Next month, Sony will ship what it claims is the world's first external DVD recorder that can also operate without a host computer.
Sony's DVDirect ships with a suite of Windows XP/2000 DVD authoring and CD burning tools. It hooks up a PC using a USB 2.0 link. The drive supports DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW. 'Plus' support also covers dual-layer media recording at 2.4x, single-layer recording at 16x and rewriting at 4x. DVD-R recording runs at 8x, rewriting at 4x. The drive contains 8MB of buffer RAM, with buffer under-run prevention technology.
The drive can also be connected to a camcorder or VCR for tape-to-disc recording real time. However, while the machine will encode video in MPEG 2 format - automatically creating new chapters every five, ten or 15 minutes, if you wish - it only supports DVD+R single- and dual-layer discs, which potentially limits discs' playback on domestic DVD players.
News source: The Reg