Burn high-def movies to Blu-ray discs
- Good build quality, bundled Cyberlink software, attractive price, writes to all Blu-ray media (BD-AV, BD-R, BD-RE, BD-ROM)
- Slow burning times
The BWU200S isn't the fastest Blu-ray burner on the market and lacks some of the features found on competitively priced rivals. Nevertheless, it should still satisfy high-def enthusiasts who require an all-in-one burning solution.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
The BWU200S is Sony's second stab at an internal Blu-ray recorder, following in the footsteps of the pioneering BWU-100A. It can be viewed as an upscale version of the read-only BDUX10S, which we reviewed earlier in the week. Combining the functionality of a DVD/CD burner with full Blu-ray support (including re-writable BD-RE discs), it is fully equipped to take care of all your recording needs. However, it's not the fastest device on the market and it faces some stiff competition from rival vendors.
With its user-friendly Serial ATA interface (SATA), bonus BD-R disc and bundled Cyberlink software (including PowerProducer, PowerDirector, PowerDVD Ultra and Power2Go), the BWU200S provides everything a budding Blu-ray enthusiast needs to get started in one cost-effective package.
Before we kick off the review, special mention must go to Cyberlink's suite of DVD software. With a combined RRP of around $200, this is a tidy little bundle that adds plenty of value to the product — especially after the recent $300 price-slash. The included programs cover all major bases, from authoring slick DVD menus to editing AVCHD camcorder footage. (For further info on the included software, check out our standalone review of Cyberlink's DVD Suite 6.0 Ultra.)
Provided you know your way around a computer chassis, installing the drive should be a breeze: simply slot the BWU200S into the 5.25in drive bay, connect the SATA cables and screw everything into place. While you're at it, you might as well insert the included Blu-ray tray cover, which looks suitably nifty.
Naturally, our first test involved watching a Blu-ray movie. As expected, the BWU200S was perfect for this task (the format is Sony's brainchild after all). Using the supplied PowerDVD software, we ran the drive on a system equipped with an ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card and a Samsung SyncMaster 275T monitor, both of which are HDCP-compliant. Our copy of Finding Neverland played back smoothly at the screen's maximum resolution of 1920x1200. Meanwhile, sound and drive vibrations were kept to a pleasing minimum.
Next up, we measured the burning speed of the drive across the supported formats. For CD and DVD, the drive's speeds are almost (but not quite) as good as a standard burner. It will burn DVD +/- discs at a rate of 16x, which means a 4GB disc will finish burning in around 6 minutes. For our DVD transfer tests, we transferred a 1.23GB folder of mixed data from our desktop to the drive, using a blank DVD-R. The BWU200S took 2min 13sec to complete this task, which works out at around 9.2 megabytes per second (MBps).
Our Blu-ray results were slightly less impressive. It took us over 90min (!) to fill a single-layer BD-R disc with AVCHD files, despite an advertised 4x write speed. By contrast, the Pioneer BDR-202BK took just 24min to complete the same task. Apparently, the BWU200S's lethargic burn times are down to Sony's inbuilt error-check software, which runs in the background. Disabling this feature should thus yield faster results.
While we're on the subject of Blu-ray discs, it's important to note that BD media remains prohibitively expensive when compared to other recordable formats. A 50GB BD-RE disc currently retail for around $90, which works out at almost $2 per gigabyte. This makes them less than ideal for archiving data. That being said, they do remain the only effective way of storing large amounts of HD video on a single disc. If you'd prefer not to spread your movies over three or four DVDs, then BD-R is definitely the way to go.
While the BWU200S isn't a bad product in its own right, it fails to stand head-and-shoulders above many of its competitors. If you're willing to downgrade to USB 2.0, then LG's Super Multi Blue Blu-ray Disc Rewriter (BE06) might be the better option. For one thing, it's an external drive, which means you can use it with multiple computers, including HD-compatible notebooks. Plus, it even supports HD-DVD playback (yeah, yeah, we know the format's dead, but HD-DVD movies are still available at dirt-cheap prices, so it's a nice option to have).
Nevertheless, this is still a worthwhile product that provides excellent Blu-ray playback and reliable burning to Blu-ray discs. Tentatively recommended.
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Internet Security
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
ESET Smart Security Premium
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
In multicultural Australia, the opportunity for home cooks to expand their culinary horizons is too tempting to resist.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Moto G6 review: A solid mid-tier effort with few compromises
- 5 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
Latest News Articles
- QNAP introduces new HS-453DX silent NAS
- Synology introduces DiskStation DS1819+ and RackStation RS1619xs+
- OVH and MyRepublic partner to improve connectivity for Australian gamers
- Norton Secure VPN adds New Zealand server
- Western Digital releases new WD Gaming Drive
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies