After Pioneer Japan, also Pioneer in the USA announced a PC Blu-ray writer with Ultra HD Blu-ray support. The drive has model number BDR-211UBK and should become available late March at a MSRP of $129.99.
The drive comes in the regular half-height 5.25″ ODD form-factor and requires Windows 10, 6GB of RAM and at least a Core i5 or Core i7 Kaby Lake CPU to playback Ultra HD Blu-ray content.
Pioneer also lists that a 4K monitor ((3840 x 2160 or higher, HDR support recommended) is needed that should support HDMI 2.0a (and HDCP 2.2.). Without support of both you can’t enjoy Ultra HD Blu-ray content at fullest. Regarding HDMI and HDCP, also a mainboard that supports the required HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2. is required for playback.
The last requirement is CyberLink PowerDVD (including AVREC and CPRM support), which is currently the only PC software that is listed as licensed for the playback of Ultra HD Blu-ray content on the PC. Luckily this software comes with the drive.
Obviously all these requirement are not needed to play other discs on the drives such as CDs, DVDs and regular Blu-ray discs. The drives not only read those, but can also write them, CD-Rs at a maximum of 40x, DVD+ and DVD- recordables at a maximum of 16x, which is also the maximum speed at which the drives can write BD-R discs.
Pioneer hasn’t released any pricing information but states that the drives will be available by late February, at least in Japan. The drives come with a full range of CyberLink software, besides PowerDVD 14, it also comes with PowerDirector 14, PowerProducer 5.5 and several other applications of the Taiwanese software vendor.