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Seiko launches video printer line

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Seiko Instruments has launchedthe first of a new line of video printers that support both dyesublimation and thermal transfer printing, using the same engine.San Jose, CA-based Seiko's Professional ColorPoint 2 VSF includesa video interface and 11 x

Seiko Instruments has launchedthe first of a new line of video printers that support both dyesublimation and thermal transfer printing, using the same engine.San Jose, CA-based Seiko's Professional ColorPoint 2 VSF includesa video interface and 11 x 17-inch format that could be usefulfor medical applications such as ultrasound and nuclear medicine,according to Mike Nelson, product manager.

Dye sublimation printing technology has picked up quickly inthe medical market in the past two years, but most of those productsare in the 8 x 10-inch format, according to Nelson. ProfessionalColorPoint 2 VSF offers the larger tabloid format, which can beuseful in modalities such as ultrasound because users can placeup to 12 images on one page.

Switching from the higher resolution dye sublimation mode tothe cheaper thermal transfer mode is as simple as changing thetoner cartridge and paper tray in a laser printer, according toNelson. The printer's resolution is 300 dots per inch in bothmodes.

The unit's video interface allows for speedy printing, he said.Images can be downloaded from the scanner's CRT in less than fourseconds, which is quicker than digital interfaces, according tothe company.

Seiko expects that most medical users of the printer will preferto use the dye sublimation mode exclusively, Nelson said. Theprinter is also being marketed in other industries, such as inpublishing, where the ability to switch between modes would bemore desirable.

One drawback to Professional ColorPoint 2 VSF is the high costof prints in the dye sublimation mode: $7 per 11 x 17-inch print.The larger format is also a novelty for nuclear medicine and ultrasoundclinicians accustomed to the 8 x 10-inch format.

"It's a little bit of an investigation on our part tounderstand where this product might be of big interest,"Nelson said. "It's going to be interesting because it isthe first tabloid product."

The cost of the tabloid-size prints could be offset by theability to place a large number of images on one page, he said.Other products now under development in the Professional ColorPoint2 line will address medical applications more directly.

The list price of Professional ColorPoint 2 VSF is $17,999.The printer will be sold through Seiko's direct sales networkas well as through OEMs.

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