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  #1  
01-16-2011, 04:44 AM
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Do you have ratings for the best and worst DVD burners ? My Toshiba Qosmio laptop's internal drive is a Matshita BD-CMB UJ141ES. All else being equal (ie. good Verbatim discs not exposed to hazards, no other apps running while burning, etc), will this drive do a good job of burning discs concerning its precision, accuracy, etc. Please advise. Thank you very much.


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  #2  
01-16-2011, 04:45 AM
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Although it's not been published as such, in a singular guide, we have mentioned the best and worst burners for almost the entire lifetime of the site, in various articles, how-to guides, and forum posts. Right now, referring only to "brand new" burners sold in 2011/2012, you're really looking at this as a best/worst type of list:


Good Burners

These drives typically have very few coasters on known-good (1st Class) or even known-decent (2nd Class) media.
  • Pioneer -- the #1 best drive, both chipsets**
  • Sony Optiarc -- uses the best chipsets from NEC, comes at higher cost.
  • Samsung -- TSST = Toshiba/Samsung, and sometimes sold under Toshiba brand name.
  • LiteOn -- uses Mediatek chipsets

Not-Good Burners (AVOID!)

These drives fail quite a bit, almost randomly, on all discs -- even the best ones. Strangely, some of these drive work really badly with the current-best media made (Mitsubishi or Taiyo Yuden discs), yet give average results for mediocre or low-quality blanks. Bad burners are one reason there is so much confusion about what discs are (and are NOT) good to use. When a marginal CMC burn seems to be "okay" by the user, and a TY or Verbatim disc is kicked out as a coaster, you start to form backwards ideas on what is good to use. (As most of these people learn later, when they actually try to play/use the burned discs, there are issues with that "okay" disc.)

  • Hitachi LG -- This drive is the one most commonly given away for free with computers, found in desktops and laptops***
  • Matsushita -- a.k.a. Matshita or Panasonic, mostly found in laptops. Mac users especially have endless troubles with these drives.

Best Deals on DVD Burners!

I linked the drive name to one of the best places to get those drives for good prices (Amazon.com). But specifically, look at these deals:
You can also check for DVD burners at:

Additional Warnings

Do NOT buy the "slim" version drives.
Note that this is not the same as "half height". A slim drive will be called a "slim" at all times, from what I've seen these past few years. These are generally very slow drives, locked at 8x max write, and a 2x read. These drives typically have a much higher fail rate with media, too, including even the best Taiyo Yuden and Mitsubishi/Verbatim blanks!


More Notes / Technical Notes

** From the first Pioneer DVR-103/A03 burners until the DVR-117/217 burners, Pioneer used NEC chipsets. That's really the main reason NEC chipsets became so coveted while the others have largely been regarded as lower quality. In 2009/2010, Pioneer switched to Mediatek for the current 118/218 series drives. There was a lot of whining/complaining online about this switch, and while it does have some merit (NEC is better than Mediatek), the Pioneer drive designs are their own, and not the same as used by other less-respected/less-popular burners using Mediatek. We've seen little evidence to suggest Pioneer is, even with a Mediatek 118/218, any less than the #1 best drive now than it was for the past decade.

*** LG Blu-ray/HD-DVD ROM + DVD burner drives seem to be fine, as are LG Blu-ray burners. It's the DVD-only drives that seem to be so terrible and unreliable at burning blank DVD media. This laptop I have, that I'm typing on, has a completely useless LG inside. I have to use external USB2 burners to get reliable good-quality reads and writes with CD or DVD. And my external of choice is a Pioneer X152 (DVR-112) or a Sony-branded Samsung (older drive from 2007-2008 era, no longer made).[/code]


And thanks for the question!

This is a beta-version of a new guide / guide series that's going to need quite a bit of work, but this is a good quick answer for you and others that are seeking this information. This should make a good addition to our media guides.

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  #3  
01-19-2011, 02:25 PM
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Hello,

Thanks for the info. I have the crappy Hitachi in my Mac Pro, but I must have been lucky: it performs badly with bad discs, and very well with good ones.

Anyway, additional question: is there a difference between a DVD burned with a DVD drive and a DVD burned with a Blu-Ray drive (that can also burn DVDs)?

I'm thinking of buying a drive to replace my Hitachi, and while I don't need Blu-ray right now, it would be a nice addition. If both types of drive are similar in terms of DVD burning, I would probably go Blu-Ray.

Thanks

Nisaea
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  #4  
01-19-2011, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nisaea View Post
is there a difference between a DVD burned with a DVD drive and a DVD burned with a Blu-Ray drive (that can also burn DVDs)?
Not right now, no.
(Note: I'd opt for a Pioneer Blu-ray drive, if choosing one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0046K062C
If you live near a Microcenter, they've been on sale there for about $100 each in-store.)

But also consider the historical aspect of CD vs DVD. The earliest of DVD burners worked just as well as CD burners, when it came to CD media. (It was actually the DVD media where drives proved more picky.) However, at that time, DVD drives were expensive, so you had to ask yourself if you wanted to subject your expensive drive to added wear and tear? If your computer could hold both drives types, it was generally a wiser move to keep a CD burner for CDs, and a DVD burner for DVDs.

As time went on, the shift for optical media use transitioned heavily from emphasis on CD to DVD. And in the course of that shift, attention was (based on testing of media through the years) obviously focused more on the DVD burning aspect. As such, it seems that the quality of CD burning fell to the wayside. Indeed, as DVD burners have aged as a technology, newer and newer models actually seem to do worse on CD media!

Now, that was a trend of one popular tech (CD) being displaced for another (DVD). Blu-ray has not proven itself to be as popular, due to only marginal gains (HD somewhat overrated), as well as added weaknesses (physical structure).

But I would still question cost vs trend...

Even if the drives don't achieve the popularity of DVD media, given the somewhat lousy burning abilities of existing burners, and the need to support new media (example: the new Taiyo Yuden BD-R, or LTH vs HTL discs), I can see more effort being put into the Blu-ray portion of the drive, while CD and DVD become more and more of an afterthought.

And then I'd question the idea of using a $100+ drive for DVD burning, when a $20-30 drive will work just as well or better. I can see the benefit of wanting BD abilities, from a viewing perspective (there are some cases where Blu-ray movies can be had for cheaper than the DVD version). If you only have one available drive slot, then you'll have to decide what makes the most sense to your use, and your pocketbook.


Disclaimer: I use an LG Blu-ray/HD-DVD ROM + DVD burner (single SATA drive) in a micro ATX form-factor computer from HP. It came with the system. To date, it burns DVDs pretty well, although Pioneer, Samsung and Sony drives are easily better for absolute burn quality. It does play Blu-ray quite decently. Never tried an HD-DVD, not so far. That computer probably burned 200 discs at most last year, and was used to play BDs maybe a dozen times. So it's really only getting minimal use. Note that this is NOT an endorsement of this drive, simply a stated fact that I own one. Indeed, if I had to go to a store today, and pick a drive, I highly doubt I'd select an LG model.

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  #5  
01-19-2011, 09:41 PM
Nisaea Nisaea is offline
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Hello,

Thx for the input. Guess I'll have to decide if I really need the Blu-Ray read (not tempted to go BD for archiving yet)...

Nisaea
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03-31-2013, 10:34 AM
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I have an LG WH14NS40 Blu Ray burner I bought from Newegg on sale for $54.99 about 2 months ago.

It works very well. I make sure to use HIGH QUALITY media. I did try Optical Quantum BD-R DL 50GB discs ONCE! Never again. Only 2 discs out of the 10 pack cakebox burned at all. Several of the bad discs had what looked like spots (similar appearance to a water spot) on the burned layer after burning. STAY AWAY from these... they're junk!

I now buy my BD-R DL discs from Japan such as the very high quality Victor - JVC labeled discs. No coasters yet. I have been using the Phillips BD-R 25GB discs too with no issues and no burn errors.
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  #7  
04-08-2013, 08:07 PM
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LG drives are not as bad as they once were, but I'd still be wary. Pioneer is still a better Blu-ray burner.

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09-11-2013, 07:26 AM
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Hello I need info for Samsung 24x Black SATA SH224BB is good or not.
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09-11-2013, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedelko View Post
Hello I need info for Samsung 24x Black SATA SH224BB is good or not.
That exact model of Samsung is fine.

Most of the Samsung burners -- going back to at least 2009 -- are quite good. We use several ourselves for burning and reading/ripping media. The Samsung drives have very few coasters (with 1st or 2nd class media), and no major issues with reading discs (DVD or CD). And best of all, they tend to last longer than LiteOn or LG -- sometimes even Pioneer drives!

Amazon has them for $24 + free shipping = http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...U&linkCode=as2

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