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Thursday, July 24, 2008
Buffalo Announces First 8x Blu-ray Burners


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.


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