Samsung to offer external PC Blu-ray recorder in Q2

San Jose (CA) - Samsung claims it has completed the "technical development" of upcoming Blu-ray disc drives intended for use in PCs. The drives will go into production soon, but will not to support the full feature set of Blu-ray technology, especially as far as storage capabilities are concerned.

Besides basic information, there are few details about the drive available so far. A spokesperson, however, told TG Daily that the drive will be on store shelves sometime in the second quarter of this year and he also was able to provide some clarity on storage capacities. While the press release of this and previous drives are somewhat blurry in terms of which media will be supported, we were told that this first-generation drive will only record on single-layer media with a capacity of 25 GB. 50 GB discs will not be compatible with this first Samsung drive.

Current DVDs use a red 650 nm laser to read and write data, while Blu Ray as well as the competing HD-DVD use a shorter wavelength, 405 nm blue laser. This enables a more precise laser beam, enabling it to read information recorded in pits that are only 0.16 microns long, which is more than twice as small as the pits on a DVD. The 25 GB of storage capacity of single-layer Blu-ray discs will carry about two hours of HD DVD recording.

Samsung promises that the recorder will come in a "sophisticated black and silver color design of a high-end A/V product," but did not elaborate which software will be included in the package and how much the price will cost. However, if the Blu-ray recorder announced by Pioneer at CES is considered as a guideline, then the drives will be substantially more expensive then the first generation of DVD recorders. Pioneer said that it will ship the recorder in Q1 for $995. The drive will be aimed at professional users and not include Blu-ray authoring software, but a basic pre-mastering suite instead, Pioneer said.