Last night, I tried ripping the movie “Minority Report” from the original DVD. My brand new Lite-On SHW-1635S ripped for over an hour and got to about 5 GB in files, but it was writing VERY slowly at that point. So, I stopped the rip and tried it in my NEC 3550A. No problem. It ripped and burned very quickly. Then, when I was watching the movie from the original disk, it froze at about the 39 minute mark. On a hunch, I switched over to the DVD-RW I burned as a test on the NEC, and it played flawlessly.
The reason I bought the NEC is that my Sony drive has problems ripping some movies. I knew that some or all Sony drives were Lite-On, but I thought Sony might have different firmware that screws up the rips. It appears that the Lite-Ons and Sonys are going to exhibit the same behavior in this regard.
I will probably return the Lite-On drive. Sony’s draconian efforts to defeat even legitimate copying have caused me not to buy anything with their name on it in the last few years. If Lite-On is the same as Sony, I guess I’ll have to avoid them, too. Otherwise, it seems to be a good drive.