Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions (or PLDS, for short) has announced the latest addition to its Blu-ray range - the DX-4O1S; a handy, external Blu-ray disc ROM drive set for launch this coming April.

The DX-4O1S is described as a “versatile read-only device for all popular optical media formats” and, while Lite-On is yet to confirm a price for the UK, we are assured that it will be highly competitive.

Blu-ray for novices

The drive simply plugs into a USB port. It “makes Blu-ray playback readily available to even the most novice of computer users without any complicated hardware knowledge,” according to Lite-On’s blurb.

The drive can also read all DVD+/-R(W) and CD-R(W) media, but it’s clear that the company wants to publicise the Blu-ray capability following on from last week’s death of HD DVD.

Increasing volume of movies on Blu-ray

"Due to recent market developments we can expect an increasing volume of movies to be released in high definition on Blu-ray Discs", says Jelmer Veldman, European marketing manager at PLDS.

"The market adoption of Blu-ray as the optical disc standard for high definition content results in a growing demand for Blu-ray playback solutions. The portable external Lite-On BD-ROM drive allows users to playback their Blu-ray discs on any PC via a USB 2.0 cable".