Blu-ray (not Blue-ray) also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD), is the name of a next-generation optical disc format jointly developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA), a group of the world’s leading consumer electronics, personal computer and media manufacturers (including Apple, Dell, Hitachi, HP, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TDK and Thomson). The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data. The format offers more than five times the storage capacity of traditional DVDs and can hold up to 25GB on a single-layer disc and 50GB on a dual-layer disc. This extra capacity combined with the use of advanced video and audio codec’s will offer consumers an unprecedented HD experience.
Install Blu-ray drive
Installing the Blu-ray drive is a cinch: A Serial ATA (SATA) interface eliminates hassles regarding jumper settings or IDE cable positioning. Our PC had just one 5.25-inch drive bay, so we unscrewed the IDE DVD burner in it, detached its IDE cable and four-pin Molex power lead, and pulled it out. (If your case uses rails to mount drives, detach them, or look for spares inside the case.) We also removed the IDE cable entirely, since we had no other IDE drives. (Important: If your IDE cable has a second drive on it make sure the drive resides on the cable’s end connector and that its jumper is set to Master or Cable Select.)
Next, slide the Blu-ray drive into your chassis, screwing or locking it in place. Recent power supplies will have spare SATA power connectors; plug one into the drive, minding the L-shaped keying. Then plug the bundled data cable into the lowest-numbered unused SATA port on your motherboard and into the drive.
Finally, check that the drive drawer has clearance to open. The BWU200S’s disc tray has a face bigger than most, and because our PC case had a door covering the optical-drive bay, the BWU200S’s drawer couldn’t pass through. We had to carefully remove its face. (It snaps off vertically.)
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of opening your case, LaCie offers an external Blu-ray burner, and Buffalo Technology has announced that it will be introducing one in the near future. These drives make bringing Blu-ray to your PC as easy as plugging in a USB cable.