back to article Sony off-shoot unveils 'cheaper' Blu-ray drive for laptops

Optiarc, the optical drive joint venture between Sony and NEC, has taken the wraps off its first Blu-ray Disc playback drive for laptops, claiming the machine will allow notebook makers to equip mid-range models with the next-gen disc format. Optiarc BC-5500A Optiarc's BC-5500A: Blu-ray playback for laptops Optiarc's BC- …


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  1. Chris Adams

    Cheaper is good unless

    they are shafted by the blu-ray DRM nonsense.

    It's bad enough if the dodgy software phones home from a player attached to my telly, never mind attached to my computer, where all the really juicy data sits.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Irony alert

    OK, can anyone suggest a use for 25Gb storage on a disk burned on a home PC? Perhaps someone who has gone loopy with the home movie camera? Or someone who has copy and pasted hundreds of 10Megapixel photos directly into a PowerPoint presentation?

    Call me cynical, but won't by far the most common use of the new disk format be the storage and distribution of pirated music and video content? How many DivX movies can you fit one one of these babies? How many people have legal mp3 collections that need 25Gb storage?

    Its just lucky that Sony isn't the kind of company to limit a technology just because it's commonly used by copyright infringers (or did the Sony Walkman only play store-bought music casette tapes? I forget...).

    Sony... the pirate's pal.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sony cant win

    Look at the first two comments - looks like sony cant win whatever they do!

  4. MacroRodent

    @ irony alert: There are lots of legitimate applications

    "OK, can anyone suggest a use for 25Gb storage on a disk burned on a home PC?"

    Easy!!! (1) Backups. I mean, the normal PC hard disk size has been way more than 25Gb for years! (2) Backing up home videos in the original DV format that tape-based digital camcorders record it in, in order to retain maximal quality.Yes, you can put a hour or two of video on a regular DVD, but only if you use lossy compression like MPEG2. In DV format you need something like 20x the space compared to MPEG2.

  5. tranquil

    re: irony alert

    My legal music collection is well over 25GB, around 150GB I believe, because its not stored in 128kbs mp3, its store on my PC in 1000kbs+ lossless files (and on the original CDs).

    The idea of being able to back-up my entire CD collection (300 or so disks), in lossless formats, on a couple of disks, is quite appealing, actually.

  6. fishman

    RE: Irony alert

    <<Perhaps someone who has gone loopy with the home movie camera? >>

    You can buy HD camcorders. Obviously the file sizes are much larger than from the older camcorders.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Irony Alert

    "How many people have legal mp3 collections that need 25Gb storage?"

    Me, and possibly quite a few others.

    The music collection currently stands at 170Gb before accounting for the stuff I compose myself, which is generally stored in WAV format prior to (re)mixing and mastering. Probably looking at somewhere nearer 200Gb once this is taken into consideration.

    Backup is enough of a nightmare as it is - I'd dearly love to get all of my master files onto a single disc for archival purposes but then again, Sony's involvement in Blu-ray is enough to make me not want to touch it with a shitty stick. I really miss my DAT drive ...

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