Saturday, February 04, 2012

Pioneer offers up a BDXL-compatible 12x Blu-ray burner


The days of the optical disc are numbered. More of us are turning to streaming media for our entertainment, with the only real draw of Blu-ray being the high-quality 1080p image, interactive extras, and ability to watch your physical copy whenever you choose.

Even PC owners don’t really need an optical drive anymore. Most software comes in download form, and backups can be handled via a USB connected hard drive or by one of the many online backup services. But some people may still choose to backup to optical disc, and Pioneer is happy to support them with the announcement of a new, fast Blu-ray burner.

The Pioneer BDR-S07 is a SATA-connected drive that will be available in Piano Black, Black Rubber, and Clear White colors, which should hopefully allow you to match most PC cases. It’s the compatibility and speed that impresses with this drive, though. Pioneer has managed to get burn speeds for standard Blu-ray discs up to 12x, meaning you now have a choice of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12x recording. DVDs can be burnt at up to 16x, and CDs up to 40x.

The BDR-S07 also supports the latest Blu-ray disc standard known as BDXL. So if you have a lot of data to archive you can use 128GB BDXL discs and burn them at 6x using this drive. That’s going to be expensive though considering a BDXL disc costs around $90.

It’s only been a couple of months since Pioneer announced another 12x burner called the BDR-207 JBK. There seems little difference between that drive and this new one. It mostly seems cosmetic with a cleaner front to the S07 drive, and the choice of color options.

Pioneer is launching the BDR-S07 in Japan next week and it shouldn’t take long for it to make the trip West. As for the price, non-BDXL compatible Pioneer burners are around $115, so I expect the BDR-S07 to be somewhere between $150-$200. That’s in the same price range as a 3TB external hard drive