Pioneer To Release Blu-ray Disc Computer Drive

Dec 28, 2005 (09:12 AM EST)

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Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. plans to ship in the first quarter of next year a Blu-ray Disc computer drive for storing high-definition video content.

The Pioneer BDR-101A is the company's first optical disc drive launched in the midst of an industry split over future standards for high-definition storage discs. Dell, Apple Computer and Pioneer are the heavyweights supporting Blu-ray, while Microsoft, Intel, Toshiba and NEC back the HD DVD standard.

The BDR-101A uses shorter wavelength blue lasers in order to store up to 25 gigabytes of information. The first generation of the product targets creative professionals and serious enthusiasts, Pioneer said. The drive will include a data-recording application to transfer digital files to Blue-ray discs.

Pioneer expects the market for high-storage discs to grow in parallel with the expected rise in high-definition video camcorders for consumers. In addition, people with PCs that include a television turner could use a Blu-ray drive to record high-definition TV shows, the consumer electronics company said.

“A few years ago, no one could imagine needing more storage than available on a CD-R," Andy Parsons, senior vice president at Long Beach, Calif.-based, Pioneer, USA, said in a statement. "Yet today, we need multiple DVDs just to back up the numerous photo and video files on our computers."

The BDR-101A will read standard DVDs, as well as Blu-ray discs. Pricing was not disclosed.