on the tape. With a simple camcorder connection, consumers also can transfer home movies to DVD and archive them on a long-lasting DVD-R disc that can not accidentally be overwritten. The discs recorded on the DVR-7000 can be played back on most other DVD players and DVD-ROM computer drives.

In addition to its recording mechanism, the DVR-7000 plays back DVD-Video discs with Pioneer's proprietary PureCinema progressive scan technology.

The DVR-7000 is based on the DVD-R/RW recording format, which is approved by the standards organization for DVD technology. Much like CD recording technology, DVD-R is a write-once disc for archiving. DVD-RW is the re-writable disc that can be reused as many as a thousand times. Drives that use the DVD-R/RW format are currently available from computer manufacturers including Apple, Compaq and Sony. Following the previous successful introduction of two Pioneer DVD recorders in Japan and many DVD-R/RW computer drives, the DVR-7000 offers consumers the confidence of proven technology.

With a current installed base of DVD drives at 60 million worldwide, consumers have grown used to the superior image quality, better functionality and usability offered by DVD than by videotape. The much-anticipated launch of the Pioneer DVD recorder will provide the same high quality images and convenience to consumers who want to record their favorite television shows or archive their home movies on DVDs.

"With the creation of the DVD-R and DVD-RW formats, Pioneer has captured the imagination of every amateur movie producer. 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," said Michael Wakeman, executive vice president, Pioneer Electronics, Home Entertainment Division.

"The DVR-7000 will help Pioneer deliver against its objective of making digital technology available to a wider audience by facilitating the market's transition from tape to optical disc-based storage. We believe that the product will help confirm DVD as the de facto storage solution at the heart of IT and consumer electronics applications."

The DVR-7000 is capable of several recording modes:

  • Video Mode, using DVD-R/RW discs, allows playback on most existing DVD players and DVD drives. Using Video Mode, consumers can record up to two hours of content on one DVD-R/RW disc.
  • Standard Mode applies MPEG-2 compression technology for real-time recording of high-quality images using DVD-RW discs, and offers numerous editing functions. In Standard Mode, up to two hours of content can be recorded on one DVD-RW disc.
  • Manual Mode is similar to standard mode, however consumers can record from one to six hours of content on a DVD-RW disc, depending on the level of quality desired. Even at the minimum quality level, recording six hours of content on one disc, the image is superior to that of videotape. The Best-Rate Recording feature monitors available space on each disc to automatically calculate the optimum recording rate.

Instant one-touch recording is made easy without the cumbersome task of cueing a videocassette to the correct location on the tape. When a disc is inserted, it automatically searches for recorded content and available recording space, so the consumer doesn't have to go through the process of finding the appropriate place to begin recording.

Consumers can name each recorded section of a disc, creating a title list for future reference. Using the title list, it's simple to locate and play a desired portion of the recorded material instead of fast-forwarding and rewinding through videotape.

In the Disc Navigation Mode, recorded material is identified in a directory of still images or 'thumbnails.' Users can visually select the thumbnail that depicts the content they wish to play. While viewing the directory of images, the user can delete or edit any desired segment of the recorded content. The DVR-7000 also lets users create a 'play list' of scenes they want to see in any desired order.

Other Features of the Pioneer DVR-7000

A Digital Video in/out terminal (IEEE 1394DV) enables easy DV camcorder recording. This allows direct control of the camcorder for editing using the DVR-7000 remote control. This helps to manage an accurate frame level during content transfer. Other terminal inputs and outputs include three audio/video inputs (one on 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.

A 3-dimensional Y/C separation circuit for high-quality picture recording. Video signals, both luminance and color difference, are separated with greater precision for improved color reproduction and reduced noise, resulting in better image quality.

An MPEG-2 video encoder provides dramatically improved picture quality. Variable Bit Rate Control technology, developed by Pioneer, enables the DVR-7000 to perform ideal video image compression encoding, resulting in significantly improved picture quality compared with conventional Constant Bit Rate control technology.

The DVR-7000 offers the Pioneer-designed PureCinema™ circuit, providing a progressive scan output of the highest quality. By processing the DVD signal completely in the digital domain, this circuit requires only one digital-to-analog (D/A) conversion. Conventional A/D and D/A conversions in the progressive scan display are no longer required, avoiding any associated signal degradation.

The Time Base Corrector LSI ensures efficient, jitter-free, high-quality recording. Jitters caused by analog video signals often occur when recording from VHS, 8mm, or other VCR tapes. Pioneer developed a new LSI, incorporating a digital Time Base Corrector which successfully stabilizes the digital signals and removes troublesome jitters, resulting in a high-quality picture recording.

Dolby™ Digital dts™ output for higher quality audio playback and a Burr Brown 96-kHz,/24-bit digital to analog converter for reproduction of DVD sound.

The DVR-7000 offers four-speed fast-forward and fast-reverse as well as 'title skip' for ease of navigation. Four-speed forward and two-speed reverse, repeat and program functions also are offered. Other convenience features include VCR+, fourteen-day seven-event timer, and a 181-channel cable TV tuner.

The DVR-7000 will be available through Pioneer Elite's specialty retailers for a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $2,800 beginning in fall 2001. Pioneer Corporation is a leader in optical disc technology and a preeminent manufacturer of high-performance audio, video and computer equipment for the home, car and industrial markets. Its Vision 2005 business plan focuses on four core business domains including DVD, display technologies, Digital Network Entertainment™ and components. Founded in 1938 in Tokyo, Pioneer Corporation employs more than 29,000 people worldwide. Its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:PIO). Pioneer's U.S. headquarters is located in Long Beach, California.

About the DVD-R/DVD-RW Digital Video Recording Format

The DVD-R and DVD-RW format, approved by the DVD Forum, were designed to achieve compatibility with existing DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives. The format offers immediate and long-range applications for both video and data storage. DVD-R provides maximum compatibility, and DVD-RW offers tremendous flexibility that illustrates the inherent advantages of disc over tape.

Both DVD-R and DVD-RW discs have the same 4.7 GB capacity of DVD-Video discs, however DVD-RW discs can be re-written up to one thousand times while maintaining quality images. DVD-R discs can be recorded only once, so there is no danger that precious images will be inadvertently erased, making DVD-R ideal for archiving. Initially, blank media will sell for approximately $10 for DVD-R discs and $20 for DVD-RW discs. Both DVD-R and DVD?RW media were designed with low-cost manufacturing in mind, which means the price of blank discs for both media types has the potential to become very inexpensive. If sales volumes grow to a high enough level, it's not unreasonable to expect prices to approach current price levels for CD-R and CD-RW blank discs.

DVD-R and DVD-RW are supported by 46 member companies of the RW Products Promotion Initiative (RWPPI), including such leading consumer electronics companies as Sony, Sharp, Kenwood, LG Electronics, Thomson Multimedia and NEC and media companies such as TDK, Maxell and Fuji Photo Film.