Pioneer's BDR-WFS05J Blu-ray drive can wirelessly connect to laptop and desktop computers running Windows and Mac operating systems.
Despite numerous experts -- including Apple's design team -- evoking the death of the optical disc and the wholesale move to the cloud, Blu-ray still tops any internet streaming experience when it comes to watching HD films and TV. And, of course, Apple being Apple, the option of a Blu-ray player or writer (either built-in or standalone) has never been offered with its products because it was invented by Sony.
And now a whole swathe of notebook computers from various manufacturers come with no CD, DVD or Blu-ray drive either as standard or an option.
The Pioneer BDR-WFS05J, because it is wireless, can easily address this optical drive deficiency in many consumers' lives.
There's no need for USB or HDMI cables and the associated mess and clutter they create. Instead, connection to a Mac or Windows notebook or desktop is made via the wifi network.
So, the unit can take up residence under the flatscreen television in one room, while streaming the contents of discs to any computer in the house and connected to the network. What's more, this wireless connection works both ways, meaning that computers can write to and therefore back up to blank Blu-rays over the same network.
The removable base section also features an Ethernet port so that it can be plugged directly into a router for faster write speeds. In fact the only catch is that although it can connect to a computer wirelessly, it can't connect to a power supply in the same manner. You'll still need to plug the device into a power socket.
The BDR-WFS05J is set to launch later this month in Japan where it will cost roughly US$250. Pioneer is yet to confirm if it will be launching in other territories.