While HD DVD and Blu-ray hardware is falling faster than Lindsey Lohan's career it still requires a sizeable outlay. Pioneer however has just made that pile of notes considerably smaller...
The plasma master has unveiled the 'BDC-2202' Blu-ray drive (likely to look similar to its BDR-101A – above) and for the first time brought prices tumbling under the $300 mark (£150.28p). At this price it naturally doesn't include burning functionality but if you're looking for a cheap way to turn your home into an HD media centre then this is your solution.
For the record the BDC-2202 will read BD-ROM, BD-R and BD-RE media at up to 5x while dual layer BD-ROM BD-R/-RE can be handled at up to 2x. When the dominant use is watching media at 1x however these figures feel rather academic. DVD and CD writers can also be tossed since the BDC-2202 can read and write to these discs.
"With the BDC-2202, computer savvy consumers are now privy to what was previously only available to professional users," said Andy Parsons, Pioneer's Senior VP. "In addition to maintaining the same benefits of current optical disc drives, the included software means users can now enjoy their favorite (sic) Blu-ray Disc movies as well as their own personal disc creations."
Praise be Andy, I can hear a nation readying cables to hook up their PCs to their HDTVs as we speak, before they kick back and enjoy the £500+ they saved on a player.