Hi all. I'm a n00b posting here, but I've been a silent reader in the past. Based on the activity in this forum I purchased my BenQ DW1640 (now BSRB) back in 2005 and I love it.
It's come up that some family members plus myself are thinking about new drives. I've read several reviews, done some searches, and tried to read the proper threads here but I'm always worried that something slips through the cracks or that I don't fully understand something I read.
My common writable media: TYG03, MCC02RG20, MKMsomething +DLs, TY or TDK CD-Rs
Possibly: YUDENT02 or T03
- general reading - installing software, playing pressed and burned DVDs, AVI playback, playing purchased games w/SecuROM
- ripping DVD and DAE
- general burning - downloads, backups, etc...
- archival burning - precious, irreplaceable photo/video content gets burned to TYG03 and MCC02RG20, scanned and stored separately.
- scanning - all of the archives are scanned with CD-DVD Speed PI/PIF, printed and taped to the back of the jewel case
- burning photo content DVDs for clients
Things I like:
- devices that work like they should
- excellent burn results with my media
- scan capability, 1ECC would be nice
- trustworthiness and ability to read damaged discs
- multi-speed operation - not spinning at full speed to playback a compressed AVI video for instance
- "supported" devices - firmware updates instead of just EOLing and selling a new drive in 3 months
- no riplock
- support for software and tweaks - bitsetting, sheep rating, scanning, hard-coding max spin speed (if it moves to a HTPC in its next life), overburn
- leaning towards SATA but it isn't required
- leaning towards Litescribe if there are no downsides
- I don't need the latest/fastest/greatest/newest but it should be current
- I want it to last
Things I don't need:
- ability to burn well to cheap crap media - this is nice to have and would benefit others more than me - I only use good media. I would not give up scanning, for example, to be able to burn good Princos.
I don't make a hobby out of this soft of thing and only intend to have one burner in my main PC at a time. I do, however, value the input of those that are really "into" this.
I've been looking at
- Samsung SH-S203x
- LiteOn LH-20A1x
- BenQ DW1800 (but I have nowhere to buy it)
- Pioneer 115 or 212
- keep the DW1640 (that doesn't help family, and I've had some issues burning DL and have read posts where people say the 1640 is too ancient and a drive upgrade might be required for good results)
The Lite-On seems a good choice for some things (1ECC etc..) but there are complaints of loud operation. The Samsung gets the best review here (editor's choice) but there's currently a thread where there is loud complaining about DL burn quality and an expectation that there will never be a firmware update issued before the drive is obsolete.
Because I'm not as active as some, I worry that I've missed 1ECC vs. 8ECC vs. no scanning issues, or a critical MKM DL burning issue or something I would regret down the road. Most vendors near me that have exactly the drives I want have more restrictive return policies so I'm not just going to try-and-return. I want to nail this the first time.
I welcome any and all input from the experts.