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Pioneer BDC-S02 BD-ROM Drive review

Finally Blu-ray drives become more mainstream and affordable

Blu-ray becomes more affordable at last

Our Verdict

A step forward for Blu-ray PC drives, but it's still hard to recommend


  • Versatile


  • Expensive
  • Other features sacrificed for Blu-ray compatibility

This is the first Blu-ray drive specifically for PC users that doesn't write to recordable BD media and, believe it or not, this is a significant milestone for Blu-ray.

For the reasons highlighted above, an affordable Blu-ray option for PC users means we can finally watch some hi-definition movies (with a suitable decoder and HDCP compliant graphics card) on our screens, without having to shell out for a whole system upgrade.

The BDC-S02 also writes to all CD and DVD media. This could make it a one-stop replacement for your existing optical drive.

It isn't as fast as the latest DVD writers on the market: 4x for dual layer recording means a significant wait to fill a 9.4GB disc. Normal DVD-R writing tops out at 12x, slower than a standard DVD writer that costs a lot less.

At £169 this drive is affordable but hardly a bargain, considering HD-DVD set-top players can be had for a lot less. It's clear that this drive is worth looking at if you're absolutely desperate to watch Blu-ray on your PC, but otherwise it's something of a waste of money.