Need an external DVD burner

Hi

I am looking for an external DVD burner. It needs to be external because I have a laptop which I use for most of my work so I would like to be able to use it from that. I have both USB 2 and IEEE 1394 (only one) connectors. The primary tasks I would use the drive for are, a) backing up my hard drive contents, b) burning camcorder videos (Canon MVX25i incase that makes any difference) to DVD.

The drives I have been considering so far are the Sony DRX-810UL, Sony DRX-820UL and now the BenQ EW164B. The biggest difference between Sony and BenQ as I see it is that the BenQ only has USB where the Sony have USB and IEEE 1394. I have seen some comments about not being able to do quality scans over USB. So if I went with the BenQ I wouldn’t have that if the comments were true, but then im not sure I really need that. The other twist is the DRX-820UL being able to handle DVD-RAM which could be useful for managing backups on a more frequent basis without burning through lots of disks. But then the reviews of the drive didn’t look that promising because of the change in chipset used, but maybe a firmware update has resolved these by now? In favour of the BenQ is its price, which I can get for about £40 where as the Sony DRX-810UL is about £80.

So does anyone have any other drives I should be looking at? Any other factor I might want to consider?

Thanks

Tony

Hi,

Not being able to do quality scans via USB connection might be a speciality of the particular drives. I have a Sony DW-G120A (Liteon SHM-165P6S) mounted into an USB-enclosure with Cypress chipset. Works good, quality scanning of DVD media included:)

So does anyone have any other drives I should be looking at? Any other factor I might want to consider?
If quality scanning is not important, then there are also some external drives from LG available.
According to Liteon Website, there should be an external SHM-165P6S existing, but I haven’t seen any yet.

Advantage of “ready-to-plug” external drives are, that you don’t have compatibility issues with drive and enclosure. This is the biggest problem with self-made external drives.
On the other hand, many “ready-to-plug” drives consist of older writers, this might be a problem if future media is not supported by firmware. And this is the advantage of a custom drive: you can put recent hardware into such a case.
The prices of both solutions are similar, you can’t save money, if you build your external drive yourself.

Michael

Thanks for the info, i dont think i’ll be building my own external drive, i have been following a few discussions and i dont think im that much of a “freak” to worry about it. I have survived this long without using a writer simply backing up onto network drives, the real application is getting my camcorder recordings onto DVD to archive.

I havent paid much attention to the LG drives lately, when i last did they didnt have dual layer +R and -R capabilities, probably do now i guess. Im really after good accurate movie recordings, so which ever drive and disk combo works best with an external drive is good for me.

Tony

Thanks for the info, i dont think i’ll be building my own external drive, i have been following a few discussions and i dont think im that much of a “freak” to worry about it. I have survived this long without using a writer simply backing up onto network drives, the real application is getting my camcorder recordings onto DVD to archive.

I havent paid much attention to the LG drives lately, when i last did they didnt have dual layer +R and -R capabilities, probably do now i guess. Im really after good accurate movie recordings, so which ever drive and disk combo works best with an external drive is good for me.

Tony

Hi,

I’d suggest to crawl trough the forums of each manufacturer here. At least Benq, Liteon/Sony and LG. Samsung also offers external writers, but I wouldn’t buy one if I could get a LG (excellent write quality with quality media), a Benq or a Liteon (Sony is either Benq or Liteon hardware)

Michael

Thanks. I have been doing a fair amount of looking, but its had as you dont often see side by side comparisons, and there is so much material on quality of disk burns. I took a look at some LG drives, GSA-5169D and GSA-2166D but they dont appear to have got great reviews from what i can see. They do have DVD-RAM but didnt look like the rest of its writing capbilities were up to much. Cheaper than Sony again, but no firewire connectivity.

Ok, i think im going to plump for the DRX-820UL after all that. It doesnt really seem to have any major negative points, where as some of the other do. It has both USB and firewire which is good, the others didnt. That just gives me options should the computer not work properly over USB, and i should be able to do quality scans one way or the other (assuming the drive handles that?). Shame there isnt a proper review of the drive yet, along with some of the LG and BenQ specific models either.

Tony

Ok i have been round and round and round and round… My head is really spinning from all the reviews, forums, comments etc i have been reading.

I have come to one conclusion, im going to need to buy an internal drive and get an external enclosure, so thats sorted that out. Im down to the following drive list (pretty much the latest and greatest from top manafacturers as i see it):

LiteOn SHM-165P6S-02C (retail) / Sony G120A-BC
LG GSA-H10N (24.09 OEM) - no quality scan
Pio 111 / Asus 1603P3S
BenQ 1670 - no quality scan
Plextor px-760a - no ram writting

Im kind of drawn towards the LiteOn (over the rest including Sony) because of software and features. But the GSA-H10N is still in there because its got faster write speeds, but it doesnt have the quality scan. The Pioneer im just not sure about, so im going to leave that out unless someone has a compelling argument for considering it. The last two just dont seem to be fit my needs but cam close, so i’ll be leaving those out.

So im looking for some input which might sway me, from those that have the LG and LiteOn drives. The other important bit is for either of those drives what external enclosure would people recommend, as I need one. I have seen comments saying Prolfiic chipsets are best and other saying Cypress. I would like USB and firewire, and I live in the UK which im finding a problem to locate info on the ones being sold here.

Thanks for all your help, as usual. I thought this might be an easy task when i started about a month ago now, how wrong could i be :slight_smile:

Tony

NEC or BenQ

Only put a UDMA-4 capable drive in a external enclosure. :slight_smile:
My vote on Lite-On/Sony.