As reported here recently, the list price for a Sony Blu-ray high definition DVD player has fallen to $500. That’s still a lot more than the $299 for a Toshiba HD DVD player, but now there’s a more affordable option to get Blu-ray if you already have a computer. Pioneer has announced yesterday that they are now shipping their BDC-2202 combination optical drive for personal computers. The drive can read Blu-ray discs, as well as read and write most DVD and CD formats. The drive also comes bundled with movie playback software, video authoring software to create your own DVDs, and a utility to backup data files on CDs or DVDs. The list price for the new drive is $299.
Many computers now come with graphics adapters and LCD monitors that are capable of displaying 720p or even 1080p images, so you should be able to pop in a Blu-ray disc and enjoy high resolution movies right at your desk. If your computer’s graphic adapter has a digital output, you should also be able to use your computer as a DVD player for your large screen HDTV.
This new product helps bring Blu-ray into a range that more users are willing to spend. This drive should appeal especially to users who already have a computer hooked up to their HDTV, either for gaming or access to the Internet.