Wednesday January 25, 2017

The First Ultra HD Blu-ray PC Drive Ships Next Month

It’s about time. Funny enough, I own a 4K Blu-ray disc, but I don’t have a single player to watch it on. While there are a couple of standalone models available for home theater folks (I actually had my eye on Oppo's UDP-203), Pioneer looks to be the first out of the gate for those who want to enjoy 4K movies on their PC. You do, however, need Windows 10 and Kaby Lake for playback. While that prerequisite alone may serve as a turn off, my disinterest really lies with the fact that UHD hasn't been cracked yetآ—it seems that all I use my PC drives for these days is to back up my movie collection, but who knows when I will be able to do that for 4K discs.

News Image

The company announcement is about two models, the BDR-S11J-BK and BDR-S11J-X. They are very similar but the BDR-S11J-X appears to be targeted to audiophiles as Pioneer’s press release states the drive should offer better audio quality than its sibling. That should be due to improved protection against vibration. Pioneer claims it uses a method to make sure discs don’t vibrate which can also be found in high-end audio equipment. Also the case of the drive has been adjusted to make the drive more silent than it’s cheaper twin brother. Most interesting feature of both drives is obviously the playback of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs on the PC. In order to play Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, users are required to run Windows 10 on a PC with at least 6GB RAM and either a Core i5 or Core i7 of the Kaby Lake (7th) generation. The drives will use the integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU of the Intel Core processors for Ultra HD Blu-ray content.