Enclosures for Blu-ray drives?

vbimport

#1

I only own a laptop, and would like to invest in a Blu-ray burner. I’ve been looking at drives, and think i’ve got it narrowed down, but i’m having trouble finding an enclosure.

Is usb 2 reliable enough for a Blu-ray burner? I have always preferred Firewire for its faster sustained speed, especially in something like burning optical media. However, i’m not sure if i’ve just surmised this or if it actually has some merit.

So my question is two-fold: Is USB 2.0 “good” enough for Blu-ray burning? It’d be a shame to burn coasters of BD media because the buffer ran out :wink: But I assume it should be fast enough, right?

Would it be better to use Firewire 400? Provided I could find firewire in an SATA-enabled enclosure.

Are there popular enclosures that people use for Blu-ray burners? I usually buy my gadgetry off of Newegg but the reviews for the sata/firewire/5.25" enclosures are not stellar.


#2

[QUOTE=MBHockey;2178801]So my question is two-fold: Is USB 2.0 “good” enough for Blu-ray burning? It’d be a shame to burn coasters of BD media because the buffer ran out :wink: But I assume it should be fast enough, right?

Would it be better to use Firewire 400? Provided I could find firewire in an SATA-enabled enclosure.
[/QUOTE]
Yes - burners have burn-proof.
Yes, firewire is designed for raw throughput of huge streams between a source and destination device, and USB is made for many devices with little to say.

However, USB2 & Firewire (1394a) are showing their age these days.

You’d be better buying an Expresscard/PCMCIA SATA/ESATA card for your laptop, and an Esata/Sata enclosure, as this can communicate at full speed using native SATA :wink:


#3

Thank you for the help.

But does a Blu-ray burner even require the full speed of SATA? I was under the impression that optical drives (relative to hard disks) were relatively slow.

What about an IDE to SATA converter? Surely IDE is fast enough for a Blu-ray burner, no?


#4

for what it’s worth, i’m using a SATA-USB cable with my LG GGW-H20. it’s a weird problem i’m trying to figure out- i have no problem writing to BDR (no coasters yet 3/3). however i can’t write to DVDR. i don’t know why not yet, but BDR media is fine. and i’m using a bit of an outdated laptop (emachines m6805) that does not have native SATA capabilities.

after doing a little research for my own purposes though, i think i might buy one of those PCMCIA SATA cards like debro suggested. they seem pretty reasonable in price. something i’m not clear on though: if i have a SATA device ( LG GGW-H20) and a SATA PCMCIA card with both a SATA connector and eSATA connector, do i still need an enclosure for my drive? or would it just be powered through the PCMCIA card? i’m completely new to SATA and eSATA.


#5

[QUOTE=shunsai;2179012]after doing a little research for my own purposes though, i think i might buy one of those PCMCIA SATA cards like debro suggested. they seem pretty reasonable in price. something i’m not clear on though: if i have a SATA device ( LG GGW-H20) and a SATA PCMCIA card with both a SATA connector and eSATA connector, do i still need an enclosure for my drive? or would it just be powered through the PCMCIA card? i’m completely new to SATA and eSATA.[/QUOTE]
Sata/Esata doesn’t include power in the cable - you will need to have a separate power source.
Many newer Desktop PC power supplies &/or cases provide the old molex, or the new sata power outputs for this purpose

Effectively, (because you have a laptop) you will need an Esata/Sata Case to put your drive in. :slight_smile:

USB2 (but not USB1) is fast enough for slow burning (upto 12x for DVD. or 2x for Bluray), but Esata is best atm … it runs at full speed, and sata/esata is designed as a direct interface for high speed drives … it will limit the problems you will have. USB/sata bridges can be temperamental, and if you buy the wrong one, you could end up with a slow case with weird issues.

I understand that you can also get dual esata/USB ->sata cases. This would be best, so you can use it on desktop computers, or other laptops without sata or PCMCIA/Express card (whichever your laptop has).

IDE to sata converters are not recommended … unfortunately it’s a market that was flooded with cheap garbage devices quickly before reliable manufacturers got on board, and it won’t really help you regardless, you’ll still need to figure out how to get IDE outside your laptop, and power :wink:


#6

thanks for replying, but i already went ahead and bought a PCMCIA SATA card. i’m using the power cord from my USB-SATA cables. DVDs burn fine now… i have yet to burn a Blu-ray with it, but i suspect it will burn without a problem. i don’t have an enclosure for it though- just the bare drive and it’s 2 cables.


#7

Don’t forget to tell everyone what you got, and how it worked out :wink:

http://club.cdfreaks.com/f1/what-have-you-just-bought-cd-dvd-related-otherwise-177736-new/


#8

I finally found a (ridiculously expensive) sata -> esata/firewire 400/800/usb 2.0 enclosure and picked up an LG GBW-H20L to put in it. I’ll post in that thread when the pieces arrive :slight_smile:


#9

Firewire is probably overkill, and there will be a huge premium for the Firewire 800 / IEEE-1394b :wink:


#10

If you don’t mind can you post a link for the enclosure you purchased?

Thanks

[QUOTE=MBHockey;2182499]I finally found a (ridiculously expensive) sata -> esata/firewire 400/800/usb 2.0 enclosure and picked up an LG GBW-H20L to put in it. I’ll post in that thread when the pieces arrive :)[/QUOTE]


#11

I have a LG-GGW-H20L currently in an external Addionics USB/eSATA case.
The LG drive has also been housed in a Galaxy USB/eSATA case (difficult, but possible due to length of drive).
I currently burn/play BD-R, BD-RE material via USB and see no bottlenecks.
Drive also works well with DVDR material.
eSATA also works well, but not all my systems have that capability.

Check your BD drive’s length, aginst proposed external case internal dimensions (taking into account bridgeboard and internal cabeling (ie: Galaxy case experience).

FYI;
The Addionics case had a very noisy (anoying for HTPC use) fan until the fan died & I disconnected it, in order to still use the case.
However the Addionics case did fit the length on my LG drive which is longer than any of my various DVD drives I have collected over time.

The Galaxy case (no fan to begin with) had to be disassembled, then the drive installed, then shoe-horned the case back together (not for faint of heart) struggling with re-installing the flip down door. However, it did work fine once reassembled.
My LG drive in an external case moves around to my various computers (includes laptop with eSATA card) depending on the project I am working on, or the movie I would like to watch on my LCD, and performs well when connected with all of them.
As to 1394b/firewire 800…
I personally would not invest any more in it base on my own experiences…Difficult & expensive to implement. Dropped connections, questionable bridge boards, etc. In my opinion, 1394b needs to be mainstream before I would attempt to adopt again.
USB 3, may be the better option, but again needs to be mainstream to warrant investment.


#12

[QUOTE=dishinit;2187146]
As to 1394b/firewire 800…
I personally would not invest any more in it base on my own experiences…Difficult & expensive to implement. Dropped connections, questionable bridge boards, etc. In my opinion, 1394b needs to be mainstream before I would attempt to adopt again.
USB 3, may be the better option, but again needs to be mainstream to warrant investment.[/QUOTE]

Never heard that about FW800. I’ve only heard of (and have had) great experiences with it. I have had bad experiences with USB, however.

The enclosure I purchased was this one:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MRSFW8U2/

It fits the GBW perfectly, and I’ve had plenty of successful runs with it over FW800 (don’t have eSATA built-in to my Mac).


#13

Yes a little pricey but but if it can fit the GBW and has eSATA it’s worth it!

Thanks for following up :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=MBHockey;2188263]Never heard that about FW800. I’ve only heard of (and have had) great experiences with it. I have had bad experiences with USB, however.

The enclosure I purchased was this one:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MRSFW8U2/

It fits the GBW perfectly, and I’ve had plenty of successful runs with it over FW800 (don’t have eSATA built-in to my Mac).[/QUOTE]


#14

According to Buffalo external 8x Blu RAY drive.
E-sata is needed for 8x and higher burning speeds.
The drive will be stuck in 6x at USB 2.0
Asking a bit arround suggests that it’s the USB 2.0 limitation.
So for people looking at exclosure for a 8x or higher blu ray drive go with E-sata.


#15

Most valuable information dakhaas, thanks for sharing!

[QUOTE=dakhaas;2188435]According to Buffalo external 8x Blu RAY drive.
E-sata is needed for 8x and higher burning speeds.
The drive will be stuck in 6x at USB 2.0
Asking a bit arround suggests that it’s the USB 2.0 limitation.
So for people looking at exclosure for a 8x or higher blu ray drive go with E-sata.[/QUOTE]


#16

[QUOTE=MegaDETH;2188792]Most valuable information dakhaas, thanks for sharing![/QUOTE]

I realize this thread is getting old, but then; there seems to be so little BD traffic in general, that it seemed silly to start a new one just for this.

I was wondering if anyone has more recent experience with this. I’m thinking of putting a Pioneer or LG BDR drive in an external enclosure (USB3 if possible) and have started shopping. One issue that comes up constantly with me is that of firmware upgrades.

Back when I was using LG and Pioneer ATAPI drives in external USB cases, I learned that these brands did not “like” to have firmware upgrades applied by this route. I’ve had the flashers outright refuse, or (with LG) apparently complete only to a announce a failure at the end. Fortunately I was able to connect the drive internally on a different PC and re-flash. Compared to Lite-on, Plextor, Optiarc, etc which I’ve successfully and painlessly flashed in every which way via different interface converters.

So … anyone upgraded the firmware of Pioneer or LG BD burner in a USB external case?


#17

The problem is related to the chipsets built into the external enclosures.
Once you got the right one, everything will went smoothly.


#18

[QUOTE=chef;2566556]The problem is related to the chipsets built into the external enclosures.
Once you got the right one, everything will went smoothly.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, got that. My understanding is that some chipsets do imperfect interface conversion and don’t pass all of the commands used by the flashers. Hence my request for specific recomendations.


#19

[QUOTE=schuster;2566590]Yeah, got that. My understanding is that some chipsets do imperfect interface conversion and don’t pass all of the commands used by the flashers. Hence my request for specific recomendations.[/QUOTE]

Well, after some research I settled on the well-regarded Vantec NexStar DX, which comes in USB2 and USB2/eSATA versions. I got the USB-only variety and put an OEM Pioneer BDR-206 inside. After (holding my breath and) successfully upgrading the firmware from 1.02 to 1.04, I ran some tests. It works well; on my Optiplex’s USB ports it gets to about 5X speed. Total cost about $150 including free slow-boat shipping from Amazon.


#20

Nice find, but eSATA would have been the proper way. :wink: