Suggestions for buying an external blu-ray burner

i recently purchased a laptop, but it came with no optical drive. i am looking to purchase [during thanksgiving (in USA) or UK or Singapore] through friends, an external blu-ray writer capable of reading and burning CD, DVD, BR (single-, double-, triple- quad-layer) discs, ultra-HD blu-ray discs, 3D blu-ray discs and optionally HD-DVD (with M-Disc compatibility for each of these type of discs). the interface should be USB 3.0 or faster.

BTW, how can i create (burn) UHD 4k BR discs using such a burner? do i need special discs for this purpose or are normal BR discs sufficient for this? please enlighten me.

and i also need to buy 25-50 blank blu-ray discs that have long-life and low-cost as possible.

forgive my ignorance. expert suggestions for buying these with appropriate links are requested. many thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Welcome to the forum.

Your best bet for current firmware and M-Disc compatability in an external burner is probably one of the LG slimline drives like the BP60NB10:

https://www.amazon.com/LG-Electronics-Portable-Blu-ray-Optical/dp/B079LTC6ML

HD-DVD compatability is not found in any hardware produced in recent memory.

Burning a compliant UHD 4K BD disc which looks and acts like a pressed disc to a standalone player, is a folly that is doomed to fail. High capacity pressed commercial UHD discs are structured differently from BD-Rs, and most standalone players categorically ignore BD-R discs having more than 2 layers (if evne that much). See threads like:

And then, of course, is the issue of lack of end-user authoring software for producing UHD discs.

If you want to burn 4K material to optical media it is best stored as video data files (e.g. MP4 or MKV) and played in a UHD BD player which can read them, thus limited to 2-layer (50GB) by design.

many thanks, yeah this is my first post here.
thanks for the link, but that is USB 2.0 and i am seeking USB 3.1 or atleast USB 3.0. i just want to buy a future-proof drive.
HD-DVD compatibility is optional and can be ignored.

and being an Indian and not a native speaker of English, i could not understand what you meant about the possibility of burning a UHD 4K BD. you mean to say that it is mostly not feasible? by the way, is UHD 4K BD a different type of physical BD (single-, double-, triple- quadruple-layer) disc or it is a way of recording to already existing bluray discs? in short what exactly is a UHD 4K BD; how is it different from a normal BD apart from the higher resolution? please enlighten me. i searched the internet and read the wikipedia article but i am maybe too ignorant to understand it properly. sorry for troubling.

If you want to burn 4K material to optical media it is best stored as video data files (e.g. MP4 or MKV) and played in a UHD BD player which can read them, thus limited to 2-layer (50GB) by design.

this means i can burn 4K video to BD-R (single- or double- layer) discs and they require a UHD BD playable drive, right? what is the difference you are mentioning? sorry i did not get it.

Many of the recent model slimline BD-R drives use the USB 2.0 interface as a manufacturer design choice. Since BD transfer rates on these drives are limited by the speed of the spindle motor to 6X and USB 2.0 can achieve ~5.5X transfer rate, there is little to be gained by using USB 3.x. Full size (half height 5.25" drives) can reach 12X or more on BD-R, and can benefit more from USB 3.x; but I am not aware of a full-size external drive that supports reading UHD discs.

You could, however, buy a full-size LG or Pioneer UHD-compatible internal drive and mount it in an external enclosure that has a USB 3.0 interface.

The physical and logical structure of a commercially pressed 4K UHD Blu-Ray disc is different from earlier media, and there are no recordable blanks that match its structure, even for dual-layer (50 or 66 GB) discs. If you to were copy the layout of a 66GB UHD BD onto a 50GB BD-R, a standalone video disc player may or may not accept it. It is hit or miss. Flatly put, UHD Blu-Ray was designed to discourage consumer created discs.

I recently bought a Pioneer BDR-XD07J off of ebay, it reads and writes all medias that are currently available.

i really appreciate the inputs. (takes a bow before your knowledge).

i am not technical enough to mount an internal drive in an external enclosure. sorry about that. any links that point to off-the-shelf mounted ones?

BTW, which is better? slot-load or clamshell design or tray-loaded or motorised-tray-load?

thanks for enlightening me about the 4K UHD BR discs.

can you provide links for the blank media question? thanks in advance :slight_smile:

thank you. i will look into it.

Buy any compatible internal bluray drive like LG WH16NS40 with applicable firmware version and get external USB 3.0 drive enclosure. I did this to used on multiple PC to rip 4K UHD movies.

There is a SONY BD-R HD Blu-Ray 4x Speed Blank Disc Media BDR 128GB from ebay but I haven’t yet try to burn the movie due to expensive media rather than buying original 4K UHD movie lol!.
mostly I ripped as digital copy of 4K UHD movie file as collection to preserved.

I would definitely go for standard full sized 5.25 inch desktop burner if you are serious about burning. From my experience the slim USB powered Samsung DVD burner started producing coasters after some dozens of burns and the drive was kept in the original box all the time. My guess is there is a compromise between performance, reliability, size and portability since the device is only powered from USB. So my choice would be (and is actually what I use now): a desktop burner (I use Pioneer 209-EBK and ASUS BW-16D1HT) and external 5.25 inch enclosure with dedicated power supply such as Vantec Nexstar DX or Delock 42484 (I use this one).

I don’t think you can play 4K UHD blu ray through an enclosure. It has to be standalone due to newer version of AACS DRM. Correct me if I am wrong.

You may be right, but then, what about the UHD logo on the slimline external drives discussed here :slightly_smiling_face:

Unless they’re doing something funny with the bridge chipset; functionally I don’t see any reason why one of those slimline drives should look any different than a do-it-yourself external drive. The crypto chip in UHD-certified drives is within the drive itself.

Since I have never tried to play UHD through a PC…

I think the drive has to directly connect the motherboard and not through an intermediate.

Acknowledged. Still wondering though how Pioneer and LG can advertise external drives labelled for UHD BD playback and packaged with software to do so.

The external drive connects directly to the motherboard via USB. When an enclosure connects SATA to USB, then to motherboard.

Makes sense now.

you can play it, as I’ve said you need the applicable firmware version to read 4K UHD, in my case I used LG WH16NS40 (firmware v1.0) with [Vantec NST-536S3-BK NexStar DX USB 3.0 External Enclosure]. And I ripped to iso by removing media protection, burn it and I can play to any player without any restrictions.

So it has to be ripped first, can you play the original disc through the external closure drive?

Yes, a long a you can read the 4K UHD movie, you can play that too using DVDFab player. This player having decryption on the fly. If you want to play with VLC, you must have keep open AnyDVD or DVDFab Passkey on the background to decrypt on the fly while playing with VLC player.

https://www.dvdfab.cn/uhd-creator.htm
states that consumers can create UHD Blu-Ray discs at home with this software. not sure if it is foolproof. just an info.

can you suggest which blank BD-R 25GB is better to buy for successful burns? and also LTH or HTL is good? thanks in advance.