Pioneer BRD-101A: Test and Review

The BDR-101A Pioneer boasts of being one of the first writers to PC to read and write data to Blu-Ray discs. This model is in fact compatible with the new recording media, designated as the likely successor to DVD. What differences with them? First, they offer storage space five times the standard DVD. Blu-Ray single layer and has a capacity of 23.3 GB (25,000,000,000 bytes, or 25 GB), enough to dispose easily of 4 to 5 hours in HD video.

If it stores a lot of data, burn them requires a lot of patience. His theoretical writing speed is 2x or a rate of only 9 MB / s (equivalent to 1x 4.5 MB / s in the world of Blu-Ray). In practice, it takes 47 minutes and the BDR-101A to fill the 25 GB Blu-Ray medium write-once BD-R. This corresponds to an average rate of 8.4 MB per second (see the results of perfromances tests). The finding remains with BD-RE discs, rewritable. These read and write speeds are roughly two times lower than those produced by a recent DVD recorder compatible with the DVD + and DVD media -. He thus duplicates a DVD video on a dual layer media in 45 minutes while a recent DVD burner would put half the time.

And it is not much better in reading, since the rates displayed in this case can not exceed 2x well. By comparison, the rates proposed by recent DVD recorders when writing on blank DVDs are about twice with theoretical speeds topping out at 21.6 MB / s!

An even more disappointing realization that the Blu-Ray technology provides a theoretical read speed of 8x, a transfer rate of 36 MB / s. Anyway, the BDR-101A read and write data always at the rate of 2x, future updates to its firmware, firmware controlling this device will change nothing by Pioneer.

The main asset of the BDR-101A is to copy data to the Blu-Ray blank media. However these are rather expensive, count 20 euros for a BD-R disc and 25 euros for a BD-RE. Its main drawback is not to support the CD, admittedly old, but still relevant. If it can play Blu-Ray discs double layers “pre-recorded” no hope engrave anything either. Finally, according to Pioneer’s BDR-101A will allow the viewing of upcoming films sold on Blu-Ray media and equipped with copy protection AACS. The first feature films on this media is not available yet, we have not been able to verify that accounting.

However, if copy at lower speeds, the internal model the shape, the dimensions of a DVD burner. And he moved in the same manner. The BD-R is room is inside the CPU, using a power cable and a data cable. The operation takes at the very least five minutes for those who have already installed this type of device. This drive comes with software Roxio DigitalMedia LE. The use is the same, that one data copy Blu-ray discs or DVDs. Only the project size limit varies depending on the backup media. DigitalMedia LE, expanded in some functions, is confined to the optical disk data recording. It ignores the Video DVD creation for example.

The BDR-101A sold for the tidy sum of 700 euros. Those who wish to change burner are well advised to wait at risk of acquiring a product that will quickly become obsolete. The price of Blu-Ray burners should logically decrease and the read and write speeds on these new media increase. Moreover, Blu-ray is competing, one knows for how long, with the HD DVD format to succeed the older DVD format. And, as was the case with the type of DVD media – and + it is likely that compatible recorders Blu-Ray and HD DVD are emerging.

Results of performance tests

Time engraving media TDK BD-R 2x (23.3 GB of data)

47 min 12 s

Time engraving media TDK BD-RE at 2x (21.6 GB of data)

45 min 26 s

Average flow reading on TDK BD-RE

7.28 MB / s

Average access time on TDK BD-RE

250 ms by Pioneer

Media engraving duration TDK DVD + R DL at 2.4x (8 GB of data)

43 min 55 s

Time recording to DVD + R media at 8x Verbatim (4.3 GB of data)

10 min 30 s

Time recording to DVD + RW media at 4x TDK (4.3 GB of data)

14 min 28 s

Time recording to DVD-R media at 8x Verbatim (4.3 GB of data)

10 min 38 s

Average flow read on DVD-Rom

7.53 MB / s

Average access time DVD-Rom

127 ms