Company: Primera Technology
Pros: Produces printed discs quickly and without fuss.
Cons: Unimpressive print quality on discs. Poor Mac software.
A blank CD or DVD with the names of your studio and project scrawled across it in marker pen has never been the most professional-looking way to send media for client approval.
Primera offers a solution to this with its Bravo series of devices that combine disc duplicators, label printers, and a geekily-appealing robot arm. These can also be used for short-run jobs that wouldn’t break even if you got them duplicated professionally.
The Bravo SE Disc Publisher is the smallest and least expensive of Primera’s range, about the size and shape of a foot spa. It can hold up to 20 discs, which are moved from their tray one at a time by the arm to the Pioneer DVR-111D burner and then to the printing tray.
Primera has also released the Bravo SE Blu Disc Publisher, which features Pioneer’s BDR-101A Blu-ray Disc burner, though this only works with Windows systems.
While duplicating, this unit works well with both Primera’s own Tuffcoat CD media – samples of which are provided with the unit – and our own Verbatim Photo Printable DVD+Rs. The Bravo SE can print and burn at the same time, so creating three DVD discs in a row took a swift 28 minutes.
Unfortunately, getting to this point can be painful. The included PTPublisher SureThing software for Windows is merely mediocre, but the CharisMac Discribe software is woeful – fiddly, unintuitive and slow to use. Unlike better tools such as Toast, Discribe handles both burning and printing, so you have no option but to use it.
The printed output was also poor compared to what we’ve come to expect from modern inkjets. The printhead outputs at 4,800dpi, but with only three colours to work from (cyan, yellow and magenta) without even a black, it’s never going to be stunning. The detailed greyscale output of LightScribe drives looks more professional to our eyes, though there’s no LightScribe-based equivalent to the Bravo SE.