Print 19 comment(s) - last by Trisped.. on Jul 5 at 12:38 PM

BenQ's BW1000 Trio recorder
Another PC Blu-ray devices gets a price tag

After months of waiting, it's finally here: the BenQ BW1000 Trio PC Blu-ray recorder. BenQ announced the player just one month ago, claiming it would become one of the more prolific recorders on the market

The single-layer recorder can record BD-R media at speeds up to 2X, but can read dual-layer Blu-ray media as well. The drive features a single-lens optical pickup with three separate lasers that will read and record Blu-Ray, DVD+/-R and CDRs.  BenQ claims the device will also write single-layer DVD+/-R media at 12X, 4X for DVD+/-R DL, 8X for DVD+/-RW, and 32X CAV for CD-R.

Like other Blu-ray PC recorders, the BW1000 has an estimated MSRP of $1,000 USD, but will not hit store shelves until August 2006.  Earlier this year Lite-On announced the company would take over the majority of BenQ manufacturing. To no surprise, the Lite-On LH-2B1S announced last month and the BW1000 are very similar.

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And this is why BluRay will fail
By Rage187 on 7/4/2006 12:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
$1000, thats rediculous and will be the downfall of BR. 25 times the cost of a regular dvd burner.

RE: And this is why BluRay will fail
By phaxmohdem on 7/4/2006 1:13:54 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously people, CD burners, and DVD Burners Cost as much or more than this drive when they were very first introduced. The prices will definately drop as time goes on. I remember paying $250 for a 4X CD Burner and that was considered cheap then. So chill out this is normal.

By sevendust62 on 7/4/2006 1:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
You are exactly correct that this high price is normal.

The first CD-R recording system, introduced in 1988, cost $50,000, was the size of a washing machine, burnt at 1x speed, and blanks costs $100 each.

Then, in 1991, Phillips introduced its 2x recorder, the size of a stereo, for $12,000.

In 1993, JVC introduced the first 5 1/4" drive, 2x speed. In 1995, Yamaha introduced its 4x drive for $5000.

HP released a 2x drive for under $1000, which, according to Upgrading and Repairing PCs by Scott Mueller, was the breakthrough needed, after which a surge of popularity caused prices to rapidly plummet.

So the first drive was $50,000. You can't try to say that this BluRay drive is too expensive for the market. Someone will pay for it.

By feraltoad on 7/4/2006 1:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
Grandpas right about the CD burner, haha just kidding phax. I remember paying around $270 for my DVD burner. Haven't regreted that one bit, even tho they are $35 now. Doesn't anyone remember economics? Seller's market? The drives will sell at this price; the company makes money and recoups R&D costs. Eventually they will drop prices to different price points to move more and more drives. Remember that graph where x amount of people will buy x amount of product at x price. Of course I don't have an HDTV. Might have to pick one up this fall. Now TV technology that's something to complain about.

RE: And this is why BluRay will fail
By Squidward on 7/4/2006 1:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
Though you're absolutely right about the initial pricing, what I'm wondering about as compared to CD and DVD burners is that there was a high demand for them since they gave such a great gain over existing technology, I'm not sure blu-ray or hd-dvd is going to be a must have for the consumer, at least not for a while.

By Xavian on 7/4/2006 3:52:50 PM , Rating: 2
indeed, CD and DVD were singular formats. I think this war may very well kill both sides in profits and such.
HD-DVD isn't a must-have, Blu-ray isn't either and plus the inherent problems with having a makret with two competing formats (general customer confusion, split sales etc), i think in the end HD-DVD has more going for it in the long run then blu-ray, these products need to hit the ground running or they'll just fizzle out and become dead formats.

By creathir on 7/5/2006 11:59:59 AM , Rating: 2
It should be interesting to see what the HD DVD recorder costs are...
If they are LESS than this $1000 price point... this will kill BluRay.

That is the only point at which your argument would not hold water. Otherwise, yes, CD-ROM costs were extremely high when they first came out. DVD-ROM were only about $230 for the actual reader, writers were in the thousands.
- Creathir

By Trisped on 7/5/2006 12:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the price is natural, but the value is not there. Why pay $1000 for a burner when my $40 DVD DL burner can burn the same stuff. Sure, it takes about 6 DVDs to match a Blue Ray disk, but DVDs are much cheaper. Worried about physical space? $200 will buy you a tape system and add in another $100 for media and you will have more storage then you will ever need. You want space and easy access? Buy an external enclosure and 10 300GB hard drives and it will cost the same as this burner but deliver better performance and more storage.

All I want is a player, a reader, a drive that does everything my $40 drive does plus reads the new disks at 2-4x. For this I expect to pay $100-200. If I was going to pay $1000 for a drive, it should have all the latest DVD formats supported, complete CD support, and read BOTH HD DVD and Blue Ray at 2-4x, and it should also be SATA II.

What's the main component of cost?
By Kuroyama on 7/4/2006 1:10:57 PM , Rating: 2
Why are these so expensive? Is it the laser? The custom chips?

I thought that the PC drives would be cheaper than the BluRay player for a TV, because at least there's the prospect of offloading some of the processing / decoding onto the CPU. After all, anyone buying a $1000 drive must have a CPU capable of handling a lot of the computation without effecting performance much.

By Korvon on 7/4/2006 2:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
Volume. If you are kicking out 1000 units per month its going to cost a lot more than if you are producing 1,000,000 units. As popularity increases price drops.

By Aesir on 7/5/2006 6:33:23 AM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing, at this point, the burning lasers are still a very advanced, fickle technology, that require ungodly amounts of precision to do their job accurately.

With the case of the standalone players, tons and tons of raw processing power are needed to drive them.

I'm guessing system requirements for these burners will be steep.

By Visual on 7/5/2006 10:20:04 AM , Rating: 2
from what i've heared, the lasers arent the problem, but some "optical pickup head" component that is responsible for the precise positioning and tracking. and its not that they're actually expensive or hard to produce, just that they're still too low in availability.

keep in mind that the CE players are players only, not recorders. naturally recorders would cost more.

its weird indeed that no plans for read-only BD pc-drives have been mentioned - they could be quite cheaper. but i guess that's because most advantages of the great capacity would be lost for pc users with a readonly device - you'd only use it for movies. also, sony is gonna need a lot of readonly devices built-in inside the ps3, so right now they won't be able to provide them also for computer use.

By Trisped on 7/5/2006 12:33:55 PM , Rating: 2
Main cost is R&D, advertising, and manufacturing conversion (since machines used to make DVD drives need to be changed to make the new stuff). Yeilds are also going to be low.

There's a key difference....
By RyanHirst on 7/4/2006 5:08:19 PM , Rating: 3
.... between the price of intial CD-ROMs and the price of the new Blu-Ray recorders:
Cost relative to competing media

Going back to 1995:
At $1000, the 1995 HP burner was competitive. A 600MB hard drive cost about $400. For 2.5 times the cost of a hard drive, you could record its data onto a CD.
After the inital outlay, the following critical factors were massively on the side of the CD media:
*Data Density (remeber, 1 CD = 1 Hard drive)

Now back to 2006
Now let's look at Blu-Ray.
A 500Gb hard drive costs $250.
For 4 TIMES the cost of a hard drive, you can record ONE-TENTH of its data onto a Blu-Ray disc Ouch.
After the initial outlay, NONE of the following factors are in favor of the Blu-Ray:
*Cost/GB of media ($50 per 50GB disc = $1/GB, twice the cost of hard drive space)
*Storage Density (One 500GB hard drive takes up as much space as 10 discs in jewel cases)

Plus, access time and transfer speeds are still spectacularly in favor of hard drives. The fact is, even if someone HANDS you a Blu-Ray burner, it is still cheaper per GB to back up/duplicate your data by purchasing complete hard drives than buying blu-ray discs.

Yes, prices will come down and density will go up. But until they do, the new media standards have no competitive advantages of any kind. This was not the case with either CD-R or DVD-R at the times of release.

And I hate to bring the bad news, but HD-DVD is in even worse shape. With lower data density, it is launching to market with an even greater lag in the only two categories where removable media can have a competitive edge.

there's a key difference...
By RyanHirst on 7/4/2006 5:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, that should read *initial CD-Rs*

carry on

RE: There's a key difference....
By creathir on 7/5/2006 12:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but in '95 hard drives where not that much...
I know I received a 6 GB hard drive back around Christmas, and I KNOW several thousand dollars were not spent on the drive.

Just a point of correction.
- Creathir

I will just wait...
By InternetGeek on 7/5/2006 7:12:20 AM , Rating: 2
Until there's a HD-DVD/BR/DVD/CD R/RW Hybrid that costs $50. At that time buying any media will make sense economically.

RE: I will just wait...
By Trisped on 7/5/2006 12:38:56 PM , Rating: 2
"media" usually refers to the disks, not the drives (media players).

I agree though, until there is a hybrid player I am not going to invest. I don't care about a burner, as long term storage is better in tapes or hard drives and they cost less per GB

By MonkeyPaw on 7/4/2006 2:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, new optical technology has always been expensive. Considering my horrible luck with optical drives, I'd be better off just burning that $1000. I always wait for the price on such drives to come way down, that way I don't feel so bad when my optical drive croaks.

If you let this stuff become mainstream, you end up not paying the steep prices for the drives, media, and movies, and the quality and durability are often better (at least there is more choice). Sure, you don't get to be the cool kid on the block with the newest toys, but who needs those kind of friends anyway? :p

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