First Blu-ray disc drive won't play Blu-ray movies

Sony BWU-100A

The first Blu-ray (BD) disc drive for desktop PCs is here, but be warned -- it won't play commercial BD movies.

Sony officially announced its BWU-100A product at its "Experience More 2006" event in Sydney yesterday, all the while acknowledging that there's significant room for improvement before the product is viable for integration into media centre PCs.

Vincent Bautista, Sony's product manager for data storage, told that due to copy protection issues and lagging software development, the drive will only play user-recorded high-definition content from a digital camcorder, and not commercial movies released under the BD format.

Bautista says that one of two reasons for this is the fact that commercial content is encrypted with High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), which can only be decrypted using a HDCP-compliant graphics card that offers DVI or HDMI connections. Since there are currently no PCs for sale offering graphics chips that support HDCP, this isn't yet possible.

The second reason, according to Bautista, is that BD playback software that can decrypt HDCP isn't "released as a saleable item yet". Today, the only HDCP-supporting BD playback application is the OEM version of Intervideo WinDVD BD that's bundled with Sony's VAIO VGN-AR18GP notebook. The AR18GP also offers an HDCP-compliant HDMI connector, which makes it capable of playing commercial movies without issue.

Bautista is optimistic that both issues will be resolved "soon", and says that despite not being able to play commercial content, the drive is still useful as a "storage device", particularly for those looking to create and distribute their own high-definition home movies on BD-R and BD-RE discs.

The Sony BWU100A has a write speed of 2x and will be available this month for AU$1399.

Editor's Note: is targeted at the Australian market, so the stories published here only consider products available to Australian consumers at the time of publication.

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Paul Germany posted a comment   

My advice as an Owner of a heap of crap called Vaio Laptop VGN-AR51M is to boycott sony products, I have bought three sony products and they were all defective!
The Blu-Ray drive crapped out after nine months and it took me nearly two months to get it repaired by sony!
Definately a case for the Office of Fair Trading in the UK is the sony statement "Be Pampered by the Best Service around", more like the new statement by sony "Make Believe", I think that weighs up sony 100%!
I still have problems with the Blu-Ray drive: - it fails to read many types of CD / DVDs, it is a load of rubbish like the other sony products I have had the stupidity to buy, never ever again will I deal with sony!



prbugzdaman7 posted a comment   

I Have A Sony Vaio VGN-FZ260E Laptop that i bought 3 years ago at AAFES, Military Exchange store on base, with a blue ray player that used to play blue rays until I recently updated it to windows 7 professional, now it won't play blue rays. please help.


COD LOVER posted a comment   

Bought this bluray and it will not read the discs. I put the disc in and it said NO DISC. why why why why why why why why............


davey boi posted a reply   

Thats because you no longer have the proper drivers installed?


COD LOVER posted a comment   

Bought this bluray and it will not read the discs. I put the disc in and it said NO DISC. why why why why why why why why............


Michael posted a comment   

yes but why would any of you buy this if you had a normal market computer, what use is it too you a normal market computer is gonna be bad quality anyway, i got one right away and it was perfect, i do however have and above market custom rig, but nether less bad idea to buy if u only spent 500 on ur computer ^^


Haru posted a comment   

When ever i try to play my blu-ray disk it says windows 7 color thingy has been changed and then an error pops up telling me to go to and it will update my Blu-ray but really it did a system check and has not helped at all. saying im missing the system player or w/!?


shamoo posted a comment   

i love this so cool.


mick t posted a comment   

i am trying to watch spiderman 3
on my vaio vgn-ar51m laptop
it played before but won't play now a window comes up sometimes
and says windows vista is in basic mode colour problem help

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