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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage

Friday, November 24, 2006
Plextor BD-R PX-B900A

1. Introduction

With the first Blu-ray drives appearing on the market, it was only fitting that perhaps the professionals manufacturer, Plextor, should launch a Blu-ray burner. Recent Plextor DVD burners had been very disappointing to say the least, from a manufacturer whom we have come to expect excellent quality, so it was going to be very interesting to see how the Blu-ray burner performed.

As with all the Blu-ray burners released so far, don't expect to see lightning fast speeds with the more traditional CD and DVD formats. Writing speeds on the Plextor BD drive are limited to 8X for DVD±R, 4X for DVD±R DL and 24X for CD-R. It also supports 5X DVD RAM writing. But the most important is the 2X writing and reading speed for BD-R and BD-RE formats for both SL and DL media.

In order to play HD content titles, a compatible HDCP monitor or HDMI TV set is required. While a number of graphics cards claim to be HD compatible, it is not always the case and there are still some issues involved. Certainly, the latest graphics drivers need to be downloaded from nVidia and ATI. Finally, region control has been implemented, similar to that used with DVD titles, so the correct region must be set.



The retail package includes:

Intervideo WinDVD BD Playback BD
WinDVD Playback DVD
VideoStudio Video Editing and Authoring
DVD MovieFactory Video Authoring and Burning
Burn. Now Burning
BD Discrecorder Capturing
Data-Add Packet Writing

Plextor has chosen to equip the drive with an IDE/ATAPI interface. S-ATA interfaces are expected, however, to be used in the majority of the BD drives in the future.

The drive was manufactured in September of 2006 in Japan, according to the label placed on the top side of it.

Click For Large Image

The drive is built around the Panasonic MN103S98HBA (shown below), an all in one chipset supporting all CD and DVD media formats, except for HD-DVD. The chip was released by Panasonic at the end of 2005.

Drive Info

Plextor PX-B900A was installed as a typical ATAPI drive and was recognized as "PLEXTOR BD_R PX-B900A".

Most of the latest Drive Information utilities fail to report a basic feature of the drive: BD-R DL (dual-layer) writing.

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