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  1. I'm looking for a Blu-Ray burner (either internal or external) with the following attributes.

    1. Is an overall high-quality drive, and plays and burns Blu-Rays, DVDs, and CDs very well. I want something that will provide smooth playback and very high-quality, long-lasting burns.

    2. Is non-riplocked. I will need to do some Blu-Ray ripping, so I do not want any riplock. I am aware that some riplocked drives can have their riplock removed, but this can void the warranty, something I don't want to do (unless the drive is extremely affordable).

    3. Can be bought (new, reburbished, whatever) at an affordable price, preferably $80 or less, and comes with a warranty (unless it's very cheap).

    OPTIONAL, but would be a nice bonus: Can be found (at the aforementioned price) bundled with software than can play commercial Blu-Rays.


    I was planning on buying the LG WH14NS40, as it seemingly covered all of these bases. It's affordable, non-riplocked, and got mostly good reviews. However, I've since heard that Pioneer burners give better burns, and that the LG sometimes won't work in computers with Windows 7. I was recommended the Pioneer BD-2209 elsewhere, but read that it often has trouble reading discs with any sort of scratches, dust, smudges, etc.

    So, my questions are as follows:

    Do you have any recommendations other than the two drives I have listed?

    Does the Pioneer indeed burn significantly better than the LG?

    Does the Pioneer have trouble reading discs with dust, scratches, smudges, etc?

    Does the LG have compatibility issues with computers running Windows 7?

    Which is overall better at reading and burning?

    Do either/both have the capability of giving disc quality scans?



    Also, is there much difference between the Pioneer BDR-2209 and the Pioneer BDR-209DBK?
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  2. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Also, is there much difference between the Pioneer BDR-2209 and the Pioneer BDR-209DBK?
    AFAIK, they are the same. The 2209 has Cyberlink playback software.

    I've got two Pioneer BDR burners. Between the two they have burned over a hundred BDRs with no problems.
    I only use Verbatim 25 and 50 GB discs and only use ImgBurn for burning.

    With all that said, the LG or other brand burners seem to work well also. But you do need to use Verbatim media and ImgBurn
    or you are just wasting time and money. IMHO
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  3. Originally Posted by redwudz View Post
    I've got two Pioneer BDR burners. Between the two they have burned over a hundred BDRs with no problems.
    I only use Verbatim 25 and 50 GB discs and only use ImgBurn for burning.
    But do Pioneer burners have problems reading discs that are scratched, smudged or have a little dust on them?
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  4. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    But do Pioneer burners have problems reading discs that are scratched, smudged or have a little dust on them?
    Not that I've noticed, though I rarely have scratched BD or DVD discs. Some discs may have fingerprints or smudges on them.
    Those I shoot with Windex window cleaner or similar and wipe with a soft paper towel.

    I also have LG, Asus and a Sony BD ROM drives. No problems reading with them either.

    The drives I have in my main PC at present:

    Samsung SH-S223B DVDRW
    Pioneer BDR-208 BDRW
    Pioneer BDR-203 BDRW
    LG GGC-H20L BDROM

    The 208 reads BDs a bit faster than the LG or the Pioneer 203.
    If I'm backing up DVDs, I use all those drives for reading.

    I convert to MKV and back up to Verbatim BD DL discs,
    most often burning with the Pioneer 208.
    The videos are also stored on my PC as MKVs.
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  5. Member turk690's Avatar
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    Note that the LG H14NS40, unlike its predecessors, does not support bitsetting even with latest f/w 1.02. This means DVD±R can't be changed to DVD-ROM. I wonder, though, if this is still a significant thing. Curious if the Pioneers do or not.
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  6. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    With newer players bitsetting is a thing of the past,as long as the media is burned ok there will be no play issues.
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  7. Originally Posted by redwudz View Post
    Not that I've noticed, though I rarely have scratched BD or DVD discs. Some discs may have fingerprints or smudges on them.
    Those I shoot with Windex window cleaner or similar and wipe with a soft paper towel.

    I also have LG, Asus and a Sony BD ROM drives. No problems reading with them either.
    The reason I ask is because I buy a lot of used DVDs and Blu-Rays through Amazon marketplace, and some of them have scratches, smudges, etc. They play fine on my living room Blu-Ray player (an LG BD530), but I've read reviews of the Pioneer burner I mentioned saying that it often won't read discs with such minor imperfections.

    I'm not sure using Windex is very wise, as it contains ammonia, which might deteriorate discs.

    Originally Posted by turk690 View Post
    Note that the LG H14NS40, unlike its predecessors, does not support bitsetting even with latest f/w 1.02. This means DVD±R can't be changed to DVD-ROM. I wonder, though, if this is still a significant thing. Curious if the Pioneers do or not.
    Does this mean that you can no longer choose between ISO9660/UDF/Joliet when burning a disc?
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  8. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by redwudz View Post
    Also, is there much difference between the Pioneer BDR-2209 and the Pioneer BDR-209DBK?
    AFAIK, they are the same. The 2209 has Cyberlink playback software.

    I've got two Pioneer BDR burners. Between the two they have burned over a hundred BDRs with no problems.
    I only use Verbatim 25 and 50 GB discs and only use ImgBurn for burning.

    With all that said, the LG or other brand burners seem to work well also. But you do need to use Verbatim media and ImgBurn
    or you are just wasting time and money. IMHO
    I've seen Sony and other major-name brand BR blanks on the shelves, might have to look around more or do mail order to find the Verbatim.

    The BR blank media -- from 50 GB and up -- is rather pricey. Is there a 'test burn' option available that does not actually do the burn, but confirms whether it would work, in a given case ? If so, is it reliable, and does that pass take a long time. Do you use that ?
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  9. Member fritzi93's Avatar
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    I think most members here would recommend Pioneer first, then LG.

    That said, my LG BD burner is a better reader than my Lite-On BD-ROM. I have a good many ex-rentals from Blockbuster I bought when they went out of business. A fair number can't be read by the Lite-On, but the LG reads them.
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  10. Originally Posted by fritzi93 View Post
    I think most members here would recommend Pioneer first, then LG.

    That said, my LG BD burner is a better reader than my Lite-On BD-ROM. I have a good many ex-rentals from Blockbuster I bought when they went out of business. A fair number can't be read by the Lite-On, but the LG reads them.
    So, it does appear that LG burners tend to be better at reading.

    How good would you say your LG is at burning?
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  11. Member louv68's Avatar
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    I have two LG WH14NS40 burners. I initially bought one for a Win 7 machine, liked it so much that I bought a second one for my XP PC. I've never had a problem with either. So far they've read all the retail Blu-rays and DVD's (for ripping) that I've thrown at them, unlike an external piece of $#!t Memorex that does not recognize some discs, both retail and writables. I've not had a single bad BD-R burn. I mostly use Verbatim 6X BD-R 25gb and 4X 50gb, but also some much cheaper Optical Quantum 4X BD-R and 2X BD-RE. They all burn without a hitch.

    You can regularly find an OEM packaged model for right around $50 If I needed a third writer, I would not hesitate in getting another.
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  12. Member fritzi93's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hbenthow View Post
    How good would you say your LG is at burning?
    I'd say very good, though I don't have another Blu-Ray burner for comparison.
    But I can tell you what discs I've used and my success rate. Worst first:

    - Generic BDR discs (OptoDisc, also sold as Merax, AcroCircle). Got a 10 pack for next to nothing with my burner. Evidently the LG burner didn't have a suitable write strategy for them. Total failure. Some deal that was.

    Don't be alarmed, it gets better.

    - RiData BDRs (Ritek). I can recall maybe a half-dozen duds out of a couple hundred. Plus a couple more I later discovered to be "glitchy". This despite the fact that I always verify my burns. Riteks aren't know to be quality discs, so keep that in mind.

    - Philips, Titan, MicroBoards BDRs. (All CMC). Now CMC DVDRs are derided as crap, justifiably. But out of a couple hundred BDRs, I can't recall one coaster. The LG likes 'em.

    -Verbatim BDRs (Mitsubishi Chemical). These are what I use for backups I consider to be important. (Movie backups don't qualify, IMO, as I can always do them over). No failures out of a few dozen.

    -Verbatim BD-RE. Got a few of these rewritables, they've given good service.
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  13. Member turk690's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hbenthow View Post
    Originally Posted by turk690 View Post
    Note that the LG H14NS40, unlike its predecessors, does not support bitsetting even with latest f/w 1.02. This means DVD±R can't be changed to DVD-ROM. I wonder, though, if this is still a significant thing. Curious if the Pioneers do or not.
    Does this mean that you can no longer choose between ISO9660/UDF/Joliet when burning a disc?
    ISO9660/UDF/Joliet are filesystems which you can choose between with when burning a disc, if the burning program allows, and the particular disc type warrants it. This is different from bitsetting, where preset info on a blank disc's lead-in which says what type the disc is (DVD±R, RW) can be set to make it DVD-ROM. This is for older players and readers, which may well be able to physically read correctly-recorded DVD±R, RW, but can't recognize those book types, so we set it to DVD-ROM. This is mainly for DVD+R, which is not an official DVD standard. Since the past few years manufacturers have included DVD+R, RW in their player/writer f/w, bitsetting to DVD-ROM may or may not be as significant an issue it once was.
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  14. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hbenthow View Post


    Also, is there much difference between the Pioneer BDR-2209 and the Pioneer BDR-209DBK?
    All *D versions do not support BD-XL!!
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  15. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    I've seen Sony and other major-name brand BR blanks on the shelves, might have to look around more or do mail order to find the Verbatim.

    The BR blank media -- from 50 GB and up -- is rather pricey. Is there a 'test burn' option available that does not actually do the burn, but confirms whether it would work, in a given case ? If so, is it reliable, and does that pass take a long time. Do you use that ?
    I mail order Verbatim Blu-Ray BD-R 25GB 6X Branded, 25-Pack (97457) from Rima, Meritline or Supermedia store. ~$1.20US each.

    I recently found some Verbatim Blank Blu-ray Discs 50GB BD-R DL 4x 50 pack for a good price on Amazon from Japan. I've burned about ten using ImgBurn with no problems.

    I don't use 'Test Mode' with ImgBurn, but just burn them with UDF 2.50 settings at 4X speed. They were ~$2.50US each.
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    Originally Posted by [_chef_] View Post
    Originally Posted by hbenthow View Post


    Also, is there much difference between the Pioneer BDR-2209 and the Pioneer BDR-209DBK?
    All *D versions do not support BD-XL!!
    The "D" versions don't have the ability to write to DVD-RAM either, although they can read DVD-RAM discs.
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    Originally Posted by hbenthow View Post

    2. Is non-riplocked. I will need to do some Blu-Ray ripping, so I do not want any riplock. I am aware that some riplocked drives can have their riplock removed, but this can void the warranty, something I don't want to do (unless the drive is extremely affordable).
    The Pioneer 2209 (recognized as BDR-209M) appears to be riplocked. Take a look:

    vs. the LG BH16NS40:


    I'm actually in the midst of doing a comparison of these two drives with several different types of media. Based on what I've seen so far though, the Pioneer is unquestionably the better burner. Faster BD-rip is the LG's biggest advantage. LG also has a less aggressive burn strategy, in terms of quality (rpm stays more stable, but this doesn't seem to help quality much).
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  18. Member fritzi93's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hbenthow View Post
    Does the LG have compatibility issues with computers running Windows 7?

    Do either/both have the capability of giving disc quality scans?
    No problem running Win7.
    My LG burner can't do quality scans in OptiDriveControl. Personally, I think a transfer rate test is as good or better. If you don't see any drastic slowdowns in read rate you should be okay.

    As to Riplock, I suppose MediaCode Speed Edit can remove it on the Pioneer. Anyone use MCSE to do it with their Pioneer burners?
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    Originally Posted by fritzi93 View Post

    As to Riplock, I suppose MediaCode Speed Edit can remove it on the Pioneer. Anyone use MCSE to do it with their Pioneer burners?
    The newer LGs and Pioneers use a different chipset, so MCSE won't work until it's update, and that hasn't happened in a while.
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  20. Originally Posted by bilditup1 View Post
    I'm actually in the midst of doing a comparison of these two drives with several different types of media. Based on what I've seen so far though, the Pioneer is unquestionably the better burner. Faster BD-rip is the LG's biggest advantage. LG also has a less aggressive burn strategy, in terms of quality (rpm stays more stable, but this doesn't seem to help quality much).
    How good would you say the LG is at burning? I know that you have stated that the Pioneer is clearly better, but how significant is the difference?
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  21. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    I have a 3 year old lg blu-ray burner and it burns all my discs with no errors for the last few hundred.
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    Originally Posted by hbenthow View Post
    Originally Posted by bilditup1 View Post
    I'm actually in the midst of doing a comparison of these two drives with several different types of media. Based on what I've seen so far though, the Pioneer is unquestionably the better burner. Faster BD-rip is the LG's biggest advantage. LG also has a less aggressive burn strategy, in terms of quality (rpm stays more stable, but this doesn't seem to help quality much).
    How good would you say the LG is at burning? I know that you have stated that the Pioneer is clearly better, but how significant is the difference?
    Looking over my results again, it doesn't seem so clear-cut. Give me a bit to sort it out before answering definitively.
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  23. The Pioneer BDR-209DBK behaves similarly to previous Pioneer drives which have a "partial riplock".

    In its default state, BD rips are locked to 2x.
    With some coaxing it can be temporarily unlocked.

    A rip with MakeMKV (at any speed) will usually unlock it. You can cancel after a few minutes of starting.

    Then you can use your ripping software of choice with read speeds of up to 8x for BD-ROM DL.
    Its spec sheet shows that it can read BD-ROM DL at 8x and SL at 12x.

    It's not always consistent and sometimes I have to try a couple of times to get it to unlock.
    Once unlocked it should continue to be unlocked for subsequent rips until the next reboot.

    Related info
    Example speed with MakeMKV
    Last edited by hugepants; 26th Apr 2014 at 05:03.
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    If anybody's still interested, the results of my comparison between the LG and Pioneer can be found starting here:
    http://club.myce.com/f61/lg-bh16ns40-vs-pioneer-bdr-2209-keep-335985/#post2725851
    Or if you want to cut to the chase, here's my conclusion:
    http://club.myce.com/f61/lg-bh16ns40-vs-pioneer-bdr-2209-keep-335985/index3.html#post2726719

    Cheers!
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  25. Member fritzi93's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bilditup1 View Post
    If anybody's still interested, the results of my comparison between the LG and Pioneer can be found starting here:
    http://club.myce.com/f61/lg-bh16ns40-vs-pioneer-bdr-2209-keep-335985/#post2725851
    Or if you want to cut to the chase, here's my conclusion:
    http://club.myce.com/f61/lg-bh16ns40-vs-pioneer-bdr-2209-keep-335985/index3.html#post2726719

    Cheers!
    That was very interesting. Thank you.
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  26. Member fritzi93's Avatar
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    Newegg has a 48 hour special (starting today) on the Pioneer BDR 209DBK. It's $10 off $64.99, final price $54.99.

    http://promotions.newegg.com/neemail/guerrilla/LP/14-May/index-VGA76005.html?nm_mc=EMC...5&et_rid=51418

    Promo code is EMCYTZG259

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=27-129-075&nm_mc=EMC-GD050514&cm_mmc=E...m-_-27-129-075
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  27. Originally Posted by bilditup1 View Post
    If anybody's still interested, the results of my comparison between the LG and Pioneer can be found starting here:
    http://club.myce.com/f61/lg-bh16ns40-vs-pioneer-bdr-2209-keep-335985/#post2725851
    Or if you want to cut to the chase, here's my conclusion:
    http://club.myce.com/f61/lg-bh16ns40-vs-pioneer-bdr-2209-keep-335985/index3.html#post2726719

    Cheers!
    Thank you. That's very interesting.

    I ordered the the LG a couple of days ago, but this is all very interesting nonetheless.
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    Originally Posted by hbenthow View Post
    Originally Posted by bilditup1 View Post
    If anybody's still interested, the results of my comparison between the LG and Pioneer can be found starting here:
    http://club.myce.com/f61/lg-bh16ns40-vs-pioneer-bdr-2209-keep-335985/#post2725851
    Or if you want to cut to the chase, here's my conclusion:
    http://club.myce.com/f61/lg-bh16ns40-vs-pioneer-bdr-2209-keep-335985/index3.html#post2726719

    Cheers!
    Thank you. That's very interesting.

    I ordered the the LG a couple of days ago, but this is all very interesting nonetheless.
    I'm glad. I think you'll be happy with the LG provided you stick to quality burn media (such as those I mentioned - I've heard CMCMAGBA5 is also good, have a set on order). The lack of a riplock is also convenient.
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  29. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bilditup1 View Post

    I'm glad. I think you'll be happy with the LG provided you stick to quality burn media (such as those I mentioned - I've heard CMCMAGBA5 is also good, have a set on order). The lack of a riplock is also convenient.
    Where have you heard that?
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    Originally Posted by [_chef_] View Post
    Originally Posted by bilditup1 View Post

    I'm glad. I think you'll be happy with the LG provided you stick to quality burn media (such as those I mentioned - I've heard CMCMAGBA5 is also good, have a set on order). The lack of a riplock is also convenient.
    Where have you heard that?
    I heard that from cvs, a senior member of the myce (formerly cdfreaks) forums. Unfortunately it looks like the batch I bought was pretty mediocre. I've had much better luck with INFOMER40 (Melody 6x on Amazon).

    EDIT: Actually I double-checked my results, and it looks like CMCBAGBA5 is acceptable with this LG drive if you stick to 4x.
    My 4x results.
    My 6x results.

    INFOMER40 at 4x.
    INFOMER40 at 6x.

    I've also tested a few other media in that thread, but these are the most cost-effective ones with acceptable results. MEIT02 needs to be imported from Japan, and VERBATIMe I'm not sure comes in spindles.
    Last edited by bilditup1; 25th May 2014 at 15:59.
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