Blu-ray Wes Novack on 11 Jun 2007

New Blu-ray burner from Optiarc

New Blu-ray burner from Optiarc

OptiarcOptiarc, the optical storage technology joint venture between Sony and NEC, recently announced their first Blu-ray burner for PC’s. This internal PC drive is named the Optiarc BD-M100A and will be able to write single layer BD-R media at up to 8x speeds. The drive will also support dual layer BD-R burning, DVD burning and CD-R burning.

“Through the joining of NEC and Sony’s optical storage businesses we can actually manufacture both Blu-ray and HD DVD products,” he said. “However, at the moment, we are being asked for Blu-ray burners from customers, which is what we’re focusing on.”

With the launch of this new Optiarc drive, we will now have Blu-ray burners available from 5 different manufacturers (Panasonic, LG, Pioneer, LiteOn and Optiarc). HD DVD burners are still conspicuously absent from the consumer market. Everyone expects to see Toshiba HD DVD burners appear in the near future, but the release of these drives has been delayed multiple times. LiteOn is rumored to be working on their own HD DVD-R burners as well.

It is very interesting to hear that Optiarc has not completely ruled out HD DVD drive manufacturing, as I had assumed that they would not support HD DVD whatsoever do to the close affiliation with Sony Corporation, who is the largest backer of the Blu-ray format. The relationship with Sony has definitely impacted NEC’s (Optiarc) HD DVD plans in some ways though. At CES 2006, I noticed quite a few NEC HD DVD readers and burners on display, which have yet to make an appearance or be announced for the consumer market.

UPDATE: Thanks to Ian at CDRLabs for letting us know that this Optiarc Blu-ray drive is actually just a Panasonic rebadge! You would think that an optical drive joint venture between Sony and NEC could come up with their own unique drive design, but that is not the case as of yet.

5 Responses to “New Blu-ray burner from Optiarc”

  1. on 12 Jun 2007 at 2:04 PM 1.Ian@CDRLabs said …

    You’d think Optiarc could come up with their own design but this is just a rebadged Panasonic.

  2. on 14 Jun 2007 at 1:11 PM 2.Steve said …

    That’s sort of ridiculous that they’d even bother with it when it’s not their own design.

    NEC is one of the two HD DVD developers (Toshiba the other) and they also make Blu-ray transports. Sony hasn’t made HD DVD transports, but this announcement doesn’t rule it out (although not “technically” Sony).

  3. on 14 Jun 2007 at 1:28 PM 3.Wesley Novack said …

    Even though NEC is one of the original HD DVD developers, they haven’t yet mass produced any HD DVD drives or set any release dates. As I said in the article, maybe this is due to the new relationship with Sony? I’m sure Toshiba is steaming over the whole situation…

  4. on 21 Jun 2007 at 4:18 PM 4.Steve said …

    It seems that Toshiba is making Blu-ray players though through the TSST relationship with Samsung. The Toshiba HD-XA2 and the Samsung BDP-1200 are too similar to have been from a different factory. They look alike and share all the same hardware features from the broadcom chipset to the HQV scaler. They even look identical.

  5. on 21 Jun 2007 at 5:09 PM 5.Wesley Novack said …

    Even though Toshiba and Samsung had a joint optical storage venture through TSST, they have always maintained some animosity towards one another (and seperation).

    I don’t know if it was due to racism (Japanese vs Korean) or something else, but from working with both of these companies and from other things that I’ve heard, they seem not to like each other very much at all…

    Very interesting comments on the HD-XA2 vs the BDP-1200 though, I will have to check them out in person for a side by side comparison…

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