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Sony BWU-200S Blu-ray disc drive

Record Blu Ray discs and watch Blu Ray movies on your PC By John Virata

The PC has become a home entertainment system in its own right. Not only can you stream music from it, watch internet videos, and hook a TV tuner up to it, you can also watch Blu Ray DVDs with the appropriate drive. And with many display manufacturers shipping with wide screen HD-capable displays, why just relegate that real estate goodness to spreadsheets, email or Word docs? Play some movies on it and take advantage of that HD capable display. Sony offers up such a drive with the BWU-200S.

The Sony BWU-200S is an internal Blu Ray/DVD/CD rewritable drive that enables you to burn Blu Ray discs from your desktop PC, watch Blu Ray DVDs, and burn traditional DVDs and CDs. Upgrading to a drive such as the BWU-200S opens a lot of doors media wise. Not only can you watch Blu Ray discs, but you can create Blu Ray data discs with close to 50GB of data. If your video editing software has the appropriate capability, you can also author larger movies that fit onto Blu-ray disc media.

Set up
Installing the BWU-200S involves opening your PC's case, plugging in the supplied SATA cable and connecting that to a free SATA port on your motherboard. The second cable connects to your power supply. Screw in a couple of screws, close the case and you are ready to install the software suite that comes with the drive. The drive ships with the Cyberlink BD Suite which includes a variety of software for authoring video that can be written to Blu Ray disc media. Install the disc and follow the onscreen instructions and you are good to go. Its not really that difficult, and when everything is installed, you get to play Blu ray disc movies.


The BWU-200S combines Blu-ray recording and playback capabilities with more traditional DVD and CD recording. It supports all DVD+/- media including DL dual layer media, as well as the following Blu-ray disc media:  BD-ROM, BD-RE 25GB, BD-RE 50GB, BD-R 25GB, and BD-R 50GB. Burning BD-R 25GB or BD-R 50GB media, the BWU-200S can record at 4X speed. Its rated re-write speed of BD-RE 25 or 50GB is 2X, while BD-ROM read speed is rated at 4X.

Conclusion
If you have a PC that serves as a home entertainment system, there is another way to take advantage of the latest in Blu-ray disc movies and that is to install a Blu-ray capable BWU-2005 drive into your computer, provided your computer supports SATA drives. The BWU-200S will enable you to watch your Blu-ray movie collection on your widescreen PC or via your Media Center PC connected to your home theater TV. You've got multiple output devices, which is always a good thing when it comes to your content. Conversely, as a data writing drive, what better than to backup upwards of 25GB or 50GB if you needed to in a pinch, or create extended play, high quality Blu-ray home movies. The question that remains is do you want to spend $599 for an internal drive or do you go for a standalone Blu-ray player, such as the $399 PlayStation 3, and forget about recording up to 50GB of data from your PC. If you need to burn data and want to watch blu Ray disc movies,  the  BWU-200S will do it for you. For more information, visit www.sonystyle.com


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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at jvirata@digitalmedianet.com
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