PLDS (Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions) has announced that they will release a portable Blu-ray drive, the DX-401S. This BD-ROM drive will connect to any PC via a USB 2.0 cable enabling users to watch any Blu-ray movie on their computer without installing a Blu-ray drive. No price has been given at this time for the device, which is expected to be released sometime in April.
The problem with something like this is that people are going to buy it, thinking "insta-Blu-ray player". Unfortunately, they're plugging it into a 4 year old laptop that can't even come close to the technical requirements needed to play a BD disc at full quality. And then they need to have an HDCP certified video card to play the video or even output it to another HDCP compliant display.
article headline says "portable blu-ray player" which implies a portable blu-ray player. for a second i got exciting at the prospect of being able to conveniently take my blu-rays on the road, but turns out it's really just an external blu-ray drive. dang.
Interesting... this sounds a LOT like the now-whacked XBOX 360 HD-DVD player... USB connector... I wonder if MS could use this as the basis for their oft-rumored Blu-Ray Add-on for the XBOX 360?
Also, how does HDCP come into play on this? Do you still need an HDCP capable vid card and monitor? If it's a laptop, will that suffice (the software assumes you haven't hacked the system and therefore violated HDCP?)
I am VERY excited about this announcement but I have a LOT of questions that must be answered first... I hope it turned out to be what I am looking for!
nice idea but if you think you can just plug and play ,,,forget it,, the chances are that a fair percentage of pc owners wont have what is required for blu ray playback, first your monitor will have to be hdcp ready as well as a graphics card which is hdcp ,, but for some it will be ok,
There are those of us Mac people waiting for a laptop with with a BD drive so we can watch our movies
and take them with us. Sure its not HD but on a 15 inch screen, who cares. Its just so the kids can
watch Surf's Up while we are camping this summer. If it works for that, I'd buy one!
An external drive WILL work with a Mac, as long as you're using BootCamp and have at least Windows XP installed. It worked on my girlfriend's MacBook Pro perfectly.
As for a video card with HDCP, you don't HAVE to have a card with HDCP as long as you're not connecting via DVI. VGA/Internal laptop LCD connections WILL work - Just make sure your card is supported. I was able to use Cyberlink PowerDVD Blu-ray Edition using my NVidia 6600, but the video constantly degraded because the card couldn't handle HD decoding.
JT - It's a lot cheaper to use an internal 5 & 1/4" drive inside of a USB enclosure than a thinner laptop drive inside of a custom enclosure. I suspect that if they used a thinner drive, we'd be looking at prices above $250 or so. As it is, I'm hoping that this drive will come out in the sub-$200 range. It only costs about $160 or so for a Lite-On BD drive and a nice SATA -> USB enclosure right now.