These procedures will be more likely concluded in a few weeks, giving the green light to OEMs to release Pioneer-based writers, and Pioneer to proceed with the Aftermarket releases. So currently, the exact release dates for the drive cannot be specified, although a rough estimation would lead to a retail release of the Pioneer drive some time in March.
Note that the BDA has already completed the specifications for the BD-ROM, BD-RE and BD-R formats on January 2, 2006. The approved specifications include both single (25GB) and dual (50GB) layer discs.
The completion of the BDA's "Grand Schedule" is also expected to allow software makers to gear-up their BD recording applications to support the creation of a BD-AV disc (BD-ROM), as well as a BD-AV disc. This would allow consumers for example to use HD (or SD) video content in order to "author" a BD disc that will be playable in a standalone BD-player.
Pioneer's triple writer, the BD-R102A will follow the release of the BDR-101A, and it is expected to offer increased read/write-speeds as well as support for the CD format (read/write). Although the exact specifications as well as the release date for the drive cannot be currently disclosed, it is expected in the 2Q of 2006.
Another interesting issue to be answered is whether the MMC (Mandatory Managed Copy) will be intergrated in the Pioneer BD-R101A. The Mandatory Managed Copy would allow consumers to make legal copies of video content. Note that the MMC is now being formally adopted by the BDA.