Plextor announces Blu-ray disc drive

The shop aisle selling Blu-ray Disc burners is about to get more crowded: Plextor announced today its PC-B900A Blu-ray Disc Drive. Like Sony's Blu-ray Disc drive, the BWU-100A, and I-O Data's BRD-UM2/U, this model will support writing to dual-layer 50GB Blu-ray Discs. The Plextor drive comes with a well-rounded software bundle that includes Ulead's DVD MovieFactory 5, BD DiscRecorder and Burn.Now 1.5, Data-Add 2.0, and VideoStudio 10 Plus; and InterVideo's WinDVD BD for Blu-ray Disc playback. (In other news, InterVideo--which also owns Ulead--was acquired by Corel.)

According to a spec sheet, supported write speeds include: 8X±R for single-layer write-once DVD, 4X DVD±R on Double-Layer/Dual-Layer DVD, 5X DVD-RAM, 8X DVD+RW, 6X DVD-RW, 24X CD-R, and 16X CD-RW. The drive will have an 8MB data buffer.

The drive will cost US$1000, and will ship in October. I-O Data's external drive is priced the same, but Sony's model is priced at US$749. And I've heard word of another Blu-ray Disc drive coming this fall that will cost even less than that. Let the price wars begin.

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