BD-R DL ext. USB archival / BE14NU40 / BDR-XS06 / BRXL-16U3

My friend works in media and she has been backing up on DVD+/-R discs now for years (my chosen burners, my chosen media).

Due to increased media sizes, this has now become too cumbersome.

I recommended moving to BD-R (SL or DL discs for now, perhaps TL/QL discs later, if the prices go down and quality up).

She’s on a classic Mac Pro (2008, OS X 10.11), with internal P-ATA drives (currently DVD-RW drives), thus she needs an external USB 3.0 writer/burner (controller card already bought).

Now, which one of the following would the knowledgeable people here at CDfreaks… eerrr Myce, recommend?

LG BE14NU40 USB 3.0

  • M-Disc support
  • BDXL up to 128GB support
  • released in 2012, last firmware update from 2014 (probably not getting any more)
    ? Quality?

Buffalo BRXL-16U3- EU USB 3.0

  • BDXL support
  • No M-Disc support
    ? Either LG BH16NS48 OR Pioneer BDR-209M inside - seems to be a crapshoot
  • No firmware updates, cross-flashing seems to be difficult

Pioneer BDR-XS06 USB 3.0

  • BDXL support
  • latest release of them all
  • Has Mac drive utilities
  • latest firmware and looking at Pioneer’s history, most likely to still get some updates
  • No M-Disc
  • Slot-loading
    (Actually, I’ve already ordered one from Japan to play with, myself)

Why I demand BDXL support, even if she never starts burning on BDXL speeds? Because BDXL requires tighter tolerances, thus making it more likely the drive behaves better also on BD-SL and BD-DL burns/reads.

Speed is not an issue. All discs will be burned at 2x maxium speed. Only quality (Panasonic, Made in Japan) media will be used (BD-R SL and DL). No ripping, no region locking needs. Pure archival storage and retrieval.

Which one would you pick and why?

Or is there another alternative I’ve missed?

Of course, one option would be to buy internal LG BH16NS55 or Pioneer BDR-09 series and put it inside an enclosure with a good SATA-USB 3.0 bridge. However, I’m having trouble locating reliable and decent prices enclosures inside EU for such use.

Just found out thatMac Pro 3,1 (early 2008) has two hidden SATA portsbehind the fan shroud! No need to buy external drive. Good.

Will settle for:

[B]LG BH16NS5[/B]
[B]Pioneer BDR-209DBK[/B]

installed internally in place of the PATA drives.

Those two should offer increased redundancy and better reading compatibility with old discs.

BDR-209D does not support BDXL. It must be BDR-209M (or 209E/209U). (Marketed in some places as BDR-2209, which is the name for the package, though the drive inside is still BDR-209M).

If you can find BDR-209M/E/U, I recommend that, just because I trust Pioneer’s history of quality over LG’s history of quality.

I agree about the Pioneer, excellent BD-R writing quality & proven track record. (The writing quality of their slim/laptop drives is also very good.)

But having 2 different models sounds like a good idea. One never knows, maybe a drive reading the discs in 10 years time might be difficult and prefer one over the other.

BTW, they also do a rather nice top-loading version of the slim USB writer. (Can’t remember the model number - TD06??)

[QUOTE=Albert;2771318]BDR-209D does not support BDXL. It must be BDR-209M (or 209E/209U). (Marketed in some places as BDR-2209, which is the name for the package, though the drive inside is still BDR-209M).[/QUOTE]

Ok.[B] BDR-209EBK and BDR-S09XLT [/B](both available locally) should [B]BDXL [/B]that and [B]also [/B]offer[B] M-Disc[/B] (BD-R) support. I assume there is no significant difference between the bulk and retail units (other than software/manual, drive being the same). Thanks for the notice!

I noticed that on Pioneer site BDR-209EBK and BDR-S09XLT have the exact same firmware version numbers and change notes. This probably means that internally the drives are 100% the same, with no quality difference across the models (just unit to unit variation), right?

I can easily suggest she get the BDR-S09 for 7€ more if it is supposedly better quality (that’s what I have myself and use weekly, have no experience with 209EBK).

I will definitely get two different units with different PUHs/chipsets from two manufacturers (Pioneer and LG - pretty much the only two original manufacturers left).

What I’ve learned in my 25 years of optical burning is that readable in one doesn’t mean readable in another. It’s a cheap insurance.

The S09 should be equivalent in write quality to other 209 drives.

S09 drives, as has been the case since Pioneer’s earliest S-series DVDRW drives, are supposed to be slightly upmarket, with the fancy faceplate and slightly higher build quality. The case design on the S09 drives is slightly tweaked to make the drive even quieter/smoother in operation over regular 209 variants (though the overall design is very similar). The drives are otherwise the same internally.

You’re correct regarding the firmware. Note: there are times that different models in a series get the firmware update first, but that hasn’t been much of an issue recently, and the update is ultimately made available for all models anyway.