Model: Pioneer BDR-101A Blu-ray Disc Writer
Manufacturer: Pioneer Electronics
In the consumer electronics industry, there are few companies that can claim the same level of success as Pioneer. For more than 50 years, this Japanese company has produced a wide range of audio and video products for the mobile, home and business markets. Pioneer is no stranger to the optical storage industry either. They've lead the way in this area, helping to develop and promote technologies like the DVD-R and DVD-RW formats and producing some of the world's best DVD writers.
With the introduction of next generation formats like Blu-ray, Pioneer is leading the charge once again. Last winter, they announced one of the industry’s first Blu-ray Disc writers, the BDR-101A. Designed for professional users, the drive can store up to 25GB of data or more than two hours of HD video onto single layer BD-R (write-once) and BD-RE (rewritable) media. The BDR-101A can also be used to play Blu-ray Disc movie titles and is backwards compatible with standard DVD media, offering 8x DVD±R, 4x DVD±RW, 2.4x DVD+R DL and 2x DVD-R DL writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 8x.
While Pioneer originally announced that they were going to ship the BDR-101A at the end of January, delays in the final Advanced Access Content System (AACS) specification pushed the release date back a few months. The drive has since shipped to stores and thanks to the fine folks at Pioneer Electronics, we were able to get one in the 'Labs. To give you an idea of what to expect from the BDR-101A we'll take a look at some of the drive's features and then put it through its paces to see how it performs. Is Pioneer's new Blu-ray Disc writer in your future? Read on to see what we had to say.