Optical Drives Guide

Sony BWU-100A Blu-ray Writer review

Sony BWU-100A (2x Blu-ray Writer)

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The State of Blu-ray

The State of Blu-ray

The expected clash between the two media formats vying for the HD crown has so far been quite the letdown. Plagued by production setbacks (the seeming lack of the blue laser diode required for both HD DVD and Blu-ray drives is often blamed for the production issues), Sony's Blu-ray has yet to make the substantial impact the company hopes. Meanwhile, the issues with Blu-ray have delayed Sony's new console, the PlayStation 3 and though the console is finally available now, supply is very limited, with production numbers falling far behind competitors like Nintendo's Wii.

In short, the Blu-ray and HD DVD format war has barely started and already, Blu-ray is groaning under the weight of its own problems. On the other hand, Microsoft's HD DVD unit for the Xbox 360 seems to be readily available from online retailers for some reason despite the oft-quoted production issues, and its attractive price together with the Xbox's larger user base, does seem to favor the HD DVD format. Add to that the less than stellar Blu-ray movie transfers that we have seen (from the first generation material) and the picture doesn't look too rosy at the moment for Sony. However, the mainstream consumer has yet to buy into the whole HD vision so far and it is still premature to bet on either side now. You can however expect to see more smoke than fire in the format war in the coming year.

As for the enthusiasts who crave the latest and perhaps actually need the greater archival capabilities of the new formats, they probably have made their minds about which formats to support. With HD DVD burners quite the rare commodity, Blu-ray writers seem to have the upper hand when it comes to the enthusiast segment and now consumers have another choice to consider in the form of Sony's new BWU-100A Blu-ray writer. Capable of reading and writing up to 2x speed for both single and dual layer Blu-ray media (BD-R and BD-RE), along with support for most common DVD and CD formats, can the Sony live up to the expectations of the LG GBW-H10N Blu-ray writer that we had seen before?