Which DVD burner to get?

I’m planning on buying a reasonably priced DVD burner. After searching the net, my choice narrowed down to Lite-On and NEC (my budget is around $80). For NEC there is one model that is the ND2500A but there are 2 models for Lite-On LDW 811S and SHOW 812S, which is better? (I’m guessing it’s the SHOW model since its about $10 more expensive). What is the difference?. I read that you can hack the 812S to a 832S (with dual layer support), can the 811S be hacked to support dual layer too ?.
And what about the compatibility with cheap DVD±R brands? I am not that interested in dual layer support, though it’s a nice feature to have. My main worries are with DVDR compatibility issues, speed is not an issue for me either. So what do you guys think ? Is there a better option in the range of $80 ? Thanks.

Get the NEC 2500A. It is the best value out there. It has amazing writing capabilities and outperforms the Lite-On when it comes to compatibility and cheap media. I believe www.newegg.com has it ~$70.00, free shipping.
I personally bought the Dual Layer model 2510 (90.00), but honestly, it will be some time before DL media sells at reasonable price…

Thanks for the quick reply. Have you tried cheap DVDR brands in yours ? Like Princo etc?
And is the ND2510 and ND2500 same drive with only dual layer support difference? Because I read somewhere that both drives are identical in hardware but runs on different firmware and that you can hack the ND2500 to be a ND2510. Is it true ?

I have only used ritek media for now. read this review, it shows that the NEC is the best when it comes to cheap media. Lite - On is better when it comes to copy protected CD’s, mostly games (I believe)


As a satisfied Lite-On owner, I’ve got to chip in with my two cents.

mladenpetkov is right on the money saying that the NEC 2500A has better compatibility with cheap media. But Lite-On drives have a real enthusiast following (especially here at CD-Freaks). From the K-Probe burn quality tester to the just released auto bit-setting/speedhacking/burn adjust/swiss army knife tool (thanks codeguys :slight_smile: :bow: ), Lite-On owners have access to a plethora of great tools and tweaks for their drives.

If you are looking for a drive as a utilitarian tool to work with, the NEC is a great burner and will do everything you need. But if you like to tinker and tweak your hardware to get the best results from it, the Lite-On IMHO can’t be beat.

hmm what about the pioneer dvd burner ?