Not that we haven't seen a 12x Blu-ray burner before, but it'll be a cold day in the underworld before you hear us griping about a little friendly competition. Sony Optiarc has taken the cellophane off of its newest crop of half-height writers, the BD-5300S, BWU-500S and BWU-500S. These guys will soon be shipping in a variety of retail and OEM configurations, offering up Blu-ray 3D playback, 12x toasting of BD-R media (dual-layer steps down to 8x) and a copy of CyberLink's Media Suite 8 with the latter unit. The outfit's not talking dollars and cents, but you can judge the value for yourself when they start filtering out in the next few weeks.
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SONY OPTIARC AMERICA INTRODUCES NEXT-GENERATION BLU-RAY DISC REWRITABLE DRIVES

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 4, 2010 – Sony Optiarc America today announced its next-generation half-height internal Blu-ray Disc® (BD) rewritable drives for the computer aftermarket.

Available in a retail and OEM configuration, the new drives are an ideal replacement burner for a standard DVD drive while offering all the benefits of Blu-ray Disc technology, including Blu-ray 3D™ high-definition playback.

The drives write single BD-R media at up to 12X and dual layer BD-R media at up to 8X speeds, recording a full 25GB disc in about 10 minutes. The 12X recording speed is achieved using 6X compatible BD-R media.

The BWU-500S retail branded model comes with CyberLink's Media Suite 8 software for capturing, authoring, editing, backing up, viewing high-definition personal content and playing back Blu-ray Disc movies including 3D Blu-ray movies. Also included in the retail box is one 25GB Sony BD-R blank disc.

The new drives can record up to 50GB of data for random access storage and backup on BD-R (write once) or BD-RE (rewritable) discs, or up to 220 minutes of high-definition 24M bps MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video on a BD-R/RE 50GB disc.

The drives also record standard 4.7GB DVD+/-R discs at up to 16X speeds, 8.5 GB DVD+/-R Double/Dual layer at up to 8X, DVD+RW at up to 8X, DVD-RW at up to 6X, CD-R at up to 48X, CD-RW at up to 24X, and support DVD-RAM recording at up to 12X speeds.


The internal drives feature a Serial ATA (SATA) interface and standard 5.25-inch form-factor for easy installation inside a desktop PC. They also incorporate intelligent monitoring for consistent recording, and adjusting read-speed technology which enhances smooth playback.

Availability

The BWU-500S retail branded drive and the OEM BD-5300S drive are available this month through authorized distributors, resellers and select online sites.