Do I need two drives?

I’m in the process of compiling a list of components for a new HTPC. I’m going to have a DVD burner for sure. The question is whether I need a DVD-ROM drive in the system as well.

We subscribe to a movie rental service, so the drive has to be able to read disks that have been around. My experience with DVD burners tells me that they are pretty picky readers. For example the Plextor 712 I own sometimes has trouble reading it’s own brand new creations, while the same disk is perfectly readable on my notebook’s DVD-R/CDRW combo drive.

So, is that really an issue with burners in general or have I just been unlucky with my burners? Is there a burner that can do a decent job both burning and reading? Or do I need a second DVD-ROM drive for reading? (Let’s assume the money is no issue.)

If I do need two drives, would Lite-On be a good candidate for both? How does it compare to Plextor?

I would appreciate any insight on this.
Thank you!

Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

In my opinion it’s better to have also a second drive because different drives have different capabilities to read damaged discs. Very often, rented movies are not managed very well by people, so there is a high probability that you can find some difficult to read discs.

About liteon DVD-ROM drives, in my experience they are not the very best (in my experience are instead among the worst readers ever produced). Liteon [U]burners[/U] are much better as readers, so maybe you can consider to purchase two different burners.

An additional DVD-ROM cannot be wrong, as I have read lots of reports about burners dying after being used as rippers and readers too much.
But as a CD Freak I recommend a second burner instead :wink:

Liteys are good, especially the new LH-18A1P/H models are “all-in-one” models with 12x DVD-RAM, 18x burning speed, DVD scanning, HyperTuning learning mode, bitsetting, and (H only) also LightScribe :slight_smile:
Their burn quality is at least on par, imo even better than Plextor’s.
If your Plex is a picky reader then something’s wrong with it.

I prefer having a single DVD drive and I rip things to the hard drive, then burn them back to disk - all using that same single drive.

I got a Lite-On 165 series and it is great. Any 160/165 series Lite-On should be a good deal, I would think.

Thank you guys for quick replies! :slight_smile:

So it seems that Lite-On’s are the most recommended burners. How about others like Plextor PX-760A or Pioneer 111D? Would you say they are all about the same quality or some stand out more then others? :confused:

Do you guys have any suggestion for a reader if I choose not to go with the second burner but rather a DVD-ROM?


When you can get a 160/165 series for $30-$35, it’s hard to recommend a plextor, at around $100 or more, at least for me.

If you are set on getting a ROM drive as well as your burner, Lite-On’s tend to read tons of stuff, so either way you should be covered.