While most people are still getting their home move fix from streaming sources, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, there are still several of us that still enjoys having that physical media. As for the DIY crowd, the home theater PC is about to get a whole lot better. Pioneer Japan announced two disc drives, the BDR-S11J-BK and the BDR-S11J-X that it will release in late February, ready to read the triple-layer 4K-ready discs.
Both drives come bundled with a copy of Cyberlink’s PowerDVD software that is ready to play back 4K movies from disc. However, you’ll also need a PC running Windows 10 as well as a 7th-generation Core i7 or i5 Intel processor and an HDMI 2.0a connection that’s HDCP 2.2 capable (just like 4K Netflix on the PC). Once you get past the demands of HEVC compression and the DRM wrapping, it should be all set.
Both drives are capable of reading and writing (read-only for Ultra HD Blu-ray), and are basically identical although the J-X has some extra tweaks for CDs, whether you’re listening or just ripping. We do not yet know the price, or the exact release date, but surly we will see drives in the US soon. As both Hitachi-LG and Pioneer are licensed to make the drives, whatever arrives will be coming from one of those two.