Pioneer 4K Blu-ray PC drive on its way

pioneer 4k blu-ray PC driveI know that there are those PC users who scoff at physical media. But I think the arrival of a 4K Blu-ray player for your desktop machine is still cause for interest.

If you have been waiting to enjoy high-quality 4K video content on your PC, the time is nigh.

No longer just an added benefit of owning an X-Box S, PC owners will soon be able to get in on the game.

Pioneer has now announced that they will be releasing their first 4K Blu-ray drives for PC in February, with their BDR-S11J-BK and BDR-S11J-X.

pioneer 4k bluray PC drivesBoth will offer similar features. The BDR-SIIJ-X serving as a higher-end, quieter version which is said to offer improved audio quality when playing CDs.

Both models will come with a copy of Cyberlink PowerDVD. This is handy as it is one of the few programs that can actually decode Blu-rays on PC for content playback.

4K Blu-ray PC requirements

You will also need the appropriately spec’d machine to spin and watch.

The listed system requirements for 4K Blu-ray include the need for an HDMI 2.0a connection, 6GB of system memory and a Kaby Lake CPU.

Yeah, it was never going to be as simple as getting a 4K monitor and shoving the drive in to your tower was it?

These hoops are necessary though as 4K Blu-ray requires H.265 decoding capabilities. Though, oddly enough, this is a feature of both AMD’s Polaris GPUs and Nvidia’s Pascal GPUs. So I am not entirely sure why 4K content playback is limited to Kaby Lake.

It is likely that Polaris and Pascal will be supported with future patches to Blu-ray playback software. Though this issue will likely annoy a lot of potential users in the short term.

Release and price

These two 5.25-inch 4K Blu-ray players will release sometime in February in Japan. Worldwide availability will follow shortly after.

No pricing has been announced for these products.