Analysis and Conclusions
DVD burners are rapidly becoming cost-effective tools for authoring DVD video discs, backing up files and as CD burners to boot. At prices approaching $300, the capability to handle multiple formats is a real plus for most users. Media is getting increasingly cheap, too, and soon prices for all DVD recordable media will drop below $1 (DVD-R discs have already plunged well below that point).
If the cycle holds, well undoubtedly see Blu-Ray recorders arrive on the scene later this year. Those will no doubt command a serious price premium, but the net effect will be to drop DVD burner prices even more.
Both the Pioneer DVD-AO5U and Sony DRU-500A are excellent examples of the engineering craft. The Sony is more flexible in its use, but the Pioneer drive will appeal to authoring houses who need fast DVD-R/RW performance. Both can author to their respective record-once formats, suitable for giving away to family members or archival storage. The Sony is a bit more pricey, and its DVD read performance is sub-par, but its an excellent drive in every other respect.