Pioneer announced a new Blu-ray drive this week. The BDR-2208 will be the fastest drive available on the market—an internal 15x Blu-ray burner—and offers small businesses a cost-effective means of backing up and archiving important data.
The press release from Pioneer describes a number of features that consumers will appreciate. It has QuickPlay to decrease the time it takes between inserting a disc into the drive, and having that disc available and ready to use. It has PowerRead to enable smoother data reads by quickly bypassing areas marred with minor scratches or smudged with fingerprints. It has Auto Quiet Mode to adjust the disc rotation speed to reduce rotation speed—and noise—when watching Blu-ray movies or listening to music.
Those are all great features for consumers, but have little consequence in a business environment. It’s nice to have faster access to the disc, more reliable data retrieval, and a drive that doesn’t sound like a small jet preparing for takeoff, but none of those is necessarily a compelling business case. The thing that will attract businesses to the BDR-2208 is the speed at which it can back up data, and the sheer capacity of data that can be backed up on a single disc.
Using quad-layer BDXL media, the BDR-2208 can store up to 128GB of data on a single disc. That’s far short of the 2TB and 3TB capacities of USB hard drives, but the capacity of the Blu-ray drive is virtually unlimited as long as you have blank discs available, and Blu-ray discs are generally smaller and easier to transport and store than a USB drive.
There are a couple caveats to keep in mind. First, triple-layer and quad-layer BDXL discs can only be read by BDXL drives. So, don’t expect to back up 128GB of data to a single disc and then retrieve it using just any Blu-ray drive. Second, the 15x burn speed only applies to single layer Blu-ray discs—the speed is 14x on dual-layer, and only 8x on triple-layer discs. Pioneer doesn’t state the speed for quad-layer discs, but just know that burning 128GB on a quad-layer disc might take longer than burning the same data on multiple single-layer discs.
Those limitations aside, though, the new BDR-2208 drive will be available later this month at a suggested retail price of $99.99. At under $100, the drive could be a cheap, effective means of backing up and storing crucial business data. Just make sure you store a copy of those backup discs offsite somewhere so they don’t get destroyed in a fire or flood along with the original data they’re supposed to be backing up.
Tony is principal analyst with the Bradley Strategy Group, providing analysis and insight on tech trends. He is a prolific writer on a range of technology topics, has authored a number of books, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.