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Pioneer announces two Ultra HD Blu-ray drives for the PC

By Shawn Knight · 26 replies
Jan 25, 2017
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  1. Many of us have long since retired the optical drives in our computers, opting instead to get our media fix via streaming sources like Netflix and Hulu. There are some holdouts, however, that still prefer physical media and it’s this demographic that Pioneer is targeting with its upcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray drives (models BDR-S11J-BK and the BDR-S11J-X).

    Both drives are of the 5.25-inch variety which should present no issues slotting into your desktop rig, assuming of course that you’re using a case that has 5.25-inch expansion ports (they’re increasingly less common these days).

    Pioneer notes that you’ll need to be running an Intel 7th generation Core i5 or i7 Kaby Lake CPU and Windows 10. Naturally, you’ll also want a 4K-capable monitor (HDR support is recommended) that supports HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2. The latter is provided by Kaby Lake CPUs, but the CPU requirement may also be part of two other prerequisites: 10-bit 4K HEVC codec support and specialized DRM, not much different to streaming Netflix in 4K on the PC platform.

    The new drives also come with a copy of CyberLink’s PowerDVD media player which, according to CyberLink, marks a world's first achievement for PowerDVD as the only Ultra HD Blu-ray playback software available for Windows PCs with compatible hardware.

    Buyers will also receive a boatload of other CyberLink software including PowerDirector 14, PowerProducer 5.5, Power 2 Go 8, InstantBurn5, PowerBackup 2.5, MediaShow 6, Label Print 2.5, PhotoDirector 5 LE and a trial version of Media Espresso 6.5.

    Pioneer says both drives will be released in late February although that may be limited to Japan initially. No word yet on pricing. Retail versions of PowerDVD with Ultra HD Blu-ray support will be available for purchase in the near future, we’re told.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,806   +407

    So, an i7-6700k just wont cut it? Welp, time to upgrade.
  3. wiak

    wiak TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +8

    I think that was the recommnded spec, any modern graphics card should be able to output HDMI 2.0 or DP with HDCP 2.2
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    It'll flop miserably, it has no RGB. A serious omission these days and Pioneer should be hung, drawn and quartered for that.
  5. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,478   +3,036

    I struggle with the concept of having one...

    Playing 4K on a monitor is pointless. And redirecting 4K from your PC player into a 4K TV uses up too much CPU, while renders a sub-par picture, unless you have a very powerful card with HDMI 2.0.

    The only practical ways to play 4K on your large TV is: A) YouTube/NetFlix B) External 4K Player

    And I'm not hypothesizing, I'm talking from experience.
  6. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Arent most (or at least some) current blu-ray drives capable of 4k if they had software updates? and no doubt these are going to be laughably expensive? someone correct me if im wrong here
  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,766   +1,160

    So... let's add some "old tech" into our "old box". Nowadays most people just go around with a laptop and even that is kind of "old" since tablets were massively adopted for media consumption.

    A small % of people still use PCs, from those, I don't see many interested by these drives.
  8. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,209   +670

    I think it has to do with the content protections built into Intel's 7th generation processors.
    NimbusTLD likes this.
  9. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,806   +407

    Yea probably, as they also mention...
  10. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,389   +5,016

    So this article tells me absolutely nothing on why these drives are different, than the one I currently have in my machine. The article is also very vague on why Intel's newest generation is needed. I'll assume it is only a special feature and the drive will work with older CPU's, if that feature is not needed.
  11. Levi Sterling

    Levi Sterling TS Booster Posts: 80   +27

    That's great news for the 10 people that can afford them and want them
  12. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    I fell out of my chair laughing ...
    Johnnyblaze1957 likes this.
  13. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe Banned Posts: 837   +441

    Fake News
    when it lacks so much essential detail.
  14. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,806   +407

    Dear Techspot,

    What is this ****?

    Can fix please?

    Your Techspot members
  15. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 284   +99

    Useless is what this optical drive is to me.
  16. Squuiid

    Squuiid TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +20

    That blue LED on the front is reason enough right there not to buy it.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  17. NicktheWVAHick

    NicktheWVAHick TS Addict Posts: 148   +118

    Since Slysoft was forced to shut down its operations and updates to AnyDVD are a thing of the past is there any way to make an image of a UHD 4K DVD on your PC? Why you ask? So I can stream it to my TV from a NAS rather than get climb out of my Lay-Z-Boy recliner to put the disk in the BRDVD player. Just curious.....
  18. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Maniac Posts: 294   +124

    I will probably buy one of these once they get affordable, which due to extremely low demand they should be in no time

    I think they're still alive: https://www.redfox.bz/en/anydvdhd.html

    And you can also check DVDFab http://www.dvdfab.cn/
  19. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,653   +319

    If you read the article, you'd know that what you need is a Core i5 or i7 Kaby Lake CPU.

    That's a DRM limitation though. There are quite a few cards with H.265 decoding. See this TechSpot article. They just need to be modern, not particularly powerful.
  20. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 8,247   +1,268

    It is assumed in the article you are familiar with the UHD Blu-ray format:

    I do agree the mention of Kaby Lake requirement was vague. Now edited to add:

    The latter is provided by Kaby Lake CPUs, but it may also be part of two other requirements: 10-bit 4K HEVC codec support and specialized DRM, not much different to streaming Netflix in 4K on the PC platform.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  21. Rockstarrrr

    Rockstarrrr TS Booster Posts: 97   +72

    They should`ve done more ten years ago, to really make Blu Ray mainstream. I, for one, like to make my backup on optical drives, two or three copies makes me feel a lot more secure than cloud storage I use today. But with BR media prices - no way. They were too afraid of piracy at that time (just imagine cheap 40 GB unit) but thats why they lost entire market.
  22. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 526   +138

    But packaged with very poor software.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,389   +5,016

    I probably should have been familiar. Anyway thanks for the clarity, I think I understand what the article is saying now.

    So I could still use the drive for data storage. The CPU limitation is in media decoding for 4K playback, which I may never want.
  24. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,990   +2,288

    From what I understand, the card must also support PlayPass 3.0.

    Are there any graphics cards out there that are known to do so?
  25. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,990   +2,288

    Uh huh.

    It really does not lack the detail. The specified CPU/Integrated graphics apparently support PlayPass 3.0 and since that combination is the only known combination to support PlayPass 3.0, this is what you need.

    Beyond that, with the announcement of the drive, and the fact that Hitachi is also licensed to make UHD Blu-ray drives, I would expect that nVidia and AMD will be begging to support it.

    Supposedly, when the GTX 1080 was announced in May of last year, the press release claimed that it would support PlayPass 3.0; however, to the best of my understanding, nVidia has not come through on the promise yet.

    For more info, see this

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