The heavy-duty, 128 GB Blu-ray format known as BDXL is finally getting not one, but two lifelines from industry equipment manufacturers. Both Buffalo and Pioneer are launching the world’s first BDXL writers. It was only in June of this year that the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) decided to standardize the quadruple data-layered format that’s geared toward archiving and other professional multimedia applications.
The dual debut of Blu-ray writers could signify a trend toward mainstream adoption for BDXL. Pioneer’s BDXL burner—the BDR-206MBK—has backward compatibility to write BD-R and BD-R DL discs at 6X, as well as BD-RE and BD-RE DL at 2X. The equipment’s writing capabilities also extend to DVDs and CDs. The Pioneer burner will also include Cyberlink’s PowerDVD10 in its shipment. This software suite will assist users in playback, conversion, 3D content as well as other features.
Buffalo’s BDXL writer varies in its offering. Like Pioneer’s version, it will release it as an internal SATA drive (model BRXL-6FBS-BK). However, Buffalo will also feature an external USB 2.0 drive (model BRXL-6U2), which Pioneer lacks. The speeds of the BDXL Buffalo burner speeds measure at 4X for triple and quadruple layered Blu-ray media. The device will also write to standard single and dual-layered Blu-rays.
The Buffalo and Pioneer BDXL writers will first hit the Japanese market. The Pioneer drive is priced at approximately $370 with a release date slated for mid-November. Details on Buffalo’s burner shipment and pricing have yet to be announced.
Although built for a high-capacity disc, the use of USB 2.0 may be questioned by some users, as 128 GB calculates to a large amount of data for such an interface to handle. As these drives are released to the wider public, we will have to see whether Pioneer and Buffalo can set a precedent for the way BDXL drives should be, or if they or other manufacturers will attempt to improve on potential design flaws like USB 2.0.
How do you feel about the BDXL writers? Do they have a place in your daily applications or is the thought of pairing USB 2.0 with 128 GB slowing you down? Please share your opinions below.