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Thread: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

  1. #1
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    Default DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    First off, let me say I'm an older guy and not very computer savvy. I have a Dell Dimension 4600 desktop that I bought 3 years ago and ordered just about all the options they had at the time. I thought it had it had EVERYTHING!

    I've just recently wanted to start burning DVDs and discovered I don't have a DVD burner built in. Like I said, I'm not a computer geek!

    What would be my best option to replace the DVD and CD drives in my Dell 4600 or should I go with an external DVD burner?

    Also, I have DVD Shrink 3.2 installed in my computer. Is there a better free protected DVD copier out now?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* watt4's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    if you have room to add a drive, just add the dvd burner (and leave the cd burner there).

  3. #3

    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I just picked up an ASUS DVD burner for $33 and it came with Nero. I put it in a $20 USB case so I can use it with either of our laptops or my work laptop. Only odd thing is either my work laptop or my wife's laptop running Windows XP I have to reboot before burning the first DVD or it will error. My little 1Ghz laptop running Linux does fine every time. I suppose its due to XP's bad memory management, my work laptop has 2G of ram and still spends most of the day swapping with at least half of physical ran free.

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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    Gene this is an easy upgrade for sure if you are comfortable with opening your case and using a screwdriver. I would recommend a NEC drive you can get them at www.newegg.com around 30 bucks if you have the cash I say replace both with two new dvd burners. Newer drives will write faster have a larger chache memory. You want atleast 2mb of chache on a new drive. This helps prevent buffer undrunds, which eqaul coasters. Nec recently came out with a new 18x. Liteon released an 20x just a couple weeks ago. Liteon sells a ton of drives but I find them to be way too loud imo. I have one in my current pc along with a NEC and a BenQ. The BenQ was a very hot drive 6 months ago so I wanted to try one. I install only NEC drives if folks ask me for help anymore. If you look at this forum you can tell which manufactures are made by who and which ones are rebranded.

    Anyway when you get the drives all you will need to do is remove the old drives via a couple screws or possibly a couple green slide rails. You will need to verifiy the jumper on the back of the new drives are set the same as the drive you are replacing. Verfiy jumpers while you have new drive and old drive out of pc. They will be one of three options. Slave/Master/CS or Cable Select. Just put the new one the same was as the old one. Then put the new drives in the way the old ones came out reattach cables as they where they were on old drives and you should be good to go.

    As for making legal backup copies of your dvds. DVD Shrink should get the job done and you can look at DVD Decryptor as a backup option. Also the forum I linked to above can be of great assitance with either of those softwares.
    Last edited by blake711; 12-31-2006 at 07:51 PM.

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  5. #5
    Flashaholic* Trashman's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    Whatever, you definitely want to keep your old one in there, so you can read the DVD from it and burn with the new one. If you've got space, an external is nice to have right up on your desk. www.afterdawn.com is another great forum for info on copying protected dvds and such. I like to use AnyDVD with CloneDVD2 for backup up my DVDs.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* AlexGT's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I second NEC as a good DVD burner, I have one and it's been working flawless. I too bought it from newegg.

    AlexGT

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    Consider buying one with Lightscribe capability. That way you can burn labels directly on the top side of Lightscribe discs and you won't be shackled to paper labels.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* AlexGT's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    As for backup software for dvd, DVDFab platinum is one of the best, it can copy anything made out there. But is not free as Shrink.

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    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I highly recommend NEC.
    I have had a couple in a few different systems,
    all installed, and worked very well.
    Fairly quite also.

    ~John

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    Flashaholic* Trashman's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler
    Consider buying one with Lightscribe capability. That way you can burn labels directly on the top side of Lightscribe discs and you won't be shackled to paper labels.
    Even better than Lightscribe and paper labels are printable disks. You need a printer capable of direct disc printing, though (Epson makes some). Lightscribe is good for letter labeling, but a lot of other stuff doesn't come out very good. It depends on the shades used in the image to be reproduced on the disc. Also, I've noticed a lot of fading in my Lightscribe labels. It's always nice to have, though, especially if you don't have a printer capable of direct disc printing.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    printable disk are a good way to go since they are much cheaper than lightscribe disc

  12. #12
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    NEC all the way. you won't regret it. I have three and have never had a single hickup.

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by duffman
    printable disk are a good way to go since they are much cheaper than lightscribe disc
    Good point. The Lightscribe disks are kinda pricey, although you can still use a LS drive to burn printable discs and use an external CD printer when you want to save money.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    DVD writers are so cheap and plentiful now I would consider them a commodity item and seriously wonder if their are really major differences between the current players anymore. Two years ago, I bought an expensive external Plextor which served me fine until I knocked it off the table and broke it, then replaced it with a cheap internal Benq and it's been fine as well.
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    Flashaholic* Coop's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I bought a Benq dual layer a while ago. Works like a dream and came with a bunch of free software.

  16. #16

    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    i like benq or nec or liteon there all good.right now im useing a benq cause it was 25 bucks with a 20 buck rebate 5 bucks cant be beat.
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    The Benqs were among the best burners but Benq got out of the business.

    The new Lite-on 18x and 20x drives are loud. The 16x Lite-ons are not.

    I''ve read the LG H22 and the Pioneer 111D are the best burners now.

    Asus drives are made by Pioneer.

    The quality of the blank discs is at least as important as the quality of the burner. The quality of the various brands varies over time, and varies with the particular type and burn speed of the disc. I usually buy the Verbatim brand.

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I dont think that there is a better brand than others, stay away from the absolute cheapest ones. But also dont pay a premium for the fastest one you can find either. The little bit of extra speed isn't that important unless you're going to go into the DVD forging business And you have to buy more expensive blanks to burn faster anyway. The cheapest good quality blanks now are 8x, but up to 16x can be had for not too much more. If you buy a 21x drive or something you'll find that you have to buy much more expensive disks to burn that fast.

    You definitely want one capable of DL or dual layer burns. Lets you double the data on the disk for movies or backups that just can't be shrunk down. But since they cost 3 to 4 times more than a single layer disk, it's usually better to split between 2 regular disks.

    I have no time for lightscribe. The disks that it can print on are much more expensive than regular disks and it's just not dark enough to be worth it. Someday I will invest in a printer capable of printing directly on disks, but until them buy a box of Sharpies

    If you are comfy messing around inside the computer you can save $30 or so by going with an internal and putting it in yourself. If you dont want to bother with that, or it's just not worth the saved money if you have to spend an afternoon messing with it then just get a USB2 external one. They should work just fine and you can more easily take it with you when you upgrade to the next machine.

    DVD+R disks are generally thought to be more robust and have better error correction built in than DVD-R disks. The price is generally the same. Initially I'd buy a small pack of both as DVD-R disks tend to be better compatible with older regular DVD players so make sure your DVD player that you will be wanting to play these movies on will play a DVD+R burned disk OK before you buy a huge spindle of them. For archival of data though DVD+R is the way to go. I dont believe there are any drives currently being sold that can't burn to both kinds, so this is just a concern when buying blanks.

    I can't advise you on software as I gave up completely on windows years ago now I do hear Nero bandied about as a good name though. If you buy a decent external drive it will almost certainly come with something to experiment with.
    -James

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by James S
    I
    DVD+R disks are generally thought to be more robust and have better error correction built in than DVD-R disks.
    Well, maybe. Some think the +R is more robust, but there has never been any proof of that. I think the error correction is the same. Two layers of Reed-Solomon.

    The quality of the media and how well your burner handles a particular type are the important things. Some burners do a better job with +R and some prefer -R.

    There is apparently more bad quality -R media on the market than +R because it's easier to make good +R. So if you don't know what to look for, you might be better off with +R.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic blake711's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I wouldn't be to worried about -r or +r media if you are purchasing a decent media stay away from compusa and other stores no name stuff and you will be fine. You can routinely find name brand media for sale locally via salescircular for less than 13-14 bucks for a 100 pack.

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    Flashaholic* AlexGT's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I never really understood the difference between the + and the -, I have been using the -R with absolutely no problems at all.

    I bought some TDk's that were made in japan by Tayo yuden and they are very good quality.

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    Why is it easier to make good +R media?

    BTW most of the DVD coasters that I've burned have been caused by incorrect choices of blank media in terms of it's speed rating. There seems to have been a major change in write strategy between the 1-4x media and everything else that's faster than that.

  23. #23

    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I have a Sony DRU-820A that I got a few months ago for $80. It burns every format I could think of, and it came with some very nice Nero software. My dad recently got a new HP, and it came with a LightScribe. He's had nothing but trouble trying to get that feature to work. My personal labeling technique is Sharpies.

    I use SmartRipper, then FlaskMPEG, then VirtualDub to rip movies. It works great for me, but others' computers seem to have trouble playing back the results.

    It's so much nicer to browse to a file than to play a DVD.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler
    Why is it easier to make good +R media?
    I don't know. Just something I read at cdfreaks.com.


    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonWrangler
    BTW most of the DVD coasters that I've burned have been caused by incorrect choices of blank media in terms of it's speed rating. There seems to have been a major change in write strategy between the 1-4x media and everything else that's faster than that.
    The drive has to have the correct write strategy for the particular disk or it can't produce a good burn. It's generally a good idea to update the firmware in your drive with the latest from the manufacturer. Every blank disc has the manufacturer's ID (MID) recorded on it, and the drive uses this to get the correct write strategy.

    Apparently drive manufacturers stop issuing updates after a couple of years. So if your drive is old and you want to burn new media, you have to replace the drive. The good news is the new drives generally do a better job and they are fairly cheap.
    Last edited by eluminator; 01-02-2007 at 08:11 AM.

  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by eluminator
    Well, maybe. Some think the +R is more robust, but there has never been any proof of that. I think the error correction is the same. Two layers of Reed-Solomon.
    I'm not sure that is correct. Just the other day I read an article that went into some depth on the low level data and error correction specs for the 2 different specifications. DVD-R has an ecc block for only some of the data of each block, and a checksum for other parts. It was an earlier system and the hardware simply wasn't up to doing what they then could do in DVD+R.

    In DVD+R the entire data block is protected with an ECC data block. That means that you can scratch either the ecc block or the data block, and the full data can be rebuilt with the code. Where scratches or degredations in the DVD-R substrate can cause real loss of data. It's not so important with video if you get a scratch and loose a few frames it might still be watchable, but for computer data it's a very bad thing
    -James

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I have had many Lite-on Drives over the years and not one has let me down. Each of our 10 computers has one (or 2!) drives in them and i've never had a problem. IMO Lite-on = poor mans plextor.
    It all started with an X03 as a wedding present... and now? madness!
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  27. #27
    Flashaholic* bitslammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I never liked the external drives, but now with USB2.0 the speeds are fine. The other nice thing with an external is it can be moved around and located where you want. Just simpler to deal with as there's no installation. I like keeping my drive bays free for HDD upgrades.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    This article (http://adterrasperaspera.com/blog/20...rchival-media/) says +R is better due to better error correction and wobble tracking.

    Greg
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  29. #29
    Flashaholic* LEDcandle's Avatar
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    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    I use an LG4163B DVD-burner (its outdated by now) but it was one of the better burners in its time. I believe the latest incarnation of the LG is still as good. Stable, supports DVD-Ram and provides high-quality burns, according to tests by enthusiasts.

    On a separate note, + Media seems to support more functions on a DVD-Recorder (not burner, as in VCR type DVD Recorder) like chapter marking and scrolling, erasing over old titles etc.. Seems like the - media has more limitations. Well at least with my DVD-Recorder.

  30. #30

    Default Re: DVD Burners And What Do You Recommend?

    im waiting for blu ray 75 gig per disk
    LED's have gotten too bright in our stuff. Many nights I'm awakened by my modem lights blinking.had help with my sig thank you for your help.

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