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Pioneer ships first 128 GB BDXL Blu-ray drive

A few years ago folks were all excited about Blu-ray media that could handle up to 50 GB of data on a dual-layer disc. However, the Blu-ray story doesn’t end there, with the new BDXL triple- and quad-layer discs able to handle up to 100 GB and 128 GB, respectively—and electronics maker Pioneer is now shipping the BDR-206MBK, its first BDXL drive for PCs that can read and write BDXL media.

The BDR-206MBK can handle traditional single- and dual-layer BD media—along with old-school DVD and CD media if you’re really in a pinch—but the unit’s claim to fame is being able to read and right triple-layer BD-RE media and both triple-layer and quadruple-layer BD-R media, offering up to 100 GB and 128 GB of storage per disc, respectively. Built for desktop Windows systems, the drive comes with Cyberlink software that supports BDXL media, and Pioneer has slipped in its proprietary Limit Equalizer technology to improve signal quality when reading material from Blu-ray media. The drive also features quiet operation with an airtight enclosure, and a Disc Vibration Stabilizer helps prevent discs from warping during the writing process.

The BDR-206MBK is available now for a suggested retail price of $199; for a limited time, Pioneer is including a piece pf BD-R SL 100 GB media with each drive. The BDR-206MBK requires WIndows XP, Vista, or Windows 7.

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