Given the extreme commoditisation of DVD writers, I probably wouldn't have bothered posting except I'm getting this for a retired relative (without that much savings) so feel should make the effort. Which one of the 3 would you get for a DVD drive mostly for reading?
These 3 are about the same price. LG GH24NSC0, LG GH24NS95 and Lite-On iHAS324. I guess the iHAS324 is the E since while we can be a bit behind here in NZ we're not usually that behind. It'll likely mostly be used for playback of pressed (probably rented or borrowed so scratched etc) DVD videos. Frankly I'm not sure if it'll be used for writing at all.
I've seen some suggest the iHAS324 is better than the GH24NS95 at reading, but I think this might be old 324s. Of course the GH24NSC0 than the S95 is newer, but I think mostly as a cost cutting measure so I'm not sure it's better. But then again, while I don't know if this still applies, I did find an older iHAS324 performed significantly better than some older writers I used and I get the feeling that reading is one area where there's perhaps still some small gains since it's something people who are still using DVDs do notice.
Noise may be a concern too, but I think most modern OSes and the drives are smart enough that they shouldn't noisy for DVD-video playback.
There are other options for only slightly more or perhaps the same price but from different stores (this store is in a convient location, and is close to the cheapest once you take in to account shipping for stores that don't allow pickups) which I would look at if anyone feels it's really worth it.
P.S. Pity that the demise of physical media or whatever has meant that Bluray writers are still fairly expensive. But I don't think my relatively really cares anyway and I'm not sure if the stuff they're likely to watch will even be on Bluray. Oh and DVD-ROM drives don't seem to be worth it, it's hard to find them in SATA and I'm not sure if they're ancient stock or what.