First Blu-ray Drive Announced

First Blu-ray Drive Announced

Pioneer electronics has launched a high-definition Blu-Ray PC drive (BDR-101A) this week, bringing new attention to the ongoing dispute over the new generation of DVD drives.

Pioneer is part of the Blu-ray Disc Association which includes Sony, Apple, Dell, HP, Philips, Samsung and more companies, claiming the Blu-ray format is superior to rival format HD-DVD developed by Toshiba, NEC and Sanyo. Along with the Cell processor, Blu-ray is Sony's big bet for increasing its control over the consumer electronics sector and the race to provide content for the new format, in order to increase its rate of adoption is on. Sony's PS3 is also expected to use a Blu-ray drive which offers a potential capacity of 25 GB in single-layer and double that in dual while it can also reach 100 GBs in four-layer mode although all multi-layer Blu-ray technology is still in development. HD-DVDs will offer a 15 GB single-layer capacity with 30 GB in dual-layer and 45 in triple -layer which is also under development.

In its release statement Pioneer claims that the adoption of the format is its primary concern and that the PC Blu-ray drive will, mainly, interest professionals. With the PC market currently accounting for one third of the DVD players sold, Blu-ray appears to have the advantage being the first new format to hit the market. HD-DVDs are expected to appear in spring 2006.

Consumer organisations are already concerned regarding the new war of formats that looms in the DVD horizon and some are already calling for some kind of agreement between the rival factions. The last major format war, that between VHS and Betamax, cost Hollywood studios quite a bit of money and his next one could also hurt the movie industry as well as video game companies.

Although Blu-ray seems to have an advantage, it seems that HD-DVD has powerful allies and the format has won endorsements from Microsoft and Intel. To read consumer protests regarding the HD DVD format wars follow the download tab above.