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Looking for a Bluray drive (with a catch)


kahuna
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Hello everyone,
First post here. Thanks for all the good work you do on ImgBurn.

I'm looking for a "jack of all trades" unit if you wish. Basically, a BD drive that can also burn CDs and DVDs for vintage platforms.
Currently, I'm using an ASUS CD/DVD drive with ImgBurn, I'm afraid it's not working well. Most of the time the CDs that I burn with it are illegible in my old equipment.
To give an example, at the moment I'm burning games for my iBook G3 "clamshell". They come in bin+cue format, they have a data track and several audio tracks. Well, I have always had good results burning as slow as possible. However, the slowest this ASUS drive can burn a CD-R is 16x. So, I think that's part of the problem.

The workaround that I've in place is that I'm using the Sony DVD/CD IDE unit that came with my PowerMac G5 and "Toast Titanium 10" for MacOS. I can burn those discs at 8x and I'd say 80-90% of the time they just work on my iBook. But sometimes, I get a coaster or the iBook is not able to read the CD-R. So, I burn it again ... and it works (magically) ... Same CD brand, same batch...

The blank CD-Rs of choice are also the issue. I had some "Sony CD-R" laying around, they didn't work at all, not even in the G5.
I've got Verbatim 52x, the G5 is happy but the iBook is not.
Then, I found some "Verbatim audio" blank CDs (they imitate the looks of a vinyl disc). It seems everyone is happy with those. 

So, I'm looking for a rewriter unit that is more reliable and also I'm taking the opportunity to be able to burn BD (SL/DL/TL... DVDs ... M-DISC as well, whatever) if I need to.

This one WH16NS40 seems that can write CDs at 8x and supports pretty much all formats (is that right?).
While the WH16NS60 is kind of the updated version, but I don't see how slow it can write, I believe LG is only listing max speeds on its specs. Has anyone tried to burn anything really slowly with this unit?

Thanks in advance for your comments and feedback!

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Unfortunately, as far as BD goes, there is no jack of all trades unit.  The best you can get is the best of the worst.  They all have problems.  For instance, ASUS's drive doesn't properly write DVD+R DL.  A firmware update will fix it, but in 3 years, they've yet to address the issue I keep telling them.  Pioneer does not write properly to 8x DVD+RW and hasn't for more than 5 years, despite my repeatedly telling them, too.  Plus, the BD-RE it writes only Verify at maximum 2x, the maximum rated write speed.  The LG WH16NS60 is the best of the worst, but it writes a bit slower and doesn't always properly read in all discs that other units will.  The NS60 is the unit I use because it is the best of the worst.

 

However, the write/read speeds set in ImgBurn tend to get ignored by the NS60.  I've tried setting CD read speed to 1x and it gets ignored, reading instead at maximum write speed.

 

The NS40 can be used, unless you want to to BD-R DL or BD-RE DL.  It has never properly written those, despite, once again, my years of telling them a firmware update is needed for the NS40.  Once I discovered the NS60 properly writes to DL BD media, I started getting it.

 

LG also has a very liberal replacement policy.  2 months ago, I got a replacement for a drive still under warranty.  But, after 2 months, it stopped reading DVD discs when inserted.  LG is replacing it, too, and, as a courtesy, they sent me a prepaid shipping label, which they haven't done in the past.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for your reply @dbminter 

The NS40 is widely available and just at $100 CAD. However, it seems the NS60 is hard to find and it's around $230 CAD on the cheapest place I could find it.

The other option I'm seeing is the Pioneer BDR-212UBK. Yeah, I read that you love this one especially :D :D  

According to this:
https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/StaticFiles/Manuals/Business/ORC8325A-a.pdf
It can pretty much write at any speed.

They just released a firmware update, just FYI.
BDR-212JBK_UBK_FW102EU.exe
updated May 25, 2022
ver.    change point
1.02    Improvement of the playback operation with specific media
1.01    Support New BD-R TL media(4x Writing : RiTEK)
Improvement of the operational stability when BD-R SL 16x speed recording.
Improvement of the operational stability when recording CD, DVD, BD.


Price wise, it's $195 CAD in a nice retail package that I don't really care much about.
Thinking of pulling the trigger on this one ...  
 

Edited by kahuna
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Interesting.  The NS60 is more expensive than the NS40 because it supports Ultra HD BD.  But, more than twice the price?  That seems excessive.

 

Of course, Pioneer releases a firmware update that does NOTHING to address their 8x DVD+RW issues that have plagued ALL models of BD burners for MORE than 5 years.  It only address PLAYBACK issues, NOT writing issues.

 

If you never intend on writing DVD+RW media, the Pioneer 212 is fine as far as I tested it.  Don't know about 4x DVD+RW, though.

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Yeah, all around BD-R drives seems to be weird these days.
The Pioneer BDR-212UBK is now listed as an "old model", the new one they have is the BDR-2212, but there are no clear specs and it's suspiciously cheaper than the 212UBK. I think it's because it doesn't support the 4K Ultra format playback as you pointed out with the NS40.

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Ah, I got mixed up.  There's like 4 212 model numbers out there over the years.  At one point, what differentiated the 212 line from the 2212 line was the latter's support for BD XL and TL.  Then, Ultra HD BD was thrown in the mix.  For instance, the 212 I tested in that other thread did not support BD XL and TL media.

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Posted (edited)

For CD-R's your probably better off just sticking to a typical DVD burner I suspect and I can't imagine there are many new drives available that burn CD-R's slower than 8x or 16x unless you go way back to the earlier days.

even looking at my two DVD burners, which are from 2009 and 2011, they bottom out at 8x (Sony 7240s(2009)) and 16x (Liteon iHAS324B(2011)) for standard Verbatim CD-R's (CMC Magnetics media code and are listed as 52x on package, which I assume is what you got). but honestly, for CD-R's, 16x should be good enough on most things if your using a decent burner with decent media even though I realize random devices can be picky and may not work anyways. I do have a couple of old CD-RW drives (Liteon 24102b (24x10x40) from Dec 2001 etc) but I have not really tried to burn any of my recently bought (April 2022) Verbatim CD-R's on that old Liteon CD-RW drive. but even checking ImgBurn on my old Liteon 24102b burner (Dec 2001 mfg date) with one of those Verbatim CD-R's in the drive, there is no listed 'supported write speeds' text etc like I see on all three of my DVD burners, so I am 'guessing' I can select a slower write speed if I wanted to on that but I can't be sure without trying sometime. but checking my original DVD burner a moment ago, which is a Liteon 1673s from the year 2005 (on the newest firmware available for it), the slowest write speed on those Verbatim CD-R's I can select is 8x given what ImgBurn tells me.

so off the top of my head... finding a burner that can burn CD-R's slower than 8x probably won't be easy unless you get something fairly ancient. you might be able to find old/used CD-RW drives on places like Ebay if you want to gamble etc.

also, the dye could play a potential role in whether your devices likes the discs or not to. because I would imagine you got the standard cheaper Verbatim CD-R's and not the better Mitsubishi dye ones which 'may' have a better success rate with your devices.

I can't really comment much on BD-R writing since I never bothered to get into it given the initial investment costs are a bit too high and they have not been around as long as CD/DVD recording, so I tend to have more trust in CD/DVD burning long term than BD-R  and not only that, pretty much any computer that has a optical drive can read a CD/DVD unlike BD-R which I can't imagine many computers have drives that can read CD/DVD. so unless BD-R is a must, I suggest sticking to DVD for general data backup (although the data to backup probably needs to be a bit more limited since if you got too much data to burn then CD/DVD is not really practical) and CD-R's for standard music CD's and stuff where CD is required etc. plus, I see those higher capacity BD discs, but cramming 50-75-100GB onto a single disc seems even more risky since it seems a drives ability to read that data will become more sensitive to errors on the discs.

 

EDIT: checking specs/reviews on that Liteon 24102b even that seems to limit CD-R's to a minimum of 8x. so there goes my theory of it being able to write slower. but my HP burner  (May 2000 mfg date) I suspect might be able to drop speed further since it's MAX speed is 8x. but I generally don't use this drive.

Edited by ThaCrip
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In the end I've got the Pioneer BDR-212UBK.

I'm quite happy with the purchase; well, at least so far. I've burnt a couple of CD-Rs for my iBook G3 'clamshell' at 4x and they work like a charm. One is an ISO file with both PC data and Mac data; the other is a BIN+CUE with a Mac data track and several audio tracks.

Looking forward to start messing with BD-R. I think the next step will be to get some BD-R M-DISCs for data I'd like to preserve for years to come.

I do not have any blanks 8x DVD+RW. I do have an old DVD+RW "2.4x certified" from Verbatim and another even older TDK DVD-RW "for 2x recorders" 😁 
Right now ImgBurn is doin a full erase on the DVD+RW, as I had some data there from 2008! The TDK DVD-RW is brand new, I just removed the plastic wrap...

Will report back.
Thanks @dbminter and anyone else who's reading this 😉
 

 

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18 minutes ago, kahuna said:

In the end I've got the Pioneer BDR-212UBK.

I'm quite happy with the purchase; well, at least so far. I've burnt a couple of CD-Rs for my iBook G3 'clamshell' at 4x and they work like a charm.

You can actually write at 4x to a CD-R on that BD writer? ; if so, that's surprising. because usually if you try to select a non-supported write speed of too fast or too slow it will just select the fastest available or slowest available in those situations.

p.s. the only DVD+RW discs I got, which I think I bought in 2019, of which it's surely 'new old stock', are Verbatim DVD+RW 2.4x discs and have a 2002 date on back of jewel cases. makes me wonder if you got the same ones I got ;)

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Hey @ThaCrip thanks for your reply.
I think our messages crossed. This Pioneer BD unit is able to burn CDs at 4x 🤩
ImgBurn shows all the speeds available, which match what the drive documentation indicates (4x, 10x, 16x...)

Yeah, totally agree on the media. I have just a couple of old Verbatim blank CD-Rs (52x). They're white at the top instead of the metalic grey colour the new ones have (also 52x). I used one of the white ones to burn the ISO of the MacOS 9.2.2 and it was amazing how fast I was able to install the OS.
According to ImgBurn these old white Verbatim CD-R are manufactured by MID: 97m17s06f (Moser Baer India), while the new metalic grey ones are produced by MID: 97m26s66f (CMC Magnetics Corp.) Also, the Verbatim CD-Rs that look like a vinyl disc are created by CMC as well. These "vinyl" CDs are the ones that work with my iBook.

So, anyone knows where to get quality CDs these days? Where can I find those Mitsubishi CDs?
 

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1 minute ago, kahuna said:

I think our messages crossed. This Pioneer BD unit is able to burn CDs at 4x 🤩
ImgBurn shows all the speeds available, which match what the drive documentation indicates (4x, 10x, 16x...)

 

1 minute ago, kahuna said:

I saw how ImgBurn wrote the data at 600KB/sec. Took around 20 minutes as expected.

I see as that sounds right. but that's kind of weird on how it goes from 4x straight to 10x, so skips 8x (probably not a big deal though). so kind of a potential bonus in certain situations where lower write speed might be of help on a picky reader.

 

5 minutes ago, kahuna said:

So, anyone knows where to get quality CDs these days? Where can I find those Mitsubishi CDs?

 

I was taking a quick look on Amazon and I likely have found them under the Verbatim 'DataLifePlus' CD-R. but they do cost noticeably more.

but as a alternative... it seems many like the Taiyo Yuden CD-R's to which seem to have a good reputation.

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I see. I thought they were the same, but it seems they are not.
The "DataLifePlus" ones are only available in "printable" format in Amazon Canada.
https://www.amazon.ca/Verbatim-DataLifePlus-Silver-Inkjet-Printable/dp/B0002J5HHA/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1ZY8P1KPDK9HK

I guess the Taiyo Yuden are these ones:

https://www.amazon.ca/PlexDisc-700MB-Inkjet-Printable-Recordable/dp/B09QHN5WMZ/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3NH4Q72SC80DC
https://www.amazon.ca/PlexDisc-700MB-Digital-Audio-Recordable/dp/B09X2DKYC6/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3NH4Q72SC80DC

Not sure what's the difference between these "audio" CDs and the regular ones. Probably, will get them next time.

By the way, I just wrote some stuff on the DVD+RW 2.4x and it worked just fine. I was able to access the data that was on that DVD+RW.

I also tried to burn a Mac game using this new BD-R unit with the "low quality" Verbatim I have. As expected, it didn't work, I'm afraid my iBook really don't like these "Verba-crap" metalic grey CDs, it doesn't matter with which burner they are recorded.

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, kahuna said:

Not sure what's the difference between these "audio" CDs and the regular ones. Probably, will get them next time.

To my knowledge the 'Audio CD' CD-R's are specifically made for home CD recorders as I don't think you can use regular CD-R's on those (some sort of BS fee they tack on which is why "audio CD-R's" cost more than regular CD-R). but on a computer, regular CD-R's are better since they are cheaper and don't require you use those 'audio CD-Rs'. but I don't know anyone who actually needs those 'audio CD-R' discs since I don't know anyone who uses recording devices that require those audio CD-Rs.

 

4 hours ago, kahuna said:

I also tried to burn a Mac game using this new BD-R unit with the "low quality" Verbatim I have. As expected, it didn't work, I'm afraid my iBook really don't like these "Verba-crap" metalic grey CDs, it doesn't matter with which burner they are recorded.

I have pretty much never (or rarely) experienced any obvious issues with CD-R's in general over the years.

I mostly used generic CD-R's since I have been into CD burning which is 1998 to date (my DVD burning was from 2005 to date). but the best quality CD-R's I have are probably the Mitsui ones I bought back around 2002 or so (that was back when those were solid etc as you can see it's got a coating on the top surface etc) as those where like $0.50 per disc (so $50 for 100 CD-R's) as I still got most of that original 100-pack left and burned one not long ago (as a standard audio CD) and still work well etc.

but generally speaking... Verbatim with Mitsubishi dye (i.e. Azo/DataLife Plus) or Taiyo Yuden CD-R/DVD are typically what you want. M-DISC can be good but are not worth the inflated price in my opinion given the practical longevity of standard quality media like Verbatim/TY are likely good enough to last many decades at least. so even if M-DISC last much longer, it won't really matter because we will probably be dead or close enough to that point by the time regular quality media fails. so as long as the standard quality media burned well to begin with, chances are it will last decades at the minimum, generally speaking.

but I was pretty much out of the generic CD-R's and I ordered that 100-pack of standard Verbatim CD-R's (CMC Magnetics media code) in April 2022 and don't have any issues with it playing on my original CD player (Pansonic RX-DS620) which has a April 1991 mfg date on it as I have probably had that since late 1991 or sometime in 1992. I burned them (about 6-7 standard audio discs so far) at 16x without issue. because at about $0.18 a disc, I can't really lose as I largely bought them for burning standard audio CD's occasionally and these will likely last a long time in my estimations, assuming you treat your discs with care which I always do as scratches on them will be minimal for me(and I keep them out of sunlight even though they might occasionally see higher heat in a vehicle over the years) since I don't abuse my stuff like some people do.

but when it comes to DVD's I almost always used Verbatim (Azo ones or the like) brand to keep quality stable as those are the quality Mitsubishi dye as I have quite a few discs that are 13+ years old that still scan well to this day. hence, they will probably last many decades at least before failure occurs.

I did buy some Taiyo Yuden 8x DVD-R ('TYG02' media code) back in the 2000's decade and those are still top notch to this day as I still have most of the 100 pack left as I primarily use it for a limited amount of high importance data backup.

4 hours ago, kahuna said:

By the way, I just wrote some stuff on the DVD+RW 2.4x and it worked just fine. I was able to access the data that was on that DVD+RW.

Yeah, I think mine show up as 'Mitsubishi Chemical Corp' in ImgBurn for media code. so they will likely last a lot longer than my cheap Memorex crap did years ago.

Edited by ThaCrip
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8x DVD+RW is, pretty much, a dead flavor of DVD+RW.  They still make 4x DVD+RW, but Imation was the last manufacturer of 8x, and even then Ritek made those for them.  The only ones I can find are from a seller offering a few lots on eBay as Amazon.com's single seller no longer offers them.

 

I believe the "Audio CD" CD-R's were merely a tax scheme.  They were created as a way to levy a tax on recordable media to "make up" for people copying audio CD's with them.  Entirely a scam as they weren't any better than some other kinds of CD-R out there.

 

Taiyo Yuden, as long as they're the "genuine" high quality ones, are good.  I had to briefly switch to TY DVD-R when Verbatim changed the manufacturing process of DataLife Plus DVD-R so that the NS60 no longer properly wrote to those until the 1.03 firmware update was released.  If you don't get the high quality genuine "Pro" ones, they will be the CMC junk since CMC Magnetics now owns TY, too.  Even at that, the so called "CMC Pro" discs are actually TY's and are good.

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One thing you might consider if you're looking for long term storage of media.  I haven't crunched the numbers, but buying BD-R may be cheaper for longer term storage versus buying M-Disc DVD+R.  They will definitely be cheaper than M-Disc BD-R, but won't last as long.  However, BD-R will definitely last longer than any recordable CD or DVD as they use organic dyes and BD-R uses metal oxide.  But, BD-R won't last as long as M-Disc DVD.  However, if you do use BD-R, you won't be able to natively play DVD Video or Audio CD's burned to them.  They're better used as archive storage and then copied back to the proper recordable media when needed for playback.  For a few years now, I've been archiving everything to BD-R, even if they will fit on a CD or a DVD.  BD-R is now on par with about a $1 a disc here in the States when bought in bulk and they will last longer than CD or DVD.  I don't mind paying the extra for a longer lived storage medium, but you may not want to.

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The difference between the 212 and 2212 does appear to be that the 2212 plays Ultra HD BD.  This side by side comparison of the 2 units:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/compare/Pioneer_BDR-2212_vs_Pioneer_BDR-212UBK/BHitems/1520035-REG_1520034-REG

shows that they're basically the same.  No mention is made of Ultra HD BD, so that, is most likely, the difference between the two models.

 

This link also seems to verify that information:

https://club.myce.com/t/pioneer-bdr-212ubk-2212-212dbk/405781

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Thanks for the insights. I just got my first set of BD-R DL, it's amazing how different they look to a DVD-R/CD-R 🙃

I was doing some numbers in regards to BD-R costs, in case there is anyone interested. These are in Canadian Dollars, looking primarily to Amazon.ca:

Verbatim BD-R 25GB HardCoat 50 units = $70 = $1.40 per disc = $0.056 per GB
Verbatim BD-R 25GB HardCoat 25 units = $40 = $1.60 per disc = $0.064 per GB

Verbatim BD-R DL 50GB HardCoat 25 units = $97 = $3.88 per disc = $0.077 per GB

Verbatim M-Disc BDXL TL 100GB single unit = $30 = $0.3 per GB

Based on these numbers I decided to go with BD-R DL for the moment as they're indeed more expensive (cost per GB) than the single layer ones, but they are more convenient when it comes to physically store them. Also, the cost difference is not that much and I don't really plan to toast too many of them in any case, as my main primary use case for BDs is to store backups.

Lastly, I've also purchased a couple of these M-Disc BDXL 100GB to backup some "important" stuff I have.

I'm in the middle of rebuilding my home lab, so it will take a while until I actually start burning some BD-Rs 😅

 

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I've never actually burned any BD-R beyond SL.  I've burned BD-RE DL before; they seem to have a high failure rate.  I'd write to them for a yearly backup, go back to them a year later to write the replacement new year's backup, and the disc would fail after its first write.

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1 hour ago, kahuna said:

Verbatim BD-R 25GB HardCoat 50 units = $70 = $1.40 per disc = $0.056 per GB
Verbatim BD-R 25GB HardCoat 25 units = $40 = $1.60 per disc = $0.064 per GB

Verbatim BD-R DL 50GB HardCoat 25 units = $97 = $3.88 per disc = $0.077 per GB

Verbatim M-Disc BDXL TL 100GB single unit = $30 = $0.3 per GB

 

All-around the standard 25GB discs are safest. while I get you want to have less discs, unless you got many TB's of data you want to store long term, you can still store plenty of high importance data (like say family pictures/videos and the like) on a single 25GB disc. because $1.40 a disc vs $3.88 is a rather significant difference and even in terms of physical storage space, say 100 discs at 25GB each that's 2.5TB of storage which is a lot unless you have many TB's of higher importance data.

hell, even some stuff I would personally not mind backing up to optical media, but don't because it won't fit on regular DVD media, I could pretty much get all of that on roughly 125-150 25GB discs (although I just use hard drives since it's more practical for non high importance data). I get with 50GB each would pretty much halve the physical discs, but even 125-150 25GB discs in say slim jewel cases is nothing extreme in terms of physical storage space to where I would not worry about it too much as if you had to store say many hundreds of discs (say 300-400+), that can start to become a physical storage space problem (and getting higher capacity discs would start to look a lot more appealing assuming they are reliable enough), but as long as you don't reach that point, chances are storing say a couple hundred standard BD-R discs (which would be 5TB of storage space) ain't too bad, especially if it's not something you plan on accessing much in general. since I would imagine you will generally be using hard drives for general data access as optical media is mostly good in case something happens to the data on the hard drive and you need to restore it.

also, unless someone has money to burn it don't make much sense paying $30 for ONE 100GB disc (especially I suspect as there are more layers the higher chance that disc will fail) as you would be far better off with four single 25GB discs at $5.60.

but just looking at the basic storage capacity of what you listed... I can see how one would back the $97 option over the $70 option, especially if the discs are similar reliability and taking up less physical storage space is a higher priority for this type of person as they are basically paying a $27 premium for half the physical storage space.

but with all of that said... at least us users around here can see how things play out in your situation ;)

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Yes, you would have less of a failure chance if you stuck with BD-R SL.  While you will have to store more discs, when you start going beyond one layer, you increase the likelihood of errors at the layer changes.

 

If you're going to store a lot of BD-R, you may want to not use jewel cases and go with those CD/DVD disc carriers that can hold many discs.  I use ones that store 332 discs each.  I then put Post It's on the pages describing what discs are there.  And I have a spreadsheet of what discs are in what carriers so I can find them easier.

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