DVD burners - advice, recommendations wanted

I am looking to buy a DVD burner.

I started looking into this, reading articles, and pricing units.

Hopefully the good folks here can give some advice as to what to look for, and recommend some good units.

Is there any preference between (+) and (-) DVD’s?

I see the Sony will burn both + & -, but it is too expensive for me.

Sofar I am favoring the Toshiba SD-R5002 and the LG GMA-4020B.
Both are (-) DVD burners. But both will do “correct EFM encoding” according to Clonecd.

I would like to be able to backup DVD movies, large games, and perhaps some general data, such as pictures from my digicam…


May I suggest to read around a little? A lot of the questions you are asking can he answered (partially?) by reading the sticky threads etc etc.

Ofcourse you can ask your questions here, but some of them have been answered a couple of times already… so reading up is faster than waiting for answers… eh? :slight_smile:

Yea, I read about the +/- info.

Can you post a few good links for me? Not sure where to look…

Can these DVD burners handle copy protection on DVD’s and games?

Originally posted by danny5
Yea, I read about the +/- info.

Can you post a few good links for me? Not sure where to look…

Can these DVD burners handle copy protection on DVD’s and games?

I’m not sure if there’s any popular DVD writer that can’t.

Isn’t it that you want a cheap DVD writer that can also copy “protected” game CD and DVD-Video disks? Then, SD-R5002 may be your best choice. I mean, if DVD writing speeds, buffer size, +/+RW writability, CD-R/CD-RW performances, and some other factors do not matter to your needs so much.

Thanks for you input Kenshin,

I did take Dee-ehn’s advice, and dug into the search engine of this forum.

From what I gather, the Sony +/- seems to be THE popular unit, based on what I assume is that it can do both + and - media.

But, a fellow forum member here mentioned that the Toshiba’s copying ability can almost be considered a “3-sheep” ability, refering to ClondCD’s rating system.

I have read from more than one source that + media has a future, and - does not. But when will that be, 5 years from now, who knows?

All I want is a excellent burner for DVD movies, something that has a good chance to backup copy protected games, and perhaps plain data. I dont care about speed so much, if it takes an hour, that is fine. As long as it plays in my DVD player (I have to verify it has - capability)…

Based on what you wrote, I am favoring the Toshiba now…

I have used a few Toshiba SD-R5002 units. The drive cannot do 4x writing but it does write well at 1x and 2x speeds. It is mechanically built well and runs stably. Moreoever, if speed does not matter so much to you, you can use very cheap 1x and 2x DVD-R media. As for myself, I need speeds sometimes so I have two 4x writers in addition to SD-R5002 and I’ll buy blue laser writers (much faster!) when available at good prices.

NEC 1100A: 4x DVD+R, 2.4 DVD+RW. If you’re planning on only backing up DVDs, this is your drive. Fast, quiet, easy to setup, and cheap. IMO, hands down the best bang for buck DVD writer on the market.

$165 @ Newegg.com


Your telling me exactly what I wanted to hear. Speed is not a big issue for me at all, but having a burner that is not picky about the media is nice to have. I think I am sold on the Toshiba. I very much appreciate your comments, it is good to hear from someone that has experience with a product. Now I have to decide on OEM or retail, is the software any good?


I am a big time Newegg customer, and have looked at the NEC, it is a great price. But for my needs it was not the right burner, because it does not do “correct EFM encoding”. I want to replace my Plextor 2410a with a unit that can backup games, this is important. Thanks for the good suggestion though, on price and + media, it is a very worthy consideration…

Yeah, the NEC’s a good deal. I was just under the impression that you have a CDRW that does “correct EFM encoding” already. Oh well.

Right now I have to use the wifes PC for burning backups, I put an Asus CDRW in hers’, but am getting tired of the “look”, if you get my drift…

I have the Toshiba SDR5002 and love it. I was holding out for the LiteOn dual format drive but could not wait any longer and bought the Toshiba a few weeks back. Not 1 coaster out of almost 100 discs so far. Very quite and does very well on protected games. All my devices read -R so I did not need the ability to write +R. With 2X media it takes about 30 min to burn a full DVD. 4X is around 17-20 Min, so I figured I’d save the cash on the 4X media and 4X drive and get the Toshiba. it is probably the best deal for 2X -R right now, but the NEC can do 4X +R for the same price…
So the decision is yours + or -
DVD-R media is cheaper at the moment, but DVD+R media should come down to match -R fairly soon


Did you get the OEM or retail version? I am courious if the extra money is worth it for the software that comes with the retail version. Glad you mentioned its’ game copying ability.


I use mainly freeware to do all my work. DVD Decrypter to Burn .ISO/.img build images with Imgtools. DVDShrink.
I have tried most of the DVD authoring apps such as Uleads DVD facorty, DVDiT, ReeL DVD, etc… they all pretty much suck big time. If you’re gonna author your own you’re going to need Maestro (which is no longer available) or maybe TMPGEnc’s new DVD authoring tool.

Jeez, you saved me a lot of grief finding decent software for DVD.

I have to admit that I am a total n00b to DVD burning. I have been using Clonecd and Alcohol for several years now though.

Any word on DVDxcopy? Is it worth the price of admission?

Newegg has only the OEM Toshiba, at about $175. Was going to shop around, but if the retail software is crap, then I will go with Newegg.

I prefer DVDshrink or DVD2One to get the DVD onto 1 disc. If I wanted 2 disc I would just SVCD the movie.

If you’re not 100% set on the Toshiba, take a look at the NEC 1300A. It is only $199 and does 4X +/-

Not sure how it handles protected games…

I have to sleep on it for a day or so before I make a purchase order. I looked on Clonecd, there are virtually no NEC burners that will do correct EFM encoding.

I would love to find a 4x +/- burner for under $200, but I dont think that such an animal exists…

If I have to compromise speed or functionality, I will have to pick the latter.

You know, I will be rethinking all of the suggestions, but still favor that Toshy at this time, just for the game copying… IMO, 30 minutes is not bad for burning a disc. I dont burn them every day…

Originally posted by danny5

I would love to find a 4x +/- burner for under $200, but I dont think that such an animal exists…


well, the nec 1300A gets pretty close. 204 over at newegg.

The NEC’s do not do correct EFM encoding though, it is a requirement for me.

They must be good units though, many have suggested the NEC. Maybe I should keep my Asus just for that purpose…

Points to ponder for sure.

I think there have been some posts about media compability with Nec 1330!?
By the way danny5, I bought the LG 4020B recently and it has done what it should. And I think it handles game protection well too, have not tried mine yet, to busy backing up my DVD collection.


The 4020 does follow the critera I am looking for, with the correct EFM encoding. The LG is definitely on the list. It is $12 more than the Toshiba, but it has software with it too, as the Toshiba is an OEM… Thanks for pointing this out… I will look into this further. I cant find any reviews on this model yet…