Blu Ray Drive Comparison
Blu Ray Drive Buying Guide
What is a Blu Ray Drive?
Why do people purchase Blu-ray Drives? Mostly because of the space they offer. One Blu-ray Disc provides the user the equivalent of 35 CDs of space or 5 DVDs. They resemble DVDs a lot but they use a shorter wavelength and have a narrower laser beam spot which makes them capable of holder a lot more content. Blu-ray is becoming the storage method of choice thanks to the variety they are capable of handling. They can do both HD and 3D content.
There are several things you want to consider before you actually purchase a Blu-ray disc drive. We’ve outlined these points for you below.
External or Internal
One of the first choices you will need to make is whether to get an internal drive or an external drive that you can plug into any port you have available.
- External – External Blu-ray drives are plugged into an available port and are much easier to install than internal drives are. They are also portable and can be used by more than one computer. These extra features make it more expensive than an internal Blu-ray drive and they may not be as fast as the internal drives, but many users love the flexibility they offer.
- Internal – You need to check your computer before you purchase an internal Blu-ray drive to ensure that there is a slot for you to place the drive as well as the physical space. You also need to know how to do it but if this is a problem, there are several people that will be able to help you with this step if you don’t want to try and do it yourself.
The majority of internal drives use a SATA interface so it is important to make sure that you have a compatible port. Laptop users that don’t have a Blu—ray drive already will more than likely not be able to add an internal drive and would need to opt for the external drive. Internal drives are usually less expensive than external drives.
Types of Formats – There are a lot of different DVD formats available. The best course of action to take is to look for an optical drive that will support as many different formats as possible. LG and NEC have their SuperMulti or Lite-Ons Super All Write which handles a lot of different formats for your needs.
Writing Speeds – Writing speeds are important but definitely not THE most important thing to look at when purchasing a Blu-ray Drive. If you find a good quality drive that offers 16X DVD writing that is a great speed. It doesn’t warrant spending the extra money for faster speeds if it is just seconds faster. The most preferable speed is 16X but a Blu-ray Drive that has a 12X speed will be just fine also.
Other Features – You will want to look for a few other features as well when you start shopping for your Blu-ray Drive. These include the ability to record TV, BD Live, Internet Connectivity and other features that increase the capabilities of the Blu-ray and make it worthwhile to have.
Blu-ray Drive and DVD – What are the Differences?
Although DVDs and Blu-ray Drives look similar, there are some key differences between them that set them apart. Two of the most notable differences are transfer rate and storage capacity. Below we’ve gone over more differences between the two.
- Data Storage – DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs store data in very different ways. On a DVD the data is stored between two separate layers of polycarbonate. With Blu-ray, the data is placed on top of a single layer of polycarbonate. A hard coating is used on both DVDs and Blu-ray Discs to protect the surface of the disc which allows for fewer readability errors.
- Data Transfer – Another area where DVDs and Blu-ray discs are different is in data transfer speeds. Blu-rays are always the winner in these transfers. The reason is because Blu-ray is so much faster than regular DVD. If a regular DVD has a drive speed of 8x, it will transfer data at 10 MB/sec. A Blu-ray drive with the same 8X drive speed will transfer data at 36MB/sec.
Below we have listed the standard memory capacities of a Blu-ray Disc. The amount of storage capacity is dependent upon how many layers the Disc has.
- Single Layer – 25GB
- Dual Layer – 50GB
- XL 3 Layer – 100GB
- XL 4 Layer – 128GB
Common Disc Types
There are several different disc types that Blu-ray drives will play. We have listed them below.
- DVD+R DL
Care and Maintenance
- Don’t stack anything on top of the drive
- Don’t pick it up and move it, tilt it, jolt it or mess with it while it is in use
- Use compressed air in a can to clean dust buildup out of the drive
- Use a microfiber cloth or rubbing alcohol to get rid of fingerprints off the outside of the drive
- Don’t use a cloth or alcohol on the inside of the drive.
Cleaning and Handling
There is a certain way you should handle and clean your Blu-ray discs. We’ve provided this information for you so your discs will last a long time without damage.
- Handling – When you handle a Blu-ray disc, make sure that you hold it b y the outside edges or the center hole. Do not expose Blu-ray discs to sunlight, humid conditions, extreme heat or cold. Also remember not to flex the disc.
- Light Cleaning – Keeping your Blu-ray discs clean is easy. To do light cleaning, use a soft cloth that is lint-free. Holding the disc by the center hold wipe from the center of the disc outward to the edges.
- Heavy Cleaning – Fingerprints and dust need to be removed from Blu-ray discs because not only can that mess up the discs, it can mess up the drive as well. Use a soft, lint-free cloth that has been moistened with water or a special BD cleaning solution.
It’s only a matter of time before Blu-ray Drives replace DVD drives as the popular storage choice. Blu-ray drives have a lot of features and capabilities that make them even more popular such as being able to also read DVDs and CDs.
We’ve provided some important information in this guide that will help you sort through all of the Blu-ray Drive choices so you can find the one that best fits your needs and preferences. The three top rated choices we featured here have a lot of features and abilities that make them great choices.
Having the right information helps you to shop with confidence and ensures you really know what you are reading in the descriptions and how to double check and make sure you have a great product. Making a confident decision helps you purchase an item that you will be happy with from the very first use and every use thereafter.