Casual moviegoers and avid cinephiles alike have long been enjoying high definition from their nearest movie theaters, which used to be that the only place to get up-close quality. Now high definition TVs and Blu-ray DVDs in the consumer market have moved that luxury into the comfort the living room. With the development of portable Blu-ray disc writers, consumers can now write their own HD home videos as well as downsize the physical clutter of a large DVD collection (a single triple- or quad-layer Blu-ray disc has the impressive data capacity of 27 DVDs). The best part of it all: it can be done on the go.
Pioneer, Sony, and Buffalo are the three prominent brands offering portable Blu-ray disc writers that are compatible with BDXL, meaning the models they’ve developed can write triple- and quad-layer Blu-ray discs. Pioneer offers the BDR-XD04 Portable Blu-ray BDXL Writer; Sony, the BDX-6000U 6x External Slim Portable Blu-ray Disc Writer; and Buffalo, the BRXL-PC6U2B MediaStation Portable BDXL Blu-ray Writer. Aside from BDXL media support, all three models have USB 2.0 compatibility, Cyberlink Software bundles, BD-R XL write speeds of up to 4x, USB Bus power, and, critical of all, portable sizes.
Pioneer’s BDR-XD04 is the most expensive of the three, priced at $159.99 and but often discounted for $129.99. The price is said to be because it is the lightest among the three writers, with just over half a pound (0.53 lbs.). The BDR-XD04 also has three unique features: PowerRead, Auto Quiet mode, and PureRead2+. PowerRead ensures smooth video playback despite fingerprints or minor scratches. Auto Quiet mode reduces disc noise by adjusting rotation speed. PureRead decreases sound glitches during music playback by adjusting drive parameters.
Sony’s BDX-6000U is priced at a retail of $149.95, with an online discount price of $139.95. Though the Cyberlink software it is bundled with is not compatible with Mac, the unit itself is. It also features dual USB cables and an integrated cable duct designed to slide into the unit and eliminate tangled cables. At 0.728 lbs., the model is heavier than Pioneer’s writer, but lighter than Buffalo’s–the heaviest unit. As a bonus feature, Sony’s writer was also developed with a 5.8MB of buffer memory.
Buffalo’s BRXL-PC6U2B is retailed at $143, the lowest retail price of the three Blu-ray disc writers. Like Sony, Buffalo’s unit is compatible with Mac computers, but it needs 3rd party software, such as Final Touch Pro or Roxio Toast Titanium, to be recognized properly. In terms of physical design, it has two USB cables that snap into and wrap around it as a solution for tangles. The second USB cable is there in case of a needed power boost during data transfer. Though, it doesn’t have much innovation in terms of features, the capacities of Buffalo’s writer isn’t far behind those of Sony’s and Pioneer’s writers.
So there goes the three most sought after writers today. It all basically depends on what you need and your budget can handle. So look closely at the specs when shopping for the right burner.
What do you think about the sleek new Asus that has been unveiled (but not yet available)? Also, how would you use your BDXL Burner?