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Pioneer Bows Blu-Ray Burner, Home Recorder

Pioneer Electronics will ship a PC Blu-ray burner early in the second half of 2005 and follow that introduction with a home recorder at a later date.

Andy Parsons, Pioneer’s senior VP, business solutions, said Pioneer showed prototypes of both devices at CES. Pioneer did not set a price point for the PC drive, but Parson’s hinted it would not be exorbitantly priced.

Pioneer did not have a ship date or price for the home recorder, but Parsons said the company is leading with the PC drive because it should help Pioneer build its production capacity, leading to lower component prices which can then be transferred to the home recorder. The laser and lens hardware in both units is the same.

The units will record to HDTV, SDTV, DVD-R/-RW and DVD+R/+RW media. Parsons said blank media will be available at launch, including Blu ray dual-layer discs.

Pioneer also showed an expansion card designed to slide into select Pioneer professional plasma sets, enabling it to network with any PC running Windows XP with Windows Media Connect. The multimedia content stored on the PC can then be accessed by the consumer and played back through the TV. Pioneer jointly developed the card with Microsoft and the company considered an expansion card a better alternative then creating a stand-alone media device.