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Creative upgrades DVD drive

The Encore product boasts improved features and a significantly lower price.

Creative Labs released a new version of its DVD drive with improved features and a significantly lower price tag.

The new drive, dubbed Encore, comes with a video/audio PC card and two DVD-ROM titles. Unlike its predecessor, released in March, Encore can connect to a television and reads CD-R discs.

Creative's proprietary DynamicXtended Resolution, or DXR, provides line-doubling to 60 frames per second for a sharper screen image. The new drive also features a 20X CD-ROM, twice as fast as the old one.

DVD is expected to drive the so-called convergence of various computer and entertainment technologies by replacing video tapes, compact discs, and CD-ROM.

The Creative drive has an estimated street price of $379, matching the kit featuring a Toshiba drive and sold by Jazz Multimedia. Sony and Philips Electronics offer kits with the Sigma Designs decoder for $599. Diamond Multimedia's DVD kit sells for $399.95. The first version of Creative's product was introduced at $499.