Pioneer ships first BDXL Blu-ray optical drive
By Paul Ridden
December 21, 2010
Pioneer has announced that it's started shipping the world's first optical personal computer drive capable of reading and writing to the new BDXL Blu-ray format. The integration of additional layers into Blu-ray discs offers a single quadruple-layer storage capacity of up to 128GB, and will likely see the new device head straight for media professionals who need to archive broadcast quality, high-definition video.
First announced on the company's Japanese site in October, the new optical drive more than doubles existing storage capacity and is compatible with BD-R XL and BD-RE XL triple-layer (100GB) and BD-R XL quadruple-layer (128GB) discs. It will also read and write to most other formats, including CD, DVD and standard Blu-ray.
Pioneer has included some proprietary recording and playback enhancement technologies with the Windows-based BDR-206MBK drive, and also bundled some CyberLink software in there. Early birds will also get one 100GB BD-R XL disc free of charge with each drive. It carries a suggested retail price of US$199 and is available direct from the company or via Fry's Electronics.