Please see https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Computer/Computer+Drives. I noticed that the only drive listed here for desktop PCs is the BDR-209DBK, which will leave LG with a monopoly on UltraHD Blu-ray burners in the USA. Does anyone know if Pioneer starting to leave the US market leaving LG with a monopoly, or is Pioneer gearing up to launch a BDR-12 drive in the USA?
Did Pioneer discontinue all of its desktop internal Blu-ray burners in the US except for the BDR-209DBK?
The way I see it there are three major players here:
- Matsushita (Panasonic)
AFAIK, those are the only three chipsets you’re going to find in any modern drive, regardless of the brand. There’s a company out there (forget the name) that licenses the names of old brands that are discontinued and claims that it has ‘custom’ firmware, but all their drives use Mediatek chips.
Optical storage is not a dying technology per se, but it is no longer a consumer technology. They learned their lesson, and they’re not going to give us powerful industry-level drives for our consumer market this time around.
The company you are thinking about is Vinpower Digital. It rebrands Lite-On DVD burners and LG Blu-ray burners, and does throw in a few value adds like firmware updates (which Lite-On has quit making available to customers even with its SmartPack firmware update tool for its premium DH-16AFSH-PREMM series that Vinpower rebrands), overburning, and its own version of PlexTools (which is testing software) depending on the model that you buy.
I just do not want an LG monopoly on Blu-ray burners because I have read reviews with tear down photos showing that its drives are shoddily built.
Drives have been shoddy for a while now…Take a Lite-ON from say 2004 and earlier and one from today… Lighter parts, cheaper materials… To be honest I don’t think it affects writing quality much.
In terms of build quality per se, LG is actually the best… Their drives still have good tray motors after years and years whereas Lite-ON drives in particular have motors that seize after a year or two of use.
With regard to electrolytic capacitors - Lite-ON is awful, always using CapXon and the like, and their drives should always be re-capped before using them.
Modern drives have very small circuit boards without electrolytic caps.
I’m more concerned about chip and firmware quality… The supply of BenQ drives for scanning will run out one day. I have two 1620s, one of them is dead, but I’m in the process of arranging a local purchase of a second… Plextor PX-716 drives are probably better scanning drives than BenQ, but they’re rare and expensive.
After 4 failed LG-DVD-RW-drives in the last years I have to say the build quality of these drives are bad. Some drives are very noisy, the OPU degraded very fast.
LiteOn seems to be more reliable atm, my oldest 124F had scanned more than 1000 DVDs and also burned some hundreds. Not perfect becuase of mediocre writing-quality and some disc-recognize-problems (at least two of the 124F I have at work, both in identical PCs), but the drives work overall and are much more quiet than the actual LGs.
I don’t know if Pioneer’s BDR-209DBK model is still even manufactured.
About a year ago or so, the nearby computer stores were dumping the BDR-209DBK drives into the clearance bargain bins. Since then, they were never restocked and removed from theese retailers’ web pages.
This model is to get easy in germany, at leat in many online-shops
211/212 are hard to get here
Even if Pioneer has not manufactured any units recently, in principle there’s still leftover inventory.
Online shops also still have the BDR-209DBK model in stock.
I have never seen the 211 model (which can play 4Kbluray UHD movie discs) in any local offline shops.
I asked about it once, where one local retailer mentioned it had to be special ordered (ie. paid in full in advance).
In the last years it was hard to get in local shops internal ODDs. The last models which were available were the LG GH24NSD1 and the 324F some years ago; in some shops you could also get a BH16NS55, but in the last 2 years only the 324F were available in ONE local shop.
You can still order it
LG tends to have a de-facto MONOPOLY on blu ray drives (last of the Mohecans). Though keep in mind, there are few desktops and laptops that support internal blu ray drives as the younger generation is enamored with SSD and flash media for longer term storage. There will come a day when optical media will be caput. Even the next generation gaming consoles are going SSD. IMO, the blu ray industry mfg and consortium did it to themselves. While optical media disks will be around for another 30 years, as broadband, and wireless 5g make it into every crevice of human existence… other storage tech are poised to take over. Cloud storage will also become a value added feature of cell and wire line broadband. Though dreading the day when I’ll have to keep important archival data on ssd/flash or the last of the helium hdd technologies. I hope at least there will be ARCHIVAL grade ssd/flash media drives made solely for this purpose!
My newest 209D is manufactured in Dec 2018