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Pioneer BDC-SO2BK Blu-ray Drive

Pioneer BDC-SO2BK Blu-ray Drive

Manufacturer: Pioneer
UK Price (as reviewed): £89.99 (inc. VAT), £77.54 (inc. VAT) - OEM
US Price (as reviewed): $129.99 (ex. Tax)

Is Blu for You?

So, Blu-ray won the format war and whether you like it or not (I shed a tear for HD DVD at least), now at least we have a clear path of high definition movie purchases.

As you can see from the pricing of this unit listed above, Blu-ray drives are no longer a several hundred pound investment. Of course, it's no £15 DVD-RW drive you can now pick up anywhere, but £90 is not too much to ask if you're making a high definition capable HTPC. And what's more, Pioneer throws in some Cyberlink Blu-ray software as well if you purchase one of the retail boxes.

We've already once spec'd this drive in our previous AMD 780G review when we managed to build a Blu-ray capable Home Theatre PC for the same price as a PS3. Five months later, it now costs £10 less than before (or £22 if you're going for an OEM Blu-ray drive).

Pioneer BDC-SO2BK Blu-ray Drive

The drive may only read Blu-ray disks, so you can't use the 50GB of space for archiving and backup, but it still writes to a whole host of normal (red laser) DVD and CD standards:

    Write Support

  • DVD-R 12x Zone-CLV (16.62 MB/sec)
  • DVD-R DL 4x CLV (5.54 MB/sec)
  • DVD-RW 6x CLV (8.31 MB/sec)

  • DVD+R 12x Zone-CLV (16.62 MB/sec)
  • DVD+R DL (Dual Layer) 4x CLV (5.54 MB/sec)
  • DVD+RW 6x CLV (8.31 MB/sec)

  • DVD-RAM 5x CLV (6.92 MB/sec)

  • CD-R 24x Zone-CLV (3.60 MB/sec)
  • CD-RW 24x Zone-CLV (3.60 MB/sec)

    Read Support

  • BD-ROM Single Layer 5 x CAV (22.50 MB/sec)
  • BD-ROM Dual Layer 2x CLV (9.00 MB/sec)
  • BD-ROM BD9 8x CAV (11.08 MB/sec)
  • BD-R and BD-RE Single Layer 5x CAV (22.50 MB/sec)
  • BD-R and BD-RE Dual Layer 2x CLV (9.00 MB/sec)

  • DVD-ROM Single Layer 12x CAV (16.62 MB/sec)
  • DVD-ROM Dual Layer 8x CAV (11.08 MB/sec)
  • DVD-Video (with CSS, Single / Dual Layer) 5x CAV (6.92 MB/s)
  • DVD-R 12x CAV (16.62 MB/sec)
  • DVD-R DL 8 x CAV (11.08 MB/sec)
  • DVD-RW 8x CAV (11.08 MB/sec)

  • DVD+R 12x CAV (16.62 MB/sec)
  • DVD+R DL (Double Layer) 12x CAV (16.62 MB/sec)
  • DVD+RW 8 x CAV (11.08 MB/sec)

  • DVD-RAM 5x CLV (6.92 MB/s)

  • CD-ROM 32x CAV (4.80 MB/s)
  • CD-R 32x CAV (4.80 MB/s)
  • CD-RW 24x CAV (3.60 MB/s)

  • Photo CD (single and multiple session)
  • Video CD 9.3x CAV (1.39 MB/s)
  • CD-DA 24x CAV (3.60 MB/s)
  • CD-Extra / CD-Text 9.3x CAV (1.39 MB/s)
Comparing to the Asus BC-1205 PT (another Blu-ray drive we have in the lab) and according to the Asus website, the only area the Pioneer is slightly faster is in DVD±RW (8x versus 6x) and DVD±RW Dual Layer (8x versus 4x) write speed - everything else is identical.