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Pioneer Offers 8x Dual-Layer Blu-ray Writer

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

Earlier today, Pioneer introduced the BDR-2203, its internal 8x dual-layer Blu-ray writer, however general consumers may tremble at the knees by the sight of its monstrous pricetag.

Earlier today, Pioneer introduced the BDR-2203, its internal 8x dual-layer Blu-ray writer, however general consumers may tremble at the knees by the sight of its monstrous price tag.

Looking for a way to archive a crazy amount of data? Then Pioneer's BDR-2203 may be the ticket, its latest internal Blu-ray disk drive that features 8x dual-layer write support. What that means to consumers is that they can store up to 50 GB of data on one Blu-ray disk. According to the company, it will take users 15 minutes to write 25 GB of information to a single-layer BD disk; 30 minutes to write 50 GB of data using the new writer. However, the drive doesn't come cheap, requiring consumers to fork over a whopping $249.99. Is it worth it? Perhaps so, but general consumers may want to wait a while.

“As one of the earliest advocates of Blu-ray Disc technology, Pioneer recognized the many advantages the format could have for consumer and professional users, which has culminated in our development of one of the industry’s most robust BD writers to date,” said Steve Cohn, director of optical disc sales for Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “When considering that a dual-layer Blu-ray Disc is equivalent to ten single-layer DVDs, our BDR-2203 is a viable PC upgrade for those who are looking to enter this new era of HD playback, storage and picture performance in every facet of their life.”

In addition to the hardware, the BDR-2203 comes packed with CyberLink software: PowerDirector, PowerDVD, and Power2Go. CyberLink's PowerDirector enables end-users to capture, edit, and burn high-definition and widescreen formatted video. PowerDVD, on the other hand, is nothing more than a commercial media playback tool which usually comes bundled with PC systems and internal DVD/Blu-ray drives. Power2Go is CyberLink's all-media disc burning software, allowing users to perform drag-and-drop burning, audio file conversion, video disc authoring. And more.

As for the specifics of the drive, the BDR-2203 indicates that the drive is capable of burning up to 8x using BD-R and BD-R DL discs, and up to 2x using BD-RE and BD-RE DL discs. Additionally, the drive reads up to 8x speed on BD-ROM/BD-ROM DL, BD-R, and BD-RE discs, and up to 6x on BD-R DL and BD-RE DL media. As for serving the DVD consumers, the drive writes up to 16x speed on DVD-R/+R, up to 8x on DVD-R/+R (DL), up to 8x on DVD+RW, up to 6x on DVD-RW, and up to 5x on DVD-RAM. Working as a CD drive, the BDR-2203 writes up to 32x on CD-R, and up to 24x on CD-RW.

Pioneer said that the Blu-ray drive is shipping this month, so expect the BDR-2203 to hit your local electronics store soon.

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  • 0 Hide
    bustapr , April 15, 2009 8:04 PM
    $250 is hard to waste these days for something, although a little bit worst can be found at $150.
  • 5 Hide
    scook9 , April 15, 2009 8:06 PM
    unless i have missed something, that price isnt high, its amazing for a drive of these characteristics.....considering that they have been at this price anyway for this speed at that price is great. Hopefully it is not too loud

    just my 2 cents
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , April 15, 2009 8:11 PM
    When you said the drive didn't come cheap, I was already imagining a $500-1000 price tag. Honestly I don't think $249.99 for a dual-layer BD is that bad. We purchased our first CD burner in 1999 for the same price back when it was fairly new. And I also remember DVD burners fetching about the same price when we were looking at them. It may be worth it to someone who wants to start archiving lots of data.

    Having said that, I'd probably wait until a price drop or two until I'd get one for myself. Since there isn't an OS that natively supports Blu-ray playback, I don't mind waiting anyway.
  • Display all 21 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    HermDawg , April 15, 2009 8:16 PM
    $250 is not a bad MSRP for an 8x BD-R burner. That's on par for what's out there on the streets for 8x BD burners. Plus if Pioneer says $250 it doesn't mean $250 from online retailers. I would expect the street price for this drive less than that.
  • 1 Hide
    mavroxur , April 15, 2009 8:38 PM
    Doesnt seem like a horrible price really. Descent specs/price point imo
  • 3 Hide
    pug_s , April 15, 2009 8:41 PM
    The problem is not the price of the burners, but for the disc themselves. If you want to buy a bd-r, it cost about $5 for each disc. My guess is that unless the price goes down to say about $1 per disc, there's going to be little interest in buying these discs.
  • 0 Hide
    tacoslave , April 15, 2009 9:12 PM
    double headers again *smacks Parrish with a newspaper roll* thats the 3rd time today.
  • 0 Hide
    solymnar , April 15, 2009 9:53 PM
    I was thinking the exact same thing pug.

    For the storage space it IS cheap. But a company won't use it for a backup solution until there is data showing how long the DLBR disc will reliably read, and a consumer won't likely go for it when they can just get a second and third hard drive that is likely far larger than the one they currently use for less than the cost of this drive (ignoring media price) and just backup data to the alternate hard drive/s, easier, cheaper, and quicker.

    That leaves people who want to burn HD movies. I have no clue how large that market is but I doubt its terribly large.
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , April 15, 2009 10:05 PM
    i personally am done with spinning disks and moving objects, flash is the way of the future, taking 30 mins for a disk to burn sounds to unreal for me, im thinking more like 5.

    just have games released on thumbdrives, and all shall be swell
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 15, 2009 10:16 PM
    Bandwidth requirements for most things I'd put on a bluray disc and cost of bluray discs are the two reasons I can't afford one of these.

    External HDDs, HTPCs, thumbdrives, and the much lower cost of DVDs are the reasons I'll continue to live without until the above factors change.

    For me, the 250$ price tag is not a determining factor.
  • 0 Hide
    t_wilson , April 16, 2009 1:09 AM
    When I started reading this article, I was preparing myself for a price tag north of $1000. Being able to burn 50GB on a disk with a $250 drive sounds good to me.
  • 0 Hide
    QEFX , April 16, 2009 2:30 AM
    As many have stated $250 isn't that bad for a dual layer BR burner.

    For business this is a great back-up option. A tape drive with a GB capacity would be more expensive and take much longer to archive & restore.

    For home users, bulk dual layer BDRom disks run $25-30 each, so if you can afford to pick up a 10 pack, the burner's price is nothing.
  • 0 Hide
    enewmen , April 16, 2009 2:39 AM
    I whined about the lack of recordable media before and I'll whine again until the dual layer and 16 layer disks are affordable.
    Until then, I'm happy to see the progress in burners.
  • -1 Hide
    blackbeastofaaaaagh , April 16, 2009 4:15 AM
    DVD disks have never been archival quality. Most people who are serious about data retention still store important files to blank CD disks. I would how error/damage prone Blu-Ray will be?
  • 1 Hide
    enewmen , April 16, 2009 4:58 AM
    ^ DVDs are more durable and have a longer shelf life than CDs. I already lost a few CDs by oxidation.
    Blu-Rays are promosed to be more durable than DVDs with a shelf life of 50+ years.
    I'm waiting for the dual layer and 16 layer disks to be affordable so I can start backing-up to disks.
  • 0 Hide
    blackbeastofaaaaagh , April 16, 2009 7:24 AM
    > I already lost a few CDs by oxidation.
    Never had that happen to me (knock on wood). Were they all a particular brand of disc? I've never had a problem with MAM-A silver discs. For really important stuff, I use their gold discs.

    Why do you believe DVDs are more reliable? It is my understanding that they use the same substrate technologies. CD's definitely have a lot more redundancy built in to them than DVD. You really have to put a lot of scratches on a CD to get it to fail whereas even small smudges can cause DVDs to have bit errors.
  • 0 Hide
    enewmen , April 16, 2009 9:39 AM
    There is a lot more bits on DVDs than CDs that make CDs seem more difficult to damage. But for shelf-life, oxidation is the killer. Back up all CDs, DVDs, BRs to .ISOs anyway..
    Yes, the gold disks should last for 100+ years(at least the life of the disk)
  • 0 Hide
    roholidays1 , April 16, 2009 9:50 AM
    I have bought Pioneer BDR-202BK for about the same price 250$ a few month ago, so considering the dual layer thing, increased speed, is not a bad price at all. The only problem I see with Blue Ray is the lack of disks where I am now, and the price for them now. Considering that you pay for a blank disk as much as you would pay for an original DVD with any movie, I say that they seem a little before their time. Good for backing up data, but not worthy yet since a decent 1 TB HDD cost much less. So.. is yet a device without customers.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 16, 2009 11:56 AM
    The price IS NOT ok in terms of storage price! Not in terms of $/GB. You can get 1TB of storage for less than $100 today. So lets see at $5 a disk - how many disks you would have to buy to get 2.5TB of data - lets see thats 50GB a disk - 50 disks at lets say $5 a disk - $250 + $250 for the burner - that's $500. Whereas in hard disk space it would only be $250, or less. So I can buy double the hard drive space for duplicate data storage to ensure a lack of data loss and I don't have to bother burning 50 disks, or swapping 50 disks when I want to use them. I realize there are other uses for Blue Ray, and that ramping further to more storage helps, but $250 for the burner is still much too high in terms of simple storage power.
  • 0 Hide
    4c1dr41n4 , April 16, 2009 3:24 PM

    Even if the burner was for free, $5 is the price of a SINGLE layer BD-R. This means 1 TB costs $100 in HDD, but $200 in BD-R. If the data is important, you can RAID 1 HDDs and still have the same cost.

    Besides, handling and retrieving data from one or two HDDs is much more practical than from 40 discs.

    DVD-Rs are still the cheapest way for consumers to backup their data (in GBs/$), though you can quickly get lost in the piles of discs if you want to handle large quantities of data, so I still prefer HDDs. Just make sure the important stuff is in more than one.

    Backing up data in BD is only going to become interesting when media becomes dirty cheap, as has happened to DVDs.
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