updated 09:10 am EDT, Tue October 9, 2007
Sony BWU-200S Blu-Ray
Sony today switched its attention to add-in Blu-Ray drives for PC users looking to jump to the HD storage format. The BWU-200S is the company's first 4X drive and writes a full 50GB Blu-Ray disc in about 45 minutes, or half the time of the company's first drive from last year. Such speed makes it possible to burn nearly four hours of 1080i video in a reasonable amount time, Sony says. The new burner is also one of the first to burn DVDs as quickly as a dedicated DVD drive and will write a single-layer DVD-R at 16X, eliminating the need for a second drive just for quicker burning.
The rail-mounted drive plugs into a Serial ATA port that eases the install process and improves speed. Sony bundles the drive with a copy of CyberLink BD to get Windows XP and Vista users started on burning, editing, and playing back Blu-Ray movies without needing a separate video converter. It will even burn DVDs using AVCHD and other formats that usually only appear on Blu-Ray discs, according to the company. Shipments begin next month for $600.