Pioneer BDR-202BK review

Price when reviewed

Blu-ray writers have been available for over a year now, but when we looked at them in issue 146 even the cheapest cost a stratospheric £407. Today, prices have plummeted, and an ever-expanding range of high-definition movies makes Blu-ray an increasingly attractive option.

Pioneer BDR-202BK review

For an extra £75 more than the Pioneer BDR-202, you can move up to the Pioneer BDR-202BK, which adds Blu-ray-writing capabilities. In our tests, it filled a 25GB single-layer BD-R disc in under 24 minutes at maximum speed, while a rewritable single-layer BD-RE disc took 47 minutes. Disappointingly, although the BDR-202BK can read dual-layer 50GB discs, it can’t write to them. DVD-write speeds were as slow as from the BDC-S02.


If you want to make cheap, fast data backups, DVD is still the format to beat. With even the cheapest write-once Blu-ray discs working out at around 45p a gigabyte, Blu-ray has a long way to go before it becomes a viable medium for anything other than HD video authoring.

If you’re building a media-centre PC or fancy watching HD movies on your TFT, however, LG’s GGW-H20L brings HD DVD and Blu-ray playback into the realms of affordability.

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