BenQ to Intro Blu-ray Burner

BenQ, a cell phone and computer equipment maker, will soon unveil an optical DVD disc writer that will burn Blu-ray discs. BenQ said the units, expected to retail for about $1,000 (typical for other planned Blu-ray products), will arrive in stores starting in August.

A late summer introduction of the unit (model BW1000) will mean the Taiwanese company will be among the first CE firms to offer a Blu-ray burner before any of the format's primary backers, including Sony, according to Reuters and other published reports.

Virtually all anticipated units for both Blu-ray and incompatible rival HD DVD will be backward-compatible with playback (and to a lesser degree, burn options) for standard CD and DVD discs. Blu-ray offers several times the storage capacity of traditional DVD discs and holds up to 25 GB on a single-layer--and 50 GB on a dual-layer--disc.

In 2005, BenQ acquired the mobile devices division of Siemens AG.