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PlexTV is a brand new feature designed to add TV compatibility to CD/DVD drives, and has been integrated exclusively in the latest external writer from Plextor.


Available now for approximately £48, the 8X external slim CD/DVD writer boasts a small profile and lightweight design. With USB power, two essential software packages and a 2 year warranty, it is a versatile solution for any user who wants to share, back-up and view media on their TV, projector or other media player – at home, in the office and whilst travelling.

PX-612U Key Features:

* Exclusive PlexTV feature provides direct compatibility with TV/Projectors

* 8X writing speed with full functionality of a high end drive

* Supports all CD and DVD formats

* Slim and lightweight design

* USB powered for portability

* Bundles PlexUtilities and NERO 10 Essentials

View and enjoy multimedia directly from disc to TV with PlexTV:

Many HDTV are able to display content from a wide variety of devices including hard disk drives, cameras and flash drives, but do not recognise optical disc drives. To solve this problem, the PlexTV cleverly translates the output signal to mimic a hard disk drive in order to provide compatibility.

With the PlexTV, users can connect the drive, insert a disc and use the media playback function of their TV, projector, media player or other USB-enabled display in order to browse supported files. Whether gathering with friends and family to look at pictures and videos, or hosting a work presentation, the PlexTV makes it a breeze to view important files on a larger screen with minimum fuss, cost and equipment.

Slim and lightweight with USB power for optimum portability:

With the sleek brushed metal PX-612U, users can enjoy the full functionality of a high end external CD/DVD drive within a slim, lightweight package (less than 300g). The drive operates with USB-power to eliminate the need for bulky cables or mains power, ensuring that users can share, back-up and view essential files – even whilst away from the home or office.

Enjoy advanced features and high quality playback with bundled software:

The PX-612U comes with two software packages which enhance the hardware functions. PlexUtilities offers an array of useful functions to users, including testing and quality measurement of user written or pressed media, advanced disc and drive information and control and fine-tuning of the device. NERO 10 Essentials offers high quality applications for DVD/CD burning and media playback.


The PX-612U with PlexTV is available now and is priced £48 RRP.

The drive comes with 2 years of Plextors ‘Fast Warranty Service’.


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Plextor plan Standalone DVD Writer with Integrated Screen & USB/SD Reader called the PlexEasy.


Here’s the press release:

December 15, 2011 – Plextor (www.plextor-digital.com), a leading brand of high-performance storage and digital media solutions, has today announced plans to differentiate its existing ODD portfolio with a convenient stand-alone optical storage device, the PlexEasy (PX-650US).

Launching in early 2012, the PlexEasy device has been thoughtfully designed for home or office users who are less familiar with computers, but still need to back-up precious data such as digital photos or music.

The intuitive PlexEasy will integrate a compact 8x DVD writer alongside a built-in SD card reader and USB port which allows users to create direct backups from data that is stored on SD Cards or on digital devices such as tablets, smartphones, hard disks, flash drives, camcorders, and digital cameras –even without a PC connection.

Direct transfers between devices without a PC:

PlexEasy will support Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), an image transfer technology integrated into many models of cameras and smartphones – allowing users to burn photos directly from a camera (point-and-shoot or DSLR) or smartphone (iOS, Android, Blackberry etc). The drive’s additional compatibility with mass storage devices enables the connection of MP3 players, flash drives, and external hard disks, so users can transfer videos, music, or other data from an external device to DVD or from an SD card directly onto another external storage device.

Intuitive design and technology for simple, fuss-free back-ups:

Simplicity has been a key focus for Plextor in the development of PlexEasy, which features a user-centric design and is controlled directly by buttons located on the top. When connecting the source device where the original files to back-up are stored, PlexEasy will even automatically present the logical destination medium to transfer files to. So, with just a simple touch invaluable memories can be stored safely or shared with friends and loved ones. Users can even check the status of their transfers using the integrated LCD screen.

Connect to a PC for fully functional DVD burner mode:

Building upon Plextor’s prestigious optical drive technology, PlexEasy can also be connected to a PC or notebook, offering the full functionality of a high-end external DVD burner and delivering benefits even to advanced computer users with 8x writing speed and support for all types of CDs and DVDs.

When using the PlexEasy alongside a notebook or PC, users won’t need to worry about additional power cables as the drive will draw its power from the USB ports using the USB Y-Cable (included in the package).*

Pricing & Warranty:

Plextor will offer 2 years of ‘Fast Warranty Service’ in the EU, Norway and Switzerland for the PlexEasy (and 1 year carry-in in other countries).

The PlexEasy (PX-650US) UK launch is set for the first quarter of 2012. Further details on specifications, pricing, and exact availability will be announced at that time.

*In standalone mode, the device is powered with a 5V /2A AC/DC adapter.

About Plextor

Plextor is a leading brand of high-performance digital media solutions for professionals, consumers and enterprises. Since entering the European market in 1994, Plextor has introduced a number of award winning products, including CD/DVD recordable drives, Blu-ray drives, Portable HDD storage solutions, Media Players and Networked Attached Storage devices.


Today Plextor announced a new 12x Internal Blu-ray Writer called the PX-LB950Sa and it includes software for 3D movie playback.

Here is what Plextor say about the PX-LB950Sa:

The PX-LB950SA is an exceptional high-speed Blu-ray writer, providing both smooth high-definition video playback and large-capacity data storage.

It is able to record a 25 GB single-layer disc in unprecedented 12 minutes, and offers a substantial 50 GB of data storage on each double-layer Blu-ray disc, making the PX-LB950SA the ideal device for high-definition video and other high-data applications.

Every aspect of the PX-LB950SA has been designed for data recording accuracy at 12X, while simultaneously reducing operational noise and vibrations. Each drive is provided with a full range of flexible software tools for Blu-ray and DVD playback and recording, in addition to the powerful PlexUtilities software package.

The fusion of rapid recording speed, high burning accuracy and perfect movie playback, make this drive the ideal selection for Blu-ray storage, or as the centerpiece of a an advanced PC based home theater system.

PX-LB950SA FrontPX-LB950SA Right


Here are the full specs:

Plextor specs

The PX-LB950Sa is available from November across Europe for approximately £154
inc VAT. You can learn more from the Plextor website.

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Microsoft has today quietly released the final version of the Windows Live Essentials 2011 Suite of software.

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If you don’t know what Windows Live Essentials is, here is how Microsoft describe them:

Windows Live Essentials includes free programs from Microsoft for photos, movies, instant messaging, e-mail, blogging, and more. Get them all in one download and get more done with Windows.

Windows Live Essentials requires Windows 7 or Windows Vista. Learn how to upgrade from Windows XP. It includes versions of Messenger, Photo Gallery, Mail, Movie Maker, Writer, Family Safety, and Sync, plus Bing Bar and Messenger Companion. You also get Microsoft Office Outlook Connector Pack and Microsoft Silverlight.

We mentioned the Windows Live Essentials beta earlier in the year.

Downloading and installing Windows Live Essentials 2011 was simple and a lot quicker that the beta.

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You can download the installation software from here. You will need to uninstall the Windows Live Essentials Beta if you had it installed before you install the final version.

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So you may ask yourself why you need an external DVD writer? Well, there could be plenty of reasons. You may have a netbook or other laptop that doesn’t have a DVD drive, or you may have a Windows Home Server that doesn’t have a drive. Whatever the reason, having a small external DVD writer available to use can be a great help.

Yes, there are ways around needing an external drive – such as using USB sticks to install software or copy files, but at the end of the day, having a good old fashioned DVD writer is simple, easy and relatively cheap!

A lot of the external DVD writers out there are quite big, in fact, in some cases are the size of a brick, and then they have their own separate power supplies. If you have a netbook for example, the last thing you want is an external drive that is as big, and even heavier than your actual computer!

This is where the Lite-On 8x External Slim DVD Writer comes into play. It really is tiny, weighs next to nothing and is powered directly from the computer, so no extra power supply to lug around.


Interface: High Speed USB 2.0

Data Transfer Rate :


DVD+R : 8X maximum

DVD-R : 8X maximum

DVD+R DL : 6X maximum

DVD-R DL : 6X maximum

DVD-RAM : 5X maximum

CD-R : 24X maximum


DVD+RW : 8X maximum

DVD-RW : 6X maximum

CD-R : 24X maximum

8X maximum

Access time

Weight : <350g

Buffer Size : 2MB

Colours: White, Black, Red, Blue

Liteon Box - FrontLiteon Box - Back Liteon Box - Side


The box contains only four things – the DVD writer, a USB cable and software disk and quick guide.

Liteon Box Contents

The quick guide is literally a couple of short lines in connecting the drive and installing the software, but that is really all that you need.

The bundled software is Nero 8 Essentials, so you have everything you need to write DVDs. Considering this is a new device it would have been better to have shipped it with Nero 9, just because that is the latest version. And of course, you don’t have to use Nero 8, you could use whatever you wanted, including the built in writing capabilities of Windows.


The drive itself is very small, and in fact is only a little bigger than a DVD.

The front has a single button to open the drive and the back has a single mini USB connection and a small LED light to show you if the drive is on and usable (blue means ok, flashing red means that there is not enough power to use the drive properly).

Liteon - FrontLiteon - Back

Connecting the drive to your computer is simple, just plug one end of the USB cable into your computer and the mini USB end into the drive. If the LED flashes red then you can plug in the additional USB connector into your computer to give additional power.


This is a nice drive, and is very simple to use. Because it is connected via USB it is never going to be as fast as an internal drive, but the chances are that you are considering buying something like this because you cant have an internal drive. It is very quiet, which means if you are going to use to watch movies, for example, it helps!

My only real comment on this drive is the USB cable. It is very short which meant that when I tested it on a desktop PC I literally had it hanging off the front, which is not a good move!

This drive currently retails for around £50, and I can honestly say that if you need an external drive, for any reason, this one is well worth considering.

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I just wanted to welcome a new writer to Using Windows Home Server. His name is Phil Bevan and he comes from Australia. Welcome Phil!

Phil first article will be posted today – so take a look, and give him some good feedback.

Here is a short bio on Phil :

An Englishman by birth Phil Bevan has since moved to Australia where he works as an IT Consultant. He’s never been lucky enough to work for such high-tech companies as Andrew but he once saw Steve Balmer in Sydney and met PC Pro columnist Jon Honeyball in 1999 so he considers things have worked out alright.


He has no qualifications instead preferring to actually do work instead of reading books but this time has to be shared with his love of Computer Gaming which has lead him into the murky world of eSports where he spends his time as a Shoutcaster and Community Liaison trying to be the eSports equivalent of John Mottson.

Since discovering Windows Home Server he’s setup and runs a network based on the device that even “‘er indoors” can use and loves the simplicity, power and flexibility provided.

This is also a good time to remind you that if anyone out there wants to write for us, on any subject, be it a review of your favourite add-in, hints and tips, etc, then drop us an email to andrew @ usingwhs.com (removing the spaces) and introduce yourself.

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