Buying first BD drive - specifically for quality checks

I’m beginning to feel like this effort is a few years too late. I want to buy my first Blu-Ray drive, not so much for burning (although I might do that, too) but for watching and interacting with BD movies, and for running quality checks via Opti Drive Control…i.e. to avoid coasters. I’ve been through Blackened2687’s terrific optical drives chart and used it as the basis for a number of web searches, and it seems the Lite-On branded BD drives and their clones are sold out nearly everywhere. Would anybody give me a little buying advice? What would you do?

Specific points:

  1. I’ve been working under the assumption that only Lite-On drives support software like Opti Drive Control? Still true?
  2. Are BD burners generally considered better at error scanning than BD-Roms? I’m not setting up a lab, but more accuracy is always better.
  3. The Fox studio is notorious for updating their encryption keys and rendering various Blu-Ray home electronics players obsolete. If I end up buying an older, unsupported unit, might there be a way to shoehorn newer keys onto the drive?
  4. Are there any specific Lite-On models to avoid because of poor manufacturing quality, etc.?
  5. I want an internal drive, but initially plan to place it in an external USB3 chassis. Should I worry about compatibility?

Many thanks!

I see you’ve found other threads to answer a few of your questions, but for the other questions…

I THINK it’s generally up to the software to handle decryption keys and such. You should still be able to use a first gen BD drive with current BD releases. (Note: this doesn’t include movies on 3 & 4 layer recordable BDXL media, or the newer Ultra HD BD media, which super old drives can’t physically read). So just keep the software up to date and you’ll be fine.

Yes, burners are generally more trusted than Combo drives or ROM drives. I can’t fully articulate why, but that’s my current understanding.

I can’t speak on USB enclosure incompatability issues (though people may have specific recommendations, as I’m sure you’ve seen).

And there aren’t many models I would tell you to stay away from, though note there is a Samsung slim drive that has quality issues (the slim external SE-506CB) when writing BDR/RE media. And LiteOn models don’t tend to like LTH media, though we generally recommend HTL media anyway.

Hey, thanks for the reply, Albert!

I suppose your software comment makes sense. Never had a PC BD drive before and was thinking the decryption keys would be in the firmware. It’s the first thing I’ll test.

I just bought one of the DH12B2SH’s from EBay and settled on a Vantec enclosure. There are two variations but the older design is oddly more common, although both are out of stock at major merchants. I called Vantec and the tech explained that the boat carrying the very first new shipment is due in about 2 weeks from China! Not sure if I’ll wait.

One followup question if I may, for you or anyone. Am I right in thinking the differences between the iHBS112/212/312 are very minor, basically Lightscribe and ??? I originally thought the 1/2/3 prefixes were different generations, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all.

212: Lightscribe

112: no Lightscribe
312: newer 112

A non-Lightscribe DH12B2SH can, at the very least, use the firmware for the second gen 112 (last: PL06) or the 312 firmware (last: PL16) – I think! But if you’re just using the drive for scanning and playback, I doubt you need to change firmware.

(One old thread for your reading in the meantime: )

Wow, lots of questions there! My head is swimming as to whether I can turn the DH12B2SH into a Plextor…but that would take a back seat to important things like testing the drive, configuring the BD player software, and starting some quality scans.

Will follow up if any other questions arise. Thanks.

Edit: So what happened to the “External Enclosures” forum??

Crossflashing is possible.

And the forum has been restructured a few times, based on what’s hot & what’s not. That is a subforum which got little attention, so it was absorbed. We still try to offer advice, but it’s on a case by case basis, as you can tell.