Pioneer BDR-206MBK BDXL burner is $199 world's first

By now it's common knowledge that printer hardware is merely the gateway to the addictive – and expensive – drug that is printer ink; could the same be happening with optical media? Pioneer has launched the first BDXL drive, the Pioneer BDR-206MBK, capable of burning up to 128GB Blu-ray discs, and while it's $199 itself, a single 100GB disc is around half that amount alone.

With a single, quad-layer 128GB BDXL disc, you could store the equivalent of 27 single-layer DVDs in fact, but you'll pay handsomely for the privilege. Happily the BDR-206MBK can also read BD-ROM discs, read/write triple/dual/single layer BD-R and BD-RE discs, read DVD-ROM, and read/write most DVD and CD formats.

One for the early-adopters, then; everyone else might do well to wait a while until media prices trickle down to more affordable levels.

Press Release:

Pioneer Ships First BDXL Computer Drive to Read and Write New Blu-ray Disc Recording Format

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. continues its innovation in the optical disc drive category with today's announcement of its new professional, high definition BDXL internal Blu-ray Disc drive. The Pioneer BDR-206MBK, BDXL writer for Windows based1 personal computers, is the first drive to read and write using the new multi-layer recordable Blu-ray Disc format. BDXL more than doubles the current maximum Blu-ray Disc storage capacity and is ideal for various commercial uses such as video and broadcast archiving and storage, capturing and playback of high definition programming or data archiving needs. The BDR-206MBK also enhances recording accuracy and further limits artificial noise for quality playback.

By integrating additional layers to traditional Blu-ray Discs, BDXL offers up to 128 GB of storage capacity on a quadruple layer disc. The BDR-206MBK drive allows users to read/write BD-R XL and BD-RE XL triple layer (100GB) and BD-R XL quadruple layer (128GB) discs. Additionally, the drive can play back and record on virtually all disc formats including CD, DVD, and Blu-ray Disc. The drive comes bundled with CyberLink software to support BDXL and is ready for use out of the box. For a limited time, Pioneer is including a piece of BD-R XL 100GB media for free with each drive.

Further enhancing the user experience, Pioneer has incorporated proprietary technologies to significantly improve recording and playback quality. Its Limit Equalizer technology improves RF signals generated when reading data from Blu-ray Discs and enables improved playback capability. Along with a new, airtight structure that helps keep the drive quiet and protects against contaminants and dust particles, the Disc Vibration Stabilizer feature helps protect the disc from warping during the writing process, resulting in a higher quality written disc.

The BDR-206MBK is currently available for a suggested retail price of $199. The BDXL drive can be purchased at Fry's Electronics and at