Japanese Buffalo will ship the first 8x Blu-ray burners in
Japan next month, in both external USB 2.0/eSATA (BR-816SU2)
and internal SATA (BR-816FBS) versions.
The drives are based on the Panasonic SW-5584 BD burner. They
will support 8x recording for single layer Blu-ray recordable
discs (BD-R) and 2x for dual layer BD-R, BD-RE and LTH BD-R
media. The drives' internal buffer is 8MB.
The external versions of the drive BR-816SU2 will have both USB
2.0 and eSata interfaces. The maximum 8x recording can be
achieved only when the drive is connected through the eSATA
interface, while the USB 2.0 connection will limit the BD-R
burning speed at 6.5x, using a special function Bufallo
describes as "turbo USB".
Other specifications of the drives include 16x burning for
DVD±R, 5x for DVD-RAM, 8x for DVD±R DL, 6x for DVD-RW and 8x
for DVD+RW. Regarding the legendary CD format, the drives offer
48x/24x for CD-R/RW.
Cyberlink's PowerDVD 7 software suite will be bundled in the
retail packages of the drives, which are expected to be
available in August for 46,700 Yen ($435) and 41,000 Yen ($380)
for the external and internal versions respectively.
It is not clear whether the Blu-ray Disc Association will have
approve the specifications for 8x BD-R recording by the time
the drives will hit the Japanese market. The BDA approved the
BD-R recording specifications for 6x in March (Blu-ray Disc
Recordable Format Ver.1.3). HLDS is currently offering 6x BD
drives for PCs, which feature reading and writing speeds of 6x.
The latest models are the BE06, GBC-H20L and GBW-H20L.
In addition, the currently available BD-R media support up to
6x recording, with the latest to come under the Panasonic
brand. The power margin of the BD-R discs should very wide in
order to maintain writing quality at 1~8x, even if the drive's
laser power fluctuates. In addition, the BD-R discs should be
well-balanced and have precise signal grooves, allowing the
the laser beam to focus to the right position even when the
disc is rotating fast while writing at 8X.