Pioneer Launches One of Industry's First PC-Based Blu-ray Disc Drives

Revolutionary Technology Results in Five-fold Increase of Storage Capacity

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announced one of the industry’s first Blu-ray Disc computer drives, expected to revolutionize digital and high-definition media storage. The new Pioneer BDR-101A will utilize shorter wavelength blue lasers in order to store up to 25 gigabytes of information on a single layer Blu-ray Disc. It is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2006.

This first generation product will be targeted primarily to professional users and serious enthusiasts, generally the first to adopt new technology. In particular, content creators will depend on Blu-ray Disc writers to test and evaluate high definition consumer Blu-ray Disc titles during the authoring process before replication. The drive will come equipped with a data recording application to transfer digital files to Blu-ray Discs.

As the market for high definition video camcorders grows, users will increasingly rely on the Blu-ray Disc drive to store massive amounts of HD video. Likewise, a person with a television tuner on his or her personal computer could use the drive to record high definition television shows for later viewing. The drive also will be able to play consumer Blu-ray Disc movie titles on BD-ROM discs and will play and record standard DVD media.

As one of the first products to utilize Blu-ray Disc technology, the drive significantly increases storage capacity, while reducing the number of discs currently needed to back up computer hard drives, digital files and applications.

“Storage capacity in a stable medium is critical,” said Andy Parsons, senior vice president at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “A few years ago, no one could imagine needing more storage than available on a CD-R. Yet today, we need multiple DVDs just to back up the numerous photo and video files on our computers. Blu-ray Disc technology fulfills the rapidly growing need for more storage space and Pioneer is proud to be one of the first companies bringing it to market.”

The half height BDR-101A Blu-ray Disc/DVD writer will read BD-ROM/R/RE, DVD-ROM/DVD-R/DVD-RW and +R/+RW discs. It offers the following write speeds:

  1. BD-R/RE (2X)
  2. DVD-R/+R (8X)
  3. DVD-RW/+RW (4X)

Pioneer has been an innovator of optical disc technology since it brought LaserDisc, the precursor to DVD, to market in 1980. Pioneer went on to introduce the first DVD writer for computer use in 1997, the first DVD recorder as a VCR replacement in 1999, the first DVD/CD writer for home computer users in 2001 and surpassed 5 million sales of DVD writers in 2003. The company now leads the market with the introduction of this new Blu-ray Disc drive. Pioneer Corporation is one of the Blu-ray Disc Founders.

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