At COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2007 being held in Taipei, Taiwan, Asustec computer Inc. (ASUS) of Taiwan is exhibiting the BC-1205PT Blu-ray Disc (BD) drive and HR-0205T HD DVD drive, both for a desktop PC.
These models are available at very low prices of about $270 and $180 (USD), respectively, because they do not have data writing functionality for BD and HD DVD. Reportedly, the company is also planning to launch the products in Japan, targeting the release as early as summer 2007.
The BC-1205PT boasts a high reading speed of 5x from BD-ROM/R/RE. It is capable of both reading and writing various types of DVD and CD formats. The HR-0205T can read at 2.4x speed from HD DVD-ROMs.
Asked about the reason why these models are dedicated to reading with BD and HD DVD, a demonstrator answered: "The drives would become far too expensive if we were to develop recordable models at this point of time. In addition, recording media cost more than $30, which is unsatisfactory for many users."
"Playback-only machines can be commercialized at a price less than $300 (USD). Recently, high-end class desktop computers are available at around $3,000 (USD). Users can upgrade a DVD optical drive to a BD or HD DVD version with just another 10% increase in price. This prompts high-end users to consider buying a BD drive with computer purchases," the demonstrator added expectantly.
The price of the BD model was set at $270 (USD) with a view to the prices of similar products from the competitors.
"Pioneer Corp.'s BD-ROM drive for use in a desktop PC released in the US in May 2007 was priced at $299 (USD). We figured that we had to offer a more affordable price than at least this one," the demonstrator said.