Sony unveils Blu-ray drive for PCs

Posted on Wednesday, September 13 2006 @ 20:44 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Sony today announced the launch of its first Blu-ray Disc (BD) drive retail kit for PCs. The Sony BWU-100A drive reads and records single and dual layer Blu-ray Disc Recordable (BD-R) and Rewritable (BD-RE) media, providing up to 50GB capacity per disc for recording personal High Definition media content as well as for general data storage, back-up and archiving. With a free software upgrade and a suitably-specified playback environment, the BWU-100A is also capable of playing back commercial Blu-ray movies. Backward read and write compatibility with all major DVD and CD formats make the BWU-100A a true multi-format burner and the ideal upgrade option for any computer - including single-bay barebone or media centre PCs. The stylish Sony BWU-100A drive comes bundled with the CyberLink BD Solution software suite making it a complete out-of-the-box solution.

“With capacity for up to 4 hours of HDV 1080i Video shot with a HDV Camcorder, our first Blu-ray Disc drive kit is the ideal medium for both amateur and professional videographers and video editors working with HD. With 50GB of storage - enough for 12,000 MP3 files or up to 100,000 JPEG images - and quick random access, the drive also offers personal and small business users an advanced optical data backup and archiving solution,” said Christoph Cyrol, Product Marketing Manager in Sony Europe’s IT Peripherals division.

The Sony BWU-100A supports 2x BD-R and BD-RE read and write speed, equivalent to a data transfer rate of around 9MByte/s. It also supports 8X DVD±R, 4x DVD±R DL, 8x DVD+RW and 6x DVD-RW as well as 24x CD-R and 16x CD-RW recording, to 5x DVD-RAM recording and 2x BD-ROM, 8x DVD-ROM and 32x CD-ROM playback.

The bundled CyberLink BD Solution® provides a complete software application for capturing, authoring, editing and burning high-definition content such as personal and professional high definition camcorder footage onto BD discs. The BWU-100A is optimised for keeping the videos in the native HDV 1080i format for playback on Blu-ray Disc players BD-ROM drives while the software can also “down-convert” high-definition videos for burning on standard DVDs.

The BWU-100A is capable of playing back commercial Blu-ray movies as well as personally created Blu-ray content. Playing commercial Blu-ray Disc content (BD-ROMs) requires that the drive is integrated into a suitably-specified playback environment that is capable of handling copy protected material. A free upgrade for the bundled player software to support BD-ROM playback will be made available by Sony later this year. The internal drive features an IDE (ATAPI) interface and standard 5.25-inch form-factor for easy installation inside a PC.

The BWU-100A will be available from September 2006 at an estimated end user price of 960 EURO incl. VAT.

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