Buffalo is claiming "world's first" with the upcoming release of its portable BDXL drive, the BRXL-PC6U2-BK drive. The device is slated to launch first in Japan by the end of the month for 23,205 Yen. However, there's currently no indication of when the drive will land here in the States, or if it will sell for a comparable $286 USD.
For the uninitiated, BDXL (RE4) is a new Blu-ray specification defined back in June 2010 that allows capacities of 100 GB (three layers) and 128 GB (four layers) for write-once BD-R discs, and 100 GB for rewritable BD-RE discs.
"By using the existing Blu-ray technologies, we have created a long-term and stable solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images," said Victor Matsuda, Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee chair.
According to Buffalo, the new slim and compact drive can burn data to these new discs at 4x speed. The only drawback is that the drive requires two USB 2.0 connections to burn at full throttle, but can still perform at 2x speed by using only one USB 2.0 connection.
But until the price of BDXL discs come down, we bet supporting optical drives like this one won't be in high demand on the consumer front for quite some time. As of December 2010, the price of each 3-layer 100 GB BDXL disc roughly costs around $57 USD a piece... nearly one-fifth the price of the Buffalo BRXL-PC6U2-BK external drive itself.
- I strongly suspect the 2nd USB port is needed to get enough power to *spin* the disc at 4x; that recording speed is still only 144Mbits/s, so USB3.0 isn't going to help on that front.
- even at 4x, that's still an estimated 90 MINUTES to write a 100GB disc; for $57 a disc, I could buy an external USB-powered HDD of comparable size *and* get vastly improved write performance AND get a final product that could work with any computer (BDXLs don't work in regular BD drives).
Why bother with USB 3.0 or eSATA when USB 2.0 can handle the maximum write speed. I wouldn't waste a USB 3.0 port on a drive the won't use it. Why not plug your mouse into a USB 3 port.
This is paving the way for 4K TV and the next evolution of movies to be available. Many say streaming solutions will kill media, but I don't now how NetFlix plans on streaming Dolby TruHD and 4K resolution. As it is, they compress a 50GB movies down to 3-4 gb.
I see this as a welcome step towards to future.
CD costs more than cassettes
US Robotics 14.4 Courier Host is the fastest modem you ever need.
DVDs are more expensive than VHS
The first 1GB drive I ever saw was $999.
The first 42" Plasma TV I saw at a Tweeter was $20,000. People said they'd never catch on. Now Zeke's buying 50"+ at Walmart.
Nay saying = FAIL.
The new tech is always coming. Embrace it. Welcome it.