Print 9 comment(s) - last by tuteja1986.. on Jan 7 at 7:29 AM

Pioneer was excited to release more Blu-ray details today, but claims consumer Blu-ray is not ready yet

A week ago, Pioneer introduced their Blu-ray product line, including the BDR-101A Blu-ray recorder.  The BDR-101A is capable of recording and playing 25GB Blu-ray writeable BD-R/RE discs at 2x data transfer rates, or just about 72 Mbits/sec.  Blu-ray can fit more data on a standard DVD-sized media by using a blue laser with a shorter wavelength instead of the traditional red laser.  

Today's press conference gave us more details on the BDR-101A, including the extremely steep $995 price tag.  Then again, if you don't mind the $50/disc cost of Blu-ray, a grand or so for a burner might be a value. Pioneer representatives stressed that recordable Blu-ray exists only to help get Blu-ray media out to market, and is really only practical for studio productions.  Consumer grade Blu-ray players will not feature any recording capability, nor high definition analog audio output like those of SACD players.  Pioneer's first consumer player, the BDP-HD1, will be ready in May, and come with a $1,800 price tag.

The BDR-101A is expected to ship within the next few months in the US.  The HD-DVD consortium is also expected to release more "official" tidbits about HD-DVD and HD-DVDR, with players like those Toshiba announced earlier today.  As one Pioneer representative said about Blu-ray, "[We're] confident we will preveal. Nobody wanted a format war."  With the recordable format wars starting up again, don't be surprised if we see multi-format burners, perhaps capable of HD-DVDR and Blu-ray.  Several manufacturers we've talked to have already hinted at adding multi-format burners to their lineup around the second or third generation.  

When asked to confirm the details on region settings on Blu-ray, Pioneer simply stated that regional locking and zones is not yet finalized.  The news earlier this week that Blu-ray will combine the US and Japanese regions is still unconfirmed.

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Recording Time
By nomagic on 1/5/2006 11:43:07 AM , Rating: 2
I know future BRD recorder will be faster. But this one doesn't seem fast enough.

1 byte(B) = 8 bits(b)
1024 MB= 1 GB
1024 B = 1 MB

2X recording speed = 72 Mb/s = 9 MB/s
A 25 GB disk would take:
(25 GB) * (1024 MB/GB) / (9 MB/s) / (60 sec/min)
= 47.41 min!

This is a theoretical calculation. I believe the actual time will take longer. The recording time per disk makes this drive less attractive.

RE: Recording Time
By Furen on 1/5/2006 6:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
Dont forget overhead for ECC and the like. Realistically I'd say that around 10 bits are written for every byte of data, which would make your data rate 7.2MB/sec

RE: Recording Time
By tuteja1986 on 1/7/2006 7:29:08 AM , Rating: 2
no wonder sony was so quite about PS3... they can't afford to produce cheap Blu-ray drive and if they somehow managed to then it will full of bugs ;( . Blu-ray drive for ps3 would cost $200 per drive alone. Now the Blu-ray final hope is PS3 and mass support of Movie industry. But if M$ can release a HD-DVD for XBOX 360 as a package and people start to buy them too then its going to turn into all out war. But i think the drive that can sell for arround $300 below early 2007 wins :) and i think that will be HD-DVD.

Sounds about right...
By Furen on 1/4/2006 7:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
This is why I doubt that the "HD format wars" will be decided before the end of 2006, at the earliest. The initial price for blue ray will be insanely sick while HD-DVD can afford to launch a bit later since the technology itself is more mature (as it is an evolution to current DVD technology rather than a format built from the ground up). The only unknown here is the PS3. If it does launch within 6-12 months and it does play blueray movies (and it isnt obscenely expensive) then we may get a replay of the PS2's launch. Then again, the benefits of going to HD-DVD/BR are almost insignificant besides the benefit we got from going from VHS to DVD, so the market iself may resist the change.

RE: Sounds about right...
By n7 on 1/4/2006 11:44:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'm psychic!

I guessed initial price would be $1,000, & i was right, unfortunately.

I just want to see them @ $500 by year end, but even that seems too optimistic

x2 expensive AND fewer features?
By Poser on 1/4/2006 5:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
$1800 for a read-only Blu-Ray drive, and no comment on it's outrageous price? An extra zero got tacked on there, right?

Dear Pioneer
By bigboxes on 1/4/2006 5:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
Get bent.


The Consumer

What a deal?
By bob661 on 1/4/2006 6:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'll get two!

By nowayout99 on 1/5/2006 4:34:51 AM , Rating: 2
The price differences between BRD and HD-DVD are drastic here *right now*, but can a winner be determined when such a small percentage of households are able to take advantage of HD content anyway?

I mean, isn't it possible this could drag on for years?

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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