Pioneer Rips Out 12x Blu-ray Disc Burner

pioneer-bdr205Folks who have to archive serious amounts of content pour a lot of money into hard drives—but in many cases it would be handy to be able to move some of that content to less-expensive media, like Blu-ray discs. One problem, of course, is that burning to Blu-ray is much slower than writing to hard drives…plus, in the case of video content, you can’t pop hard drives into many consumer disc players.

Looking to ease the pain, Pioneer has introduced its BDR-205 Blu-ray Writer, an SATA unit designed to pop into an optical drive bay on a compatible PC and enable users to burn Blu-ray media. But not at typical pokey Blu-ray burner speeds: the BDR-205 will handle single- and dual-layer BD media at up to 12× speeds. However, the 12× speeds were only achieved with particular media: Pioneer had good luck with single-layer media from Sony and Panasonic, but only Panasonic dual-layer media handled 12× writing speeds.

“The BDR-205 drive represents our ongoing efforts to combine Pioneer’s engineering expertise with advanced technologies, and our next generation Blu-ray Disc writer is a great example of our no-compromise approach to optical disc product development,” said Pioneer Electronics director of optical disc sales Steve Cohn, in a statement.

In addition to BD formats, the writer can also handle traditional DVD media at up to 16× and CD media at up to 40× speeds.

The BDR-205 should be available in October to systems integrators; a retail version of the drive, dubbed the BDR-2205, should hit retailers in the first quarter of 2010 with a suggested retail price of $249.