Physical media is back from the dead, or at least that's the opinion of Pioneer, which just launched a new optical disc drive (ODD) for desktop or media center PCs with a spare 5.25 inch bay. Yes, it's 2022, but there are allegedly still ODD holdouts. For them, the Pioneer BDR-213JBK doubles the maximum write speed on Blu-ray discs and covers the full gamut of reading and writing optical media including CDs, DVDs, and BDs, plus a multitude of sub-variants.
Pioneer says it improved both recording quality, and this handsome and not at all over-the-hill device has a textured hairline finish and blue LED on its façade, alongside the classic silver embossed Pioneer logo. In case you don't know what you might use an ODD for in 2022, Pioneer has some helpful suggestions.
"With the spread of telework these days, there are increasing opportunities to store large amounts of data such as work data and online conference recordings at home," writes the iconic Japanese Hi-Fi and technology brand. "The demand for optical discs and optical drives is expected to increase," it adds, with some degree of wishful thinking.
Highlights of the new drive include its up to 16x speed recording performance on BD-R discs (single-layer 25GB). If you are looking for greater capacity than speed, Pioneer says that the BDR-213JBK can record BD-R (2 layers, 50GB) at 14x speed, BD-R XL (3 layers, 100GB) at 8x speed, and BD-R XL (4 layers, 128GB capacity). For video playback purposes you might want to burn 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these can be recorded at 6x speeds. Meanwhile for DVDs the top recording speed is 16x, and for CDs it maxes out at 48x.
For audio CD recording, a feature called Pure Read 3 may be attractive. Pioneer says this allows the drive to adjust its reading method if it encounters difficulty due to a scratch or dirt on the ODD surface. Another interesting feature of the Pioneer BDR-213JBK is its high-speed recording capability using M-Discs, which are designed for long-term archival storage.
And just in case you need some extra software, besides its own system utilities, Pioneer provides a host of CyberLink software that will help you to edit videos and burn discs. CyberLink? Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time... a long time. (opens in new tab) [Checks calendar again. Yup, it's still 2022.]
Pioneer has a lengthy and multi-layered table to let customers know precisely what ODD formats it supports the reading, playback and writing of. It seems to cover a very wide gamut of formats, but if you are doubtful whether some particular ODD you are interested in using is compatible, then please check out the top linked press release.
Some non-format related specs include; the Serial ATA 3.0 interface, the possibility of horizontal or vertical orientation, the drive's 4MB buffer, its 148 x 42.3 x 181mm dimensions, and 740g weight.
The Pioneer BDR-213JBK is already up for sale in Japan for the local equivalent of about $150, including sales tax. So if you're looking at your PC and thinking, "What this box really needs in 2022 is an optical drive," Pioneer has got you covered.