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CenDyne Broadens Line Into CE

CenDyne will expand from its optical drive product roots and add home networking, PC graphic cards and several new CE devices to its product mix in the coming months.

Ed Meadow, CenDyne’s president, said at RetailVision, held here March 25-28, that the first products will be a DVD burner capable of both the -RW and +RW format media, and a four SKU line of PC graphics card. These will be followed in May by what CenDyne is calling an Active VideoDisk, a hard drive based PVR. In June three DVD-based home recorders, also dual format, will ship. The company also plans to enter the wireless home networking market with a variety of 802.11b devices.

CenDyne was founded in 1999 and has primarily marketed CD and DVD burners under the CenDyne and Verbatim brand names at various office superstores and on the Web. NPD ranked it No. 1 in CD-RW sales for January with 16.5 percent of the market.

The +RW/-RW PC drive will carry a $299 suggested retail price. It will sell under the Verbatim brand, which CenDyne licenses from blank media maker Verbatim/ Mitsubishi Chemical.

The four video cards will carry suggested retail prices between $69 to $299, Meadows said, with the entry-level model having 64MB of onboard memory. The higher-end models will have 128MB or 256MB and connect through a PC’s AGP. Meadows said CenDyne intends to directly compete against category heavyweights ATI and nVidia.

The Active VideoDisk PVR devices will come in several varieties. One type will have removable 2.5-inch hard drives with capacities starting at 40GB. Meadows said the intention is for people to be able to move the drive from one to another. There also will be a version with a conventional hard drive with capacities ranging up to 200GB. Prices for these products will fall between $299 and $499 and they will ship in May.

CenDyne’s home networking offerings will center on two areas. In late spring it will ship a wireless device for connecting to the PS2 and Xbox game systems. These will be joined in June by wireless networking cards, hubs, routers and a PCMCIA card. Initially these will use the 802.11b specification, but Meadows said the products will be upgraded to 802.11g when that specification is finalized.