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Pioneer Electronics, a supporter of Blu-ray standard, will make Blu-ray burners that can read and record typical DVDs as well as BDs, and it is expected that the device is likely to hit the market relatively shortly. An Asian web-site has published pictures of Pioneer’s BDR-101A device that does not seem to be a prototype, but a final product.

The Pioneer BRD-101A drive can read, record and re-write DVDs as well as Blu-Ray discs, but cannot read or write conventional CD and DVD-RAM discs, it is reported by Akihabara News. It is noteworthy that the BRD-101A is designed for Parallel ATA, which has been gradually replaced by Serial ATA on the market.  The device has already been certified by numerous technical inspectors, such as T?V, which may mean that the product is production-ready.

 
Pioneer BDR-101A. Pictures by DVDRWInfo.net. Click to enlarge

Pioneer’s new optical drive is unlikely to be in mass demand until sometime in 2006, when film studios release their movies on Blu-ray discs, though. Sony plans to release its own BD drive in the Q1 2006, whereas BenQ intends to launch its BD device for computers in the Q2 2006. Philips originally promised to commercially supply its BD-ROM drive in the second half of 2005.

Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD) is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by thirteen leading consumer electronics and PC companies, such as Dell, Hitachi, HP, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson. The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition television (HDTV). Blu-ray makes it possible to record over 2 hours of HDTV, or more than 13 hours of SDTV on a 27GB disc. There are also plans for higher capacity discs that are expected to hold up to 54GB of data

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