back to article Pioneer BDR-203BK

Installing a Blu-ray Disc recorder is the latest must-have upgrade for desktops, but because they remain thin on the ground, they maintain a price premium. Given the high storage capacity of the Blu-ray format, write speed is particularly important and we’re starting to see drives capable of 8x writing on 25GB and 50GB …


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  1. Jan
    Thumb Down

    No DVD-RAM?

    No support for DVD-RAM? Fine, saves me 200 quid for a drive a don´t have to buy...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I'm way out of touch on this topic, but how does the technology in general deal with DRM? I'd had to make a backup of e.g. a whole bunch of photographs and then find either that the player will only let me access the disc three times, or that the disc won't work on someone else's blu-ray drive. It seems like a great way of backing up data that I'd like to have lying around but that isn't totally essential, but I'm worried about the whole DRM thing. Would it even work on XP, or does it require the kind of deep-level DRM enablement that Vista provides? Hmm?

  3. Gerard Krupa

    Nice but not cheap enough to be mainstream

    For your £199 you could very easily get 2Tb of external hard drive (maybe a little less if you want portable storage) and the rewritable media themselves are simply less cost-efficient than portable hard drives (10p/Gb minimum for 25Gb BD-RW discs vs 7p/Gb or better for an external desktop solution) based on a quick straw poll of Amazon and for backup purposes it's a lot easier to network external hard drives. Early adopters or niche purposes (e.g. if you need to snail-mail lots of data) IMHO.

  4. Bassey


    I'm not actually sure what these things are for? Who has data storage requirements between 4.5GB (DVD) and 50GB (Dual Layer BluRay) that aren't catered for by super-cheap external hard drives?

    I very rarely use even my DVD Writer. When I do, it's for writing ISO images that I've downloaded (and I'd probably be better off saving them to Hard Drive and mounting them with something like Nero).

    The ONLY usage I can see is for people authoring their own HD Home Movies. Are their really THAT many people doing this and are they willing to shell out £200 + media in order to see little Chardonnay making up dance routines in the living room in Hi Def?

  5. Eddie Johnson
    Dead Vulture


    >>The bundled software is Cyberlink’s Blu-ray Disc Suite 6 and this seems to be becoming more popular than the Nero equivalent with Blu-ray drive makers.

    Yea, Nero shot themselves in the foot back with version 6, worst software from a previously excellent company I'd ever seen. In just about every case they made the wrong decision. In wizard mode the forward/back buttons are disabled as soon as you get a burn error - the one time you want to go back and do it again and you can't. If you lay out a disk and its just over the 4.3G limit you can't tell on the display until you attempt to write, then it errors out. Again, no option to go back and remove a file - wouldn't you rather start over from the beginning? Default volume label? "My Disc" - did they hire Bill Gates?

    RIP Nero.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    but why?

    How many people keep a standard desktop (to put this device in) near a large hd tv? If you're looking at playback, DVD looks reasonable on a computer screen and is available for a lot less than £200. If you want archives for a PC, I'd imagine external hard disks are going to be a lot cheaper per gig.

    Nice, cool to brag about, perhaps. Essential? Probably not.

    Call me cynical, but blu-ray just looks like a way to bulk up movies sizes and add drm to discourage copyright infringement.

    The movie industry must hate me: I've got two 21" computer screens and a 14" mono CRT TV.

    Hah! I laugh in the face of stereo dvds!

    (ok I secretly want one of those Samsung LED tvs, but ouch, the cost!)

  7. Rob Beard
    Thumb Up

    Still a bit over my price range

    Looks like a fairly nice featured drive and it's good to see that prices are coming down a bit. It's still a bit past my budget at the moment but I can certainly see the attraction for those who can afford it.

    I guess I'll give it another 12 months, hopefully by then the prices might have dropped nearer to the £100 mark.


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    I want one....

    I really want one of these, but guess what?

    "I'm a mac", so i cant have one. Grrrrrr.

    Time to defect methinks, until Apple actually start building them in, with prices to suit the cash-strapped customer.


  9. Danny Silver badge

    getting cheaper

    Soon it will be much cheaper than tape drives.

  10. Peter Nuding

    Must have?

    Now why would an optical drive be a must have nowadays? I think i've used the drive in my Macbook precisely once, to install a fresh OS copy on it but even that can be done from another HDD or across the network.

    For carrying stuff I have a usb flash key and for everything else there are harddrives. No need for long term archival of large-but-not-really-large quantities of data (apart from the fact that BD-R as long term archive media isn't all proven yet either)

  11. Anonymous Coward


    I can see the benefit of optical media for activities like archiving - 50GB a pop is fairly reasonable and the cost per unit storage is probably competitive after a while - but what concerns me is the reliability of burning optical media: there's always the risk that the drive either throws its toys out of the pram about some command or other it received, or the buffer wasn't quite as full as it needed to be, and then you've got a shiny coaster with merely a theoretical high storage capacity. And then once you've burnt a disk, or rather a "track" on a disk in multi-session mode, the drive takes ages to find the catalogue and show the stuff, clicking and generally readying its toys again.

    In other words, the question is this: have the proponents of optical storage actually moved on from the half-arsed "analogue data pipe with a music CD at the other end" paradigm yet?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The bundled software is Cyberlink’s Blu-ray Disc Suite 6

    "Cyberlink" *shudder* Never again.

  13. Rune Moberg
    Thumb Down

    Cyberlink? No thanks

    My LG HD-DVD reader / bluray burner came with PowerDVD 7 bundled ("bungled" more like it).

    Upon installation, it required no less than two updates. And I had to repeat this a couple of times, because it forgot my OEM license key at least once.

    But that was only the beginning of my woes. I have some old SCSI devices (DVD-ROM, CD-RW and CD-ROM -- I'm a sucker for optical drives as it is nice to keep game discs somewhere I can find them) and PowerDVD froze. Another gentleman on their forums confirmed this. PowerDVD7 doesn't work. It gets stuck when enumerating the SCSI bus.

    Cyberlink's support told me to check my DVI cable... Yes... As if my monitor somehow caused a mishap on the SCSI bus... They insisted on not helping me.

    And now my PowerDVD again prompts me for an update. I did not dare touch it... I know too well how Cyberlink's updates work (or don't!).

  14. Andy

    burn times?

    Anyone know about burn times for these?

    I read a 25G BDDVD takes 45minutess @ 2x, which would mean this should do 50GB disk in 22 minutes @ 8x.

    Does anyone know if this is right in the real world?

    It would have been a good test result to note in the review.

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