I'm curious how the long term members here assess the current situation in optical drives and media.
I haven't been keeping up with DVD burners very well. I pretty much lost interest when reasonably priced Blu-ray drives starting showing up, but have tried to read a few threads here and there regarding current DVD burners. There don't seem to be any outstanding DVD burners, but all the ones from major brands like Lite-on, LG and Samsung do well enough for most purposes. If there is one that is heads above the rest, like the old Optiarc 7200A/S, this would be good to know when advising people coming into the site.
We seem to be down to only two manufacturers in full sized Blu-ray burners. LG and Pioneer are still making good drives, but everyone else seems to have abandoned this market. Is this definitely true, that they are the only two left? Rebadged drives don't count. Is there a slim BD writer worth considering? Again, this would help with questions from newcomers.
On to DVD media. I realize that everyone is complaining that the new versions of Taiyo Yuden don't seem to be the same quality as the old. Not something I've tested, since I am still burning through my 2006-2007 stock of TY 8x +R discs, though I'm down to burning only one or two DVD's per month these days. We should be glad there is any TY available the way things are going.
We've known about the "Life Series" CMC DVD's under the Verbatim brand for some time. I recently read about Verbatim selling Ritek discs with the same packaging as their own discs, just minus the AZO on the label. This is a very nasty little trick from Verbatim and something to be aware of when purchasing.
FTI/Falcon? Never burned their DVD's, but I assume they are still good?
Anything else worth considering?
Blu-ray media hasn't changed much. Panasonic, FTI/Falcon and Verbatim have been working for most people, though there are still lots of warnings on various forums to avoid the LTH Verbatim. I still won't touch Ritek and Philips BD media.
The Melody INFOME-R30/40 discs were all the rage for a while. Those holding up?
Any thoughts/comments/raspberries welcomed.