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Plextor
Founded 1985
Industry Computer hardware
Products CD and DVD writers
Website www.plextor.com

Plextor (プレクスター Purekusutā ?) is a brand best known for its optical disc recorders. The brand name is used for all products manufactured by the Electronic Equipment Division and Printing Equipment Division of Shinano Kenshi. The brand was formerly known as TEXEL by which name it introduced its first CD-ROM optical disk drive in 1989. The brand is used for CD and DVD burners, CD/DVD media, network hard disks, portable hard disks, digital video recorder, floppy disk drives, and USB flash memory products.

Contents

Products

Plextor was generally regarded as being one of the highest quality producers of optical drives. This had been due to the outstanding durability of their own early products. This quality was reflected in their prices, which are some of the highest in the marketplace. In recent years, Plextor seems to have dropped development and manufacturing of their own DVD burner drives and usually rebrand low-quality drives of other manufacturers. Despite its price, Plextor was late in DVD-RAM support (ironically, in later models such as PX-760, PX-755, PX-716, such support is removed, although the Sanyo chipset supports DVD-RAM). Its product line also included PX-OE100E PlexEraser, a disc erasing drive. The current price difference between a Plextor branded product and its OEM equivalent is about three-fold.

Software products include PlexTools.

In 2007, Plextor was rumored to be abandoning the consumer CD and DVD optical disk drives (ODDs) business to concentrate on other product lines.[1] As a part of the reorganization, the production of optical disk drives would be reduced to 10% of the peak production levels and the company would concentrate its business on industrial equipment and the Plextalk digital sound recording playback equipment for the blind. In response to the rumors, Plextor issued a press release reaffirming their commitment to remain a leading manufacturer of optical disc drives for business customers as well as consumers.[2]

In drives which have been rebranded, the original outstanding functions of Plextools are not supported. Examples below:

  • Plextor PX-750A is a TEAC DV-W516E.
  • Plextor PX-800A is a Sony NEC Optiarc AD-7170A.
  • Plextor PX-B300SA is a LG GGC-H20L.

Threats to software volunteers

Plextor has introduced 'protected commands' (Q-Check functions) in PX-755 and PX-760, which controls features such as GigaREC and SilentMode quality checks. According to Alexander Noé, developer of PxScan and PxView, the commands were designed to prevent these features from being used on alternative operating systems and applications. The commands in question are implemented in standard MultiMedia Command Set - 3 (MMC-3) command set, so they are not really secret. However, the drives require retrieving a code, then sending another one, calculated from the received one, back to the drive; otherwise, those commands are rejected by the drive.

In May 2005, Alexander Noé and Eric Fernandez (under the name zeb), the author of PxLinux, received a letter from a legal firm based in Brussels on behalf of Shinano Kenshi, the Japanese company that develops PlexTools and PlexTools Pro, for removing the software. The letter accused Noé and zeb of:

  • Using "unfair commercial practices" because they allegedly compared and announced that their software is an alternative for PlexTools.
  • Harming the company's "good name and fame" because of the alleged comparisons between PxScan and PlexTools.
  • Infringing various intellectual rights of the company, including "The right of reproduction, translation, adaptation, arrangement and any other alteration of a computer program and the reproduction of the results thereof as well as the right to control all and any form of distribution and dissemination. Infringement of the author rights (and where applicable, copyright) in relation with protected interfaces. The trademark of the company".

Furthermore, when using PX-755/760 firmware versions 1.0.4 or above, third party tools can no longer detect the result of the using bitsetting commands.

External links

References

  1. ^ X-bit labs - Plextor Set to Exit CD and DVD Drive Consumer Market
  2. ^ 403 Forbidden
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