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Buffalo Technology, a leading supplier of various computer components, has announced its hybrid blue-laser-based optical disc drive for personal computers (PCs) that can read both Blu-ray discs (BDs) as well as HD DVDs. The drive will enable PC owners to watch movies available on the competing formats.
Buffalo’s MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD drive sports USB connection, allowing consumers to connect it to a laptop, desktop or other devices with a USB port. Buffalo’s new Blu-ray HD DVD player also comes with Nero’s software for playback and burning, which allows for seamless integration with all recent versions of Microsoft Windows. It was not said whether the new drive will support BD or HD DVD burning.
“Consumers are increasingly implementing either [HD DVD] or Blu-ray content into their digital lives – from TV sets, to camcorders to audio content. The MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD offers users the best of both worlds and supports our customers’ various needs, while providing unmatched flexibility, giving users the ability to watch and save their favorite movies, videos or data at home or on the road,” said Takayuki Nishioka, chief executive of Buffalo Technology, USA.
Backed by a limited one-year warranty and toll-free 24/7 technical support, the MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD will be available in Q1 2008 at an estimated street price of $649. The product can be purchased through distributors, online resellers and Buffalo’s web site.
While the device seems to be interesting for high-definition video users, it may be too expensive for them. Presently the most cost-effective Blu-ray disc drive from Pioneer costs about $200, whereas an affordable HD DVD drive from Toshiba costs from $120 to $200. With two drives combined and $400 end-users seem to get the same functionality as Buffalo’s MediaStation Blu-ray HD DVD drive offers.