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The First Blu-ray Burner, Pioneer's BDR-101A 181

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the just-getting-started dept.
mikemuch writes "ExtremeTech has a review of Pioneer's BDR-101A-- the first Blu-ray burner available. The drive can do anything with CDs, is kind of slow with DVDs, and doesn't support double-density Blu-ray media, but hey, it's a start, and can burn 25GB in 42 minutes. Check out its burn speed benchmark performance at the link above."
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The First Blu-ray Burner, Pioneer's BDR-101A

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  • Learn to read! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:40PM (#15586395)
    > The drive can do anything with CDs

    should read:
    The drive can't do anything with CDs
  • Fatal Error (Score:5, Funny)

    by linvir (970218) * on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:40PM (#15586396)
    Copyrighted media detected. Burn aborted.
  • Wow (Score:3, Funny)

    by quicks0rt (983047) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:41PM (#15586401)
    42 minutes... Oy!
    • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

      by morcheeba (260908) *
      That's about the data rate of a 7X DVD burner. Or a 73X CD burner.
    • I was really confused when I saw that fact.

      The printer friendly version doesn't have pictures and leaves out the most relevant piece of information
      As you can see from the chart generated by Nero's DVD-Speed utility, we suceessfully created a BD-E data disc. It took about 42 minutes to completely fill up the 25GB disc.
    • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      I remember when we were all using 1x burners and we liked it. For the number of times you're going to have to back up 25 Gigs, this should be sufficient. If you want something faster, then back up to tape or hard disk or something.
      • Considering I have to save twice that amount of data daily, I'm not really that impressed.
        On the other hand, retrieving the data should be pretty fast when comparing to other medias that can handle that much data.
      • by yabos (719499)
        Actually I think that's pretty damn good for a first generation device. The 1x CD burners were only doing less than 1MB per second from what I remember, so this is quite a lot faster.
        • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          Well, the 1x burners took 74 minutes to write a disc, which is 8.8 Megs a minute. Which is .146 Megs a second. That's pretty slow considering. Even just comparing the time to burn one entire disk, this thing blows the 1x burners out of the water.
        • 1x CD = 150K/s (which by no coindicence is the data rate for CD audio).

          • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

            by Shanep (68243)
            1x CD = 150K/s (which by no coindicence is the data rate for CD audio).

            Which I've always thought was odd since:

            * 44,100 samples per second per channel
            * 2 bytes per sample (16bit audio)
            * 2 channels

            44,100 (samps/sec) x 2 (bytes per samp) x 2 (channels) = 176,400 bytes per second or about 172kb/s in the old meaning of kb/s.
            • This is because the CD-ROM (Mode 1, "Data") standard added an additional ECC layer which takes up aditional bytes.

              You can still use these extra bytes for extra capacity if you use Mode 2 (VCDs use this), at the cost of ECC.

              In either case, the CD (assuming 1x read) still rotates at exactly the same speed, whether it is a CD-DA, CD-ROM Mode 1 or CD-ROM Mode 2 disc.
      • by Inda (580031)
        I remember my 1x burner failing to burn if I moved my mouse during the burning session.

        I wonder if they've fixed that yet?
      • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

        by Aceticon (140883)
        How about this:
        - Don't buy the Blu-Ray burner. Save $1000
        - Use the $1000 to buy 10x 250GB external HDs. This is equivalent to 40x Blu-Ray disks

        If you expect to burn more that 40 Blu-Ray disks AND expect the price per GB of Blu-Ray media to go below that for HDs (keep in mind that the price per-GB of HD media is going down fast), then go ahead and get the burner.

        By the way: Reading and writting data to an from and external HD, even via USB is actually much faster than to and from a Blu-Ray disk. Still, if th
        • Re:Wow (Score:3, Interesting)

          by FatherOfONe (515801)
          Yeah and it sure will be fun handing people hard drives out to see home video.

          While I do agree that it makes sense to have some "near line" backup solution, it is by no means a replacement for tapes and CD/DVD/Blu-Ray. Remember this is first gen, heck it is first. DVD burners cost $2,000 when they were released. Having said that, it would be very nice to backup all my pictures to one of these babies as opposed to the current 3 DVD's it takes now.

          Now having said that, I also agree that for me it isn't wor
    • Re:Wow (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Firehed (942385)
      I was just thinking.... I could easily go through over five DVDs in 42 minutes, and I only have an 8x burner. And I'll prove it to myself in about an hour, as I've got about a dozen .isos that I need to deal with. How could I not love proving to myself that older sony-backed products always work faster and better than the newer ones?
      • The difference is you dont need to sit there and change the discs, the same could be said for floppies vs CD's.
    • 42 minutes... Oy!

      Yeah, but, 25GB. That's about equivalent to a 60x CD-R drive in terms of throughput.

      Heck, I remember the days when it took over half an hour to burn a single 650MB CD-R. I'm not about to complain about 25 in 42.
  • Why burn just 1? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by posterlogo (943853) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:42PM (#15586410)

    ...when you can set up your own distribution center: Engadget has a peek at Primera's mass Blu-ray duplication system [engadget.com]

    Primera has started shipping the world's first Blu-ray disc duplication system, the Bravo XR-Blu Disc Publisher, able to burn up to 50 discs in one session. The core of the unit is actually Pioneer's recently announced BDR-101A Blu-ray burner, but it's backed up by some sweet built-in robotics to keep the discs moving (we hope -- we've heard this things are a little buggy) and full-color direct-to-disc inkjet printing to ensure a professional-looking job. This being the first unit of its kind, however, it should come as no surprise that it only uses single-layer discs, able to store a measly 25 GB, but Primera says an upgrade will be available "shortly" to allow for dual-layer burning. And if you thought regular, single-disc Blu-ray burners were expensive, you better look away now, 'cause this beast will set you back a whopping $5295.

    Sounds like we'll be seeing surprisingly cheap Blu-ray movies on Ebay any day now.

    • Sounds like we'll be seeing surprisingly cheap Blu-ray movies on Ebay any day now.
      It'll take you 35 hours to burn a stack of 50 discs.
      70 hours if it's dual layer.

      Don't you remember how long it took for DVD-Rs to come down in price? We aren't going to see cheap BDVD-R movies on ebay for years.
      • that's it? I'd imagine that the media cost would be a larger barrier to pirates than how long it takes them to make the disks.
      • And why is that exactly? "able to burn up to 50 discs in one session" so you can burn all the disks at once using that device the OP was discussing.
      • Do you remember how long it took for DVD+R DL to come down in price? What's that, they haven't? Oh yeah.
        • Re:Why burn just 1? (Score:5, Informative)

          by AJWM (19027) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:04PM (#15587053) Homepage
          Yeah they have. DVD+R DL used to be about $10/disc ($30 for a 3-pack). Now they're in the $2-$3/disc range. Still a long way from the price of blank single layer DVD+/-R, let alone CD-R, but the price is coming down.

          Hey, I remember when blank CR-Rs were in the $10-20/disc range. RAM cost $50-$100/megabyte (not gigabyte). And DVD burners were still on the horizon at $15,000 each. And we likedit. (Hell no we didn't!)
    • Concurrency (Score:4, Interesting)

      by murderlegendre (776042) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @10:02PM (#15586791)

      Is it just me, or were there a LOT more DVD players and DVD media in enduser hands, before the announcement of DVD burners?

      It's almost like they (yes, the perjorative and mysterious 'they') want to have it both ways.. sell the stamped media, the blank media, and the hardware all at once - yet you *know*, from recent demonstrations, that they are geared up to protect any potential infringement of copyrights.

      Or is this just how things work, these days?

  • From the article: "Interestingly, the BDR-101A neither burns nor reads CD media of any type. So if you still need CD burning or reading capability, you'll need an additional drive."

    Anyway, the Blu-Ray disks are $19-29 USD. I will need to wait until I can buy a spindle of 100 Blu-Ray disks for 9.99 before I go out and buy one of these things.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      CD Disk = Compact Disc Disk

      This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by the Redundancy Department of Reduncancy.
    • I will need to wait until I can buy a spindle of 100 Blu-Ray disks for 9.99 before I go out and buy one of these things.

      Ummmm 25GB per disk, that is 2,500 GB or 2.5 TERRABYTES of storage for $10 dollars, which gives a price per Megabyte of 0.0004c. Current CompUSA own brand [compusa.com] is $24.99 for a $100 spindle CR-R (700Mb) which is 0.0357c, so you are asking for something almost ONE THOUSAND TIMES cheaper.

      Muppet.
      • Ummmm 25GB per disk, that is 2,500 GB or 2.5 TERRABYTES of storage for $10 dollars, which gives a price per Megabyte of 0.0004c. Current CompUSA own brand [compusa.com] is $24.99 for a $100 spindle CR-R (700Mb) which is 0.0357c, so you are asking for something almost ONE THOUSAND TIMES cheaper.

        It's not fair to compare CDRs to Blu-Ray DVDs.. Comparing to DVD-Rs is much more realistic. Blank DVDs are 4.7GB, and they cost $22.99 for 100 on newegg, or 4.89c per GB. Blu-Ray costs $20 per 25GB disk, or 8c per G

  • by Danga (307709) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:47PM (#15586446)
    Why did they leave that ability out? I know I don't want to have a separate drive to read CD's, but with this drive that is the only option. I can see phasing out CD's once this new generation of media is firmly in place but it is way too early to start phasing out CD's. Floppy disks somewhat recently just got phased out for Christ's sake. I don't see CD's going anywhere for at least 3 more years.
    • by ivan256 (17499) *
      With the crap most CD copy protection does, and how quickly it burns through drives, I wouldn't want to put CDs in this thing... Hell, for $1000, I wouldn't do *anything* with it that I could do with a cheaper drive...
    • Most likely, they assume that people buying this will either already have a cdrom drive or have an extra slot for one. It's nice to have them in one drive, but then again, plenty of drives are still sold that can't burn cds.

    • At $1000 per drive & $19-$29 per disk, anyone buying this 1st gen BDVD drive can deal with its lack of CD capabilities. Maybe they'll enable CD capabilities with a BIOS flash, but the 2nd gen drives should definitely be faster & able to handle CDs.

      What I found more interesting was that they left DVD-RAM off the compatibility list.

      Why no love for DVD-RAM?
      • by ivan256 (17499) *
        Why no love for DVD-RAM?

        Licensing fees.
      • by Danga (307709)
        Maybe they'll enable CD capabilities with a BIOS flash
        I am not entirely sure but I think it would require a different laser, so a BIOS flash to support CD's may not be possible.

        Why no love for DVD-RAM?
        People exist who actually use DVD-RAM? I mean it has some advantages such as hardware verification of written data and the ability to be used similar to how a HD is used but because it is not highly supported and is pricey why not just buy an actual hard disk?
        • People exist who actually use DVD-RAM? I mean it has some advantages such as hardware verification of written data and the ability to be used similar to how a HD is used but because it is not highly supported and is pricey why not just buy an actual hard disk?

          It may start to become more common... some inexpensive DVD recordable drives are starting to include DVD-RAM compatibility. The disks are still a bit pricey ($10 each?) which may keep DVD-RAM as a niche market.

    • by ivan256 (17499) * on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:32PM (#15586663)
      Incidentally, you can get a CD burner for less than a Blu-Ray blank for this thing.
      • >Incidentally, you can get a CD burner for less than a Blu-Ray blank

        Yes, but that is not the point. Many people have smaller systems now and either don't want a separate drive or CAN'T have a second, optical internal drive. I see no reason why the drive should not support reading and writing CD/CDR/CDRW, it should be extremely easy. It is a bad precedent to set- not having backwards support, and for something that is physically the same size disc!

        CD's are not going away anytime soon. There are billio
        • by ivan256 (17499) *
          Something tells me that if you're so hard up for a drive *now* that you are willing to blow $1000, and not wait for cheaper, more feature rich drives, you're putting it in a system that is solely designed for BluRay authoring...

          It is a bad precedent to set

          What a load of crap. They're not setting a precedent... They're just getting their drive out the door before everybody else. The CD part of the firmware probably wasn't done, and leaving it out probably shaved days off the release.

          If you don't understand i
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Don't think of it as a lack of a CD-Player/CD-Burner ...

      Think of it as protection from Sony's Root-Kit
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Friday June 23, 2006 @12:29AM (#15587341) Homepage Journal
      I would expect competing drives to offer it soon enough. I don't think it is to try to phase out CDs.

      I think CD compatibility would require a tri-laser head, which exist but might not be production ready yet. CD/DVD burners are generally, one for each medium because each has its own optimal frequency. Blu-Ray and HD-DVD are a third, significantly separated frequency from the other two.

      Frankly, I don't see the problem. At that price, it is probably marketed as an authoring test drive or a very rich nerd toy. Many nerds and many media authors tend to have multiple optical drives anyway.

  • The Summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by Doomedsnowball (921841) <doomedsnowballs@yahoo.com> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:47PM (#15586451)
    In the end, the BDR-101A is really a device for a select audience. For what it's worth, the drive is actually cheaper than the first-generation DVD recorders, which weighed in at over $2,000 when they first launched. Over the next months and years, we'll see the price of Blu-ray drives start to come down, as players, media, and the technology for more easily creating discs becomes more prevalent. It's also not well-suited for watching Blu-ray movies, since no off-the-shelf software exists. It's a good tool for people who are authoring Blu-ray, and are willing to put up with the single-layer limitation. For anyone else, it's really an expensive toy.

    This just about sums up the entire article: Wow, neat. Don't buy one yet.

  • by Frightening (976489) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:49PM (#15586456) Homepage
    We have already established that Blu-Ray READERS are to be boycotted for the general public good. Why post an article about a BURNER when nobody is going to use the READERS? I mean, everybody reads and believes slashdot, right? Right?
    • by bsartist (550317) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:59PM (#15586508) Homepage
      We have already established that Blu-Ray READERS are to be boycotted for the general public good.
      I believe that has more to do with DRM-infested commercial releases than with the readers themselves.

      Why post an article about a BURNER
      Backups, distribution of free software, etc. There are plenty of uses for a new recordable optical media type that don't involve buying commercial DRM-infested discs.

      Oh hell, who am I kidding? The real reason is right here [thepiratebay.org].
    • by DarkEdgeX (212110) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:55PM (#15586757) Journal
      Actually, Blu-ray Disc is the format everyone should be hoping wins if you have any interest in data backup to optical media. HD DVD is a joke compared to BD (15/30 GB for HD DVD vs. 25/50 GB for BD). And don't get me started on the kind of extras we'll see on BD that we'll never see on HD DVD simply due to the capacity issue (or that TV shows on BD will fit more episodes per disc than HD DVD can, or that longish movies like The Lord of the Ring: The Return of the King Extended Edition will probably work fine on a single 50 GB BD disc, but will likely have problems with an HD DVD disc).

      Blah. Sony may be screwing up this format launch so far, but I really hope they pick up the ball on this. Since it'll be at least another 5-10 years before another optical format emerges, I'd hate to see HD DVD be the one we're stuck with for that duration...
    • by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:07PM (#15587065)
      Note, "HD" is possible on DVD5 or above.

      Here are the steps to follow:
      1. Upscale your DVD collection, writing using standard DVD's, in the DVD format, except enhanced for resolution, and perhaps formats (Perhaps Theora, DivX, MP4, in addition to MPEG2).
      Call this DVD-HD.
      2. Find a player that plays these DVD-HD discs. Buy this player.
      3. When/If you find a commercial disc encoded with "DVD-HD", buy it as well.
      4. Remember, don't buy the other HD-DRM discs (Unless it has be worked-around)
      5. You can buy a DVD20 or DVD45 writer for data backups.
      6. If a "DVD-HD" player is sold that plays "DVD20-HD" or DVD45-HD", buy this player.
      7. Or just use VLC on a PC.
      8. When/If you find a commercial DVD20 or DVD45 disc encoded with "DVD-HD", buy it as well.

      0. If you bought into HD-DRM-DVD, then you expect the next step to be expiring media, then rentals only . Have fun.

    • (+5: Insightful), that's sweet!

      But was the up-mod for the insight, or for the irony?
      Some of our zany mods need to tick it up a few for Informative, just to seal the deal ;)

  • Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@[ ]cast.net ['com' in gap]> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:51PM (#15586464)
    Honestly, why bother?

    Blu ray would have been relevant 4 years ago if it had been introduced then, but it wasn't. Instead it's been introduced in todays age when you can buy a 250 GB hard disk for less than $70 with ease. The disks for this will be like any other disk in that their effective lifecycle will just be a few years. Like any other burnable disk they will suffer from burn problems and very low reliability.

    It doesn't price justify to buy this kind of media (nevermind the whole DRM bit). Your better off spending your money on hard drives, they hold significantly more data, are an order of magnitude cheaper and several orders of magnitude more durable. In all sincerity, why would you ever want to buy something like this?

    • Re:Why bother? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zippthorne (748122)
      Four years ago DVDs were still catching on, after about two decades of VHS. Now a new format is on the scene less than half a decade after DVD became dominant. The only thing we've really learned is that it's stupid to maintain your own personal video library, since everything's just going to have to be re-released in the new format anyway. so.. the real winners are netflix and people who like uncluttered furnishings.
      • Well I guess I will have to buy the White album again...
      • Re:Why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by evilviper (135110) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @10:44PM (#15586961) Journal
        The only thing we've really learned is that it's stupid to maintain your own personal video library,

        Not at all. VHS tapes aren't compatible with DVD players, however, Blu-ray and HD-DVD players are fully compatible with the DVD collection you already own.

        In addition, these high-def formats are fundamentally different:

        They are being introduced at the very start of a new TV technology (unlike DVDs, which were released at the END of NTSC TVs).

        They provide the full resolution these new TVs can display (unlike VHS)

        It's perfectly reasonable to assume HDTV will be the standard for the next 50+ years. Only 3D TV could require something new, and that's nowhere near the horizon.

        Now that our home media has switched to digital (computer) standards, it's perfectly reasonable to assume backwards compatibility for many, many generations of formats to come.

        There's absolutely no reason to re-buy your DVD library, thanks to backwards compatibility.

        These technologies are just being introduced. Maybe they won't catch-on for a few years.

        You're acting like you have to throw away all your DVDs RIGHT NOW.

    • Re:Why bother? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by donglekey (124433)
      Because in 2 years the dual layer disks will cost 50 cents a piece which will mean you can backup a terabyte for $10 and give it to a friend.
      • Piffle (Score:4, Interesting)

        by onyxruby (118189) <onyxruby@[ ]cast.net ['com' in gap]> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:16PM (#15586589)
        Dual layer DVD's have been out for a couple years now and the media /still/ costs about $2 a disc (best price on froogle). And to get that price you have to buy them by the 50 pack. By the time these disks come down to the price point you offered I'll be able to get a 1 TB drive for the price I offered, and the effeciency curve will continue to favor the drive. So why bother to invest in this technology.
        • Yes, but you can get the single layer discs for $0.33 each, Which will give you 470 GB for $30 (when bought in lots of 100, Best Buy Price [bestbuy.com]). That price is much better than hard drives, and you can swap stuff with friends easier. I would hesitate about giving a friend a $70 hard drive. I also wouldn't want to tote it back and forth with me everywhere, because that much travel can make them much more failure prone. The new BluRay disks hold 25 Gigs each, so assuming you could get them at the same price (D
          • Re:Piffle (Score:2, Insightful)

            by PSXer (854386) *
            Ah, but of course the problem with that: Sitting at the computer all day slowly inserting new discs. Granted, I do spend quite a bit of time in front of a computer, but it's irritating to constantly have "when will this one be done so I can put the next disc in" on your mind.
        • Dual layer DVD's have been out for a couple years now and the media /still/ costs about $2 a disc

          Yes, but dual-layer DVDs have been the single exception, quite possibly because people haven't yet felt the desire to upgrade from their single-layer DVD burners.

          CDs and single-layer DVDs have dropped through the floor very quickly, and I can't see any reason why single-layer Blu-ray discs won't do the same.
        • Actually, the cheapest I found for a 50pk was $1.45 ea. with free shipping [shop4tech.com], which is still sort of pricey, but a not-insignificant 27.5% below $2. I found name brands around $1.80, which is still 10% less than $2.

          Also you don't have to buy them on spindles to get them at or below $2/ea:

          http://meritline.stores.yahoo.net/single-sample-du al-layer-dvd-dl-r-media.html [yahoo.net]
          recordingstore.com [amazon.com]
        • by AJWM (19027)
          Dual layer DVD's have been out for a couple years now and the media /still/ costs about $2 a disc

          Still? Still? When DL first came out the media cost about $10-15 disc -- probably more than that but I bought my first DL burner about 2 years ago when the media price dropped to about $10 (3 for $29.95). It was at least a year after that before the price started to drop, as competitive suppliers began filling the pipelines.
    • In all sincerity, why would you ever want to buy something like this?

      Well once the price of the media and drives comes down, there is a/are format(s) that are somewhat standard, and high definition DVD players are more common how about to be able to master your own HD DVD's? You can't really cheaply mail out copies of the latest video you took in HD to people using hard disks and it also is pretty hard to get a high definition DVD player to play content when it is on a hard disk and not a compatible optica
    • Because I can't pop in my hard drive into a DVD player?
    • When will we know whether Blu-ray/HD are taking or flopping? Companies must have projected sales forecasts, don't you know it man.

      (I so very want to see the looks on face when gray haired executive boss jerk gets angry at financial operations manager... I HATE THEM so much!!!!)

    • You can get a firewire or usb2 hard drive if you want to use it as a backup solution.

      Then you can transfer it to computer to computer and not have to worry if it has an expensive blue ray reader.

      Your right about the hard drive. Definitely for $399 you can get a 200gig usb2 drive easily
  • Video (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Silent sound (960334) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:52PM (#15586468)
    Can this drive burn video blu-ray discs capable of being played back on a blu-ray video drive?
    • I would certainly hope so, and I've seen nothing suggesting discs burned with BD burners can't be played back on set top devices. I imagine you'd need some authoring software of some sort though, and I'm not aware of anything commercially available that'll let you author BD discs (though Nero Burning ROM 7.0+ has support for Blu-ray Disc burners, maybe it has some wizard to make it easy to burn a video only disc as long as the video is encoded properly?).

      I'd love to see some feedback on this though.
  • by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:56PM (#15586492) Homepage
    It remains to be seen if the Beta-Ra*COUGH* blu-ray has any merit.

    Please forgive me. I seem to have caught a cold. It has persisted since, oh, about 1983 or so...
    • What's Beta?
    • The association that Blu-Ray is a Sony proprietary technology is, as far as I can tell, plain wrong. It is proprietary to a large group which Sony happens to be a member of. I'm not convinced that the constant association with Sony is anything but deliberate FUD. All but two hardware makers on the DVD forum collaborated on the Blu-Ray standard.
      • The association that Blu-Ray is a Sony proprietary technology is, as far as I can tell, plain wrong. It is proprietary to a large group which Sony happens to be a member of. I'm not convinced that the constant association with Sony is anything but deliberate FUD. All but two hardware makers on the DVD forum collaborated on the Blu-Ray standard.

        Joke n.

        - a humorous anecdote or remark intended to provoke laughter; "he told a very funny joke"; "he knows a million gags"; "thanks for the laugh"; "he laughed unpl

  • growisofs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bing Tsher E (943915)
    Cool! So when can I burn these disks with growisofs from the command prompt? I'll maybe get one of these drives then.
  • im too paranoid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrP- (45616) <rob.elitemrp@net> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:54PM (#15586753) Homepage
    i'm too paranoid to use stuff like this for backups.. sure 25 gigs is nice but whats the use if i just burn everything in 35 copies on the disc incase one part becomes unreadable?

    as media starts to hold more, i just start creating more copies of the same backup on the disc. bluray/hdvd scares me because if it gets scratched you lose so much more than if a cd gets scratched
    • Definitely (Score:5, Funny)

      by blueZ3 (744446) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:04PM (#15587054) Homepage
      That's why I have my Mac backed up on 3,248 floppies. If anything goes wrong with one, I'll only lose 1.44MB
    • by MojoStan (776183) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:49PM (#15587218)
      i'm too paranoid to use stuff like this for backups.. sure 25 gigs is nice but whats the use if i just burn everything in 35 copies on the disc incase one part becomes unreadable?

      as media starts to hold more, i just start creating more copies of the same backup on the disc. bluray/hdvd scares me because if it gets scratched you lose so much more than if a cd gets scratched

      One of the most useful comments (for me) I've ever read on Slashdot was one suggesting PAR2 files for DVD backups [slashdot.org].

      For those that don't know, PAR2 files are parity files that can efficiently reconstruct missing or damaged blocks in your archive. If you have more PAR2 recovery blocks than damaged blocks, then you can completely reconstruct all of the damaged files in your archive. The best newbie explanation I've seen is the "PAR & PAR2 files" section [slyck.com] from Slyck's Guide To The Newsgroups.

      If I'm backing up to a data DVD-R (capacity 4,706,074,624 bytes), I'll leave around 4GB of space for the actual data and fill the rest (to the brim) with the PAR2 files that I created for that data. I name the PAR2 files starting with the letter 'z' so that they get burned on the outer edge of the DVD. When creating the PAR2 files, I choose a block size that is a multiple of 2048 bytes because that is the block size of a DVD sector.

      Some easy-to-use tools to create PAR2 files:

      • Windows: QuickPar [quickpar.org.uk] (freeware)
      • OS X: MacPar deLuxe [xs4all.nl] (shareware, $15)
      • Linux/OS Independent (GTK): GPar2 [sourceforge.net]

      Some DVD data recovery software (to get every readable block off a damaged disc):

      • Windows: IsoBuster [isobuster.com] (recovery functions are free)
      • Linux/OS X (command line): dd_rescue [garloff.de]

      Thanks, WuphonsReach.

    • If you're concerned about loosing valuable data make duplicates of a disk. That's what I tend to do.

      Moreover, having even larger disks would make that process a LOT more efficient. I'd much rather make multiple copies of a few large disks then multiple copies of dozens of smaller disks.

      No doubt, putting all your eggs in one big basket is dumb, and putting all your eggs in multiple little baskets is a better thing to. Yet, if you can make copies of that big basket all your huevos are going to be pretty damn
  • Stupid Sony... (Score:3, Informative)

    by pestilence669 (823950) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:56PM (#15586768)
    This reminds me of the PS1, which used CDROM. At that time, the HP SureStore burner cost me $1,200. Good blank media cost $20 per disc. Add a little bit of soldering, and I never had to pay late fees for my game rentals ever again.

    Now, right before the PS3 release, Blu-ray burners are available in the same price range. Even the media is similarly priced. If history repeats itself, which it always does, you should be able "backup" your PS3 games for under $400 in about a year.
    • You assume that a mod chip will appear for the PS3. Perhaps one will but it will have to be damned careful to be totally undetectable to the firmware and future versions of the firmware. Furthermore I expect that Sony & Microsoft have carefully watched how their previous consoles got hacked to make sure that it is far, far harder to do the same to their latest. Not just the firmware, but what solder points they stick on the board and so on. Besides, Sony is bound to force you to update your firmware whe
  • Incredible! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eieken (635333) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:59PM (#15586780) Homepage
    Lets look at all the FEATURES, shall we?
    • $1000 price tag
    • Can't do anything with regular CDs
    • $19-$25 for one disc? Can you say Zip disk?
    • Can't burn dual layer discs, although dual layer blu-ray discs are available, completely ASININE!
    • "The drive includes Roxio Digital Media 7 for creating discs, but does not ship with software to watch Blu-ray movies." WTF?
    Sounds like a winner to me!
    • Re:Incredible! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 3vi1 (544505) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @10:22PM (#15586866) Homepage Journal
      You act like the prices are really outragous, but this is what we call the "early adopter" cost. I had one of the first CD recorders, years ago (when people were still shocked there even was such a thing):

            - $1995 price tag
            - Could only record 650MB CD's, and at 2x speed
            - Blank CD's started at $20 to $25 each.
            - Could not handle rewritables, as there were none.
            - No buffer underrun protection (i.e., $20+ coasters)
            - The Pinnacle Micro drive I had came with super-beta software,
                      so you were guaranteed to get one of those pricey
                      coasters for every dozen disks.

      The Blue Ray drive doesn't sound bad at all, in comparison. Expect media price to plummet as soon as there's competition, and expect the drives prices to drop 400% within 3 years.
    • Re:Incredible! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by donaldm (919619)
      The organisation I worked for at the time got a special deal of a US$1000 from Silicon Graphics (SGI) for a scsi CDROM drive (did not write) so we could load software from CD (cira 1990) rather than use real-to-real magnetic tape.

      It appears young people today have no idea of how much IT costs have plummeted in the last few years. To me the Bluray player/recorder or even the (shock, horror) PS3 is cheap for what it can do, especially if you compare it against older technology and like it or not DVD is older
    • Laser printers, PCs flat, CD-ROM drives, hard drives, screen monitors etc. all cost a fortune when they first appeared. That's because early adopters pay a lot more for kit. Sometimes its because they need the gear and other times because they have more money than sense and want shiny things.

      The price will come down eventually. Since BD-ROMs are aimed fairly and squarely at consumers it is inevitable that you'll start to see them ship in some of the higher price PC models by the end of the year. I doubt t

    • $1000 price tag is not unreasonable. I'm half tempted to pick one up for myself at that price (the $4k price range was completely out-of-reach). But I'll probably wait for them to drop to around $300.

      $19-$25 for the media isn't bad. I got started with DVD-R back when the disks were still a few dollars each. I expect that the media prices will drop to the $8-$10 range in about a year (if it follows the same curve as DVD media did).

  • They might as well have used SCSI-3/SAS and gained some performance instead of sticking with IDE.
  • by alaloom (966252) on Friday June 23, 2006 @11:15AM (#15589637)
    From the first releases of HD-DVD movies, even encoded with the more efficient MPEG4.

    The Last Samurai: 28GB,
    Mel Brooks's Blazing Saddles: 26GB,
    The Phantom of the Opera: 25GB,
    Jarhead: 25GB.
    The Bourne Identity: 23GB
    Serenity: 20GB,
    The Fugitive: 18GB,
    Doom 17GB.

    None of these movies could fit in a single layer HD-DVD, and some came very close to filling up the double sided one. Current capacity (double layer), Blue Ray: 50GB, HD-DVD: 30GB. but that's just the beginning. The highest achieved for the 2 formats: Blue Ray: 100GB, HD-DVD: 45GB. The theoretical max: Blue Ray 200GB, HD-DVD: 60GB. I'm really surprised that M$ and Inter support HD-DVD, obviously the Blue Ray has a lot more to offer capacity wise.

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