The essential desktop upgrade?
Review Installing a Blu-ray Disc recorder is the latest must-have upgrade for desktops, but because they remain thin on the ground, they maintain a price premium. Given the high storage capacity of the Blu-ray format, write speed is particularly important and we’re starting to see drives capable of 8x writing on 25GB and 50GB recordable media. Pioneer’s BDR-203BK appears to be waiting for the media to catch up.
Pioneer’s BDR-203BK: capable of 8x write speeds, if you can find the media
The BDR-203BK is the successor to Pioneer’s BDR-202 and much of the earlier drive’s look and feel is repeated here. This 5.25in internal drive has the same simple front panel, with powered tray, eject button, data LED and a hole for paper-clip-powered, emergency eject. There are also the same Sata data and power connections at the back, as before.
Set up is pretty simple, as long as you have an unused SATA controller. The drive has standard fixings and, given an HDMI-compliant graphics card and display, you can play Blu-ray media out-of-the-box with the supplied software. Well, that’s the theory, but we had some problems – more on that later. It’s also capable of handling recordable and rewritable DVD and CD discs, offering write speeds, which are competitive with typical mid-range DVD rewriters.
The bundled software is Cyberlink’s Blu-ray Disc Suite 6 and this seems to be becoming more popular than the Nero equivalent with Blu-ray drive makers. There’s a lot of functionality in Cyberlink’s seven different modules, which comprise PowerDVD for movie and video playback, PowerDirector for video authoring, PowerProducer for slideshows, Power2Go from drag and drop burning, InstantBurn for hard drive-style use of optical discs and Disc Advisor, to check a PC’s Blu-ray compatibility.
Slideshow anyone? Cyberlink's Disc Suite 6 is a mixed bag of authoring tools
Some of the apps are better equipped than others and, while Power2Go and InstantBurn between them can handle most of your archive storage needs, you’ll want something a bit more involved than PowerDirector to make more than basic edits to HD video. Power2Go offers three ‘buttons’ on the desktop, over which you drag video, audio or data files to add them to a burn list.
I want one....
I really want one of these, but guess what?
"I'm a mac", so i cant have one. Grrrrrr.
Time to defect methinks, until Apple actually start building them in, with prices to suit the cash-strapped customer.
Anyone know about burn times for these?
I read a 25G BDDVD takes 45minutess @ 2x, which would mean this should do 50GB disk in 22 minutes @ 8x.
Does anyone know if this is right in the real world?
It would have been a good test result to note in the review.
Cyberlink? No thanks
My LG HD-DVD reader / bluray burner came with PowerDVD 7 bundled ("bungled" more like it).
Upon installation, it required no less than two updates. And I had to repeat this a couple of times, because it forgot my OEM license key at least once.
But that was only the beginning of my woes. I have some old SCSI devices (DVD-ROM, CD-RW and CD-ROM -- I'm a sucker for optical drives as it is nice to keep game discs somewhere I can find them) and PowerDVD froze. Another gentleman on their forums confirmed this. PowerDVD7 doesn't work. It gets stuck when enumerating the SCSI bus.
Cyberlink's support told me to check my DVI cable... Yes... As if my monitor somehow caused a mishap on the SCSI bus... They insisted on not helping me.
And now my PowerDVD again prompts me for an update. I did not dare touch it... I know too well how Cyberlink's updates work (or don't!).
The bundled software is Cyberlink’s Blu-ray Disc Suite 6
"Cyberlink" *shudder* Never again.
Soon it will be much cheaper than tape drives.