Pioneer BDR-101A Blu-ray drive review

May 1st, 2006

I've been waiting for a review of one of the Blu-ray drives announced a couple of weeks ago.  PC World has put me out of my misery with a review of the [tag]Pioneer[/tag] [tag]BDR-101A[/tag] [tag]Blu-ray[/tag] drive.

It's a good drive, but then again it should be for $1,000.  The disc write speed was found to be 67 Mbps, which means that it can burn 22GB of data onto a disc in just under 45 minutes.  That's speedy but not a huge improvement on burning DVD discs (OK, you end up with one disc instead of five, but bear in mind that five DVD discs will be a lot cheaper than one Blu-ray disc).

There are a lot of things that are stacked against this drive:

  • It's first generation, expect bugs and for it to be made obsolete real fast
  • All the standards aren't yet fixed (such as some Advanced Access Content System - AACS - features that have yet to be finalized
  • It's expensive
  • Discs are expensive
  • Bundled software is poor to say the least

I would have liked to see a reliability study to see how well it writes disc, because at the price they are selling for I wouldn't want to make coffee coasters!

I'm still trying to figure out who this drive is aimed at.  120GB drives cost about $70 bucks and that's cheaper than one 50GB and one 25GB Blu-ray discs.  Discs are also untested and there's no real-world data on lifespan so using them for backup would be dodgy.  I guess this one's purely for the early adopters!

I think I'll wait for the bugs to the ironed out, for the price to come down and for the price of media to get to a point where it's sensible.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 1st, 2006 at 23:40 and is filed under Kit!. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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