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Afreey DD-4012E

  May 15, 2001 Author: Tim Zakharov  
Special thanks go to Afreey, Inc. for providing our evaluation unit.


Before we begin examining Afreey's DD-4012E, let's take a brief historical look at DVD-ROM technology. DVD-ROM drives have been on the market for about 4 years now. When the technology was introduced, there was excitement in the air about promised speed and capacity improvements over the CD-ROM standard.

Indeed, the DVD standard offers capacities in the gigabytes (as opposed to the 650MB CD-ROM standard), as well as much improved transfer rates (today's 16X DVD speeds break 20 MB/sec, whereas a typical 56X CD reader barely breaks 8 MB/sec). Don't forget the ability to read standard CD-ROMs.

There seemed no reason for the DVD-ROM to not overtake the CD-ROM.

However, it's four years later and the two technologies still co-exist. For various reasons, there's been a continuous wait-and-see game played out between software developers, optical drive manufacturers, computer makers, and of course, the consumers themselves.

The software developers face the reality of limited budgets. Nearly everyone has a CD-ROM drive, but only a minority has DVD-ROMs. If developers place their software on DVD, they risk missing out on a huge majority of their audience. If they put their titles on both CD and DVD, they must pay the added expense of such actions, with questionable returns. Only a relative handful of software companies have taken such risks. Today, retail outlets like CompUSA and Best Buy typically carry no DVD-ROM software titles at all. A consumer's best bet for locating software on DVD is to search the Internet for online vendors who may carry such titles.

To this day, DVD-ROM drives' number one attraction is the ability to play DVD movies on one's computer. Some even go so far as to output movie playback from their computers to their entertainment centers.

Afreey's main focus is on optical technology. In fact, their product lineup is limited strictly to CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, and DVD players. They pride themselves in designing the most crucial components in their products, such as servo controls and mechanism modules. Afreey enjoys a reputation for some of the best digital audio extraction speeds. In fact, their 56X CD-ROM drive recently seized the top spot on SR's own Leaderboard. So how does their top DVD-ROM drive perform? Let's find out!



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