Pioneer Electronics has started commercial shipments of its new optical disc recorder that supports Blu-ray disc XL (BDXL) standard and allows to burn media with up to 128GB capacity. Surprisingly, but the price of the drive is not too high, unlike the cost of extra-large optical media. The drive is aimed primarily at those, who need to archive large amounts of data.
Pioneer BDR-206MBK drive can playback and record on virtually all disc formats including CD (at up to 24x speed), DVD (up to 8x), and Blu-ray disc (up to 6x) in addition to BDXL media (at up to 4x) with 100GB or 128GB capacity. The drive comes bundled with CyberLink software to support BDXL and is ready for use out of the box. For a limited time, Pioneer is including a piece of BD-R XL 100GB media for free with each drive.
Pioneer’s drive incorporates a number of proprietary technologies to improve recording and playback quality. Its Limit Equalizer technology improves RF signals generated when reading data from Blu-ray discs and enables improved playback capability. Along with a new, airtight structure that helps keep the drive quiet and protects against contaminants and dust particles, the Disc Vibration Stabilizer feature helps protect the disc from warping during the writing process, resulting in a higher quality written disc.
At present the Blu-ray disc XL drive is intended for various commercial uses, such as video and broadcast archiving and storage, capturing and playback of high definition programming or data archiving needs. Given extremely expensive media, $99 for a 100GB BD XL, it hardly makes sense for home users to transit to BDXL; but as the media gets cheaper, the standard will become adopted by the masses.
The BDR-206MBK is currently available for a suggested retail price of $199. The BDXL drive can be purchased at Fry’s Electronics and at Pioneer’s online store in the U.S. The drive is only compatible with Microsoft Windows systems.