Although Sony has had internal Blu-ray burners and players on the market for some time, one reason why people may not have flocked to buying these products is because of the pricing, which Sony has just announced some reasonably hefty price cuts on.
The BWU200S is Sony’s Internal SATA Blu-Ray burner, with its price dropping from AUD $899 to $599 – a reasonably impressive 30% reduction.
On the other hand, the BDUX10S, an Internal SATA Blu-ray BD-ROM drive (or player only) has fallen from AUD $299 to $249, a less impressive 15% reduction, but clearly a reduction nevertheless.
Sony notes that the player comes with “CyberLink's PowerDVD BD Edition software”, which lets you “playback commercial and personally recorded Blu-ray movies and also content on DVDs and CDs”, but to watch commercial Blu-ray movies you’ll need an HDCP compliant video card and display.
So, don’t buy the internal drive to watch Blu-ray movies in full 1080P HD resolution if your video card and screen aren’t HDCP (high definition content protection) complaint – a standard designed to prevent users from making unauthorised copies of high-definition content.
While the Blu-ray burner comes with Cyberlink software suite “to author BD and DVD discs as well as general disc burning for BD/DVD/CDs”, the specs page for this product notes that: “BD-ROM playback requires additional hardware/software not supplied with this product”.
Er... thanks, Sony! Far out.
Well, you can see what I've crossed out above. I've just received a phone call from Sony's PR agency advising me that there IS a free upgrade - and thus the free availability of a Blu-ray commercial movie playback software program when you purchase the BWU200S Blu-ray burner.
The relevant Sony Blu-ray burner/player product manager has emailed the following statement: "It states in the piece that we do not provide the software to playback commercial Blu-ray movies. And that you’ll have to buy an additional software Blu-ray movie player. This is incorrect as we do provide a FREE upgrade to this software on http://sony.storagesupport.com/bdupgrade. This link is displayed on the drive’s box."
Well, hopefully Sony will make this clear on the website at the link above to the Sony Style website, as well, where the specs page and the included information mistakenly makes it appear you'll need to purchase additional software. Not everyone goes into a store to read the box when doing research, that's what the Internet is for, after all. So, glad to see Sony isn't forcing Blu-ray burner buyers to buy additional Blu-ray playback software!
Additionally, the BWU200S burner is capable of burning both 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray discs and 25GB single layer BD discs, comes with “all required cabling” in the box and one included blank 50GB BD-R disc.
Both drives are standard 5.25-inch sized drives and work on Windows XP or Vista. They’ll probably work with Macs too but don’t come with any Mac compatible software in the box, and Mac users that are interested are advised to check online first to see what others who have bought these drives for their Macs are doing.
Still, isn’t a portable hard drive still much, much cheaper to buy than a Blu-ray storage solution? Please read on to page 2.