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  1. Hello,
    I would like to equip my laptop with Blu Ray external drive. Having looked at the market, it seems like the main choice is between:
    -> Samsung SE-506AB
    -> Pioneer BDR-XD04T

    The price is comparable.

    I would like to use the drive to easily watch & rip my collection of BR movies, including 3D Blu-Rays.

    I would appreciate if you could share your opinions about these two. Which one would you choose/recommend for the maximum compatibility and reliability?

    Thank you for help!
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    I personally could NEVER imagine an external Blu Ray burner being as good as an external DVD burner....and external DVD burners pretty much sucked compared to installing one internally.
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    If your computer is equipped with USB3, there is an LG external drive you should consider. It is a full sized drive, and the USB3 interface should eliminate any possible issues in data transfer. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136260
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  4. hech54 - The reason for asking about external drive is because internal drive is not really an option (my laptop is too small). I could buy an internal drive + external enclosure if somebody has any good arguments in favour of this option, but I guess that a dedicated external drive is just a simpler solution...

    Also, I guess I could get just a reader (not burner), as I am not intending to be burning anything, but it seems like the price is not much higher, hence my decision to focus on burners...

    Alas, my laptop does not support USB 3.0 (although it does support esata).

    Is there really nobody on this forum who uses external blu ray drives?
    Last edited by theriel; 13th Apr 2013 at 14:49.
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  5. Member
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    External optical drives should either use a second USB port for power, or have a power adapter to plug into the wall. If USB supplies the power, then you need to be sure your laptop can supply enough power the drive before buying one. If there is any doubt, an internal drive + eSATA enclosure would be the best way to go.

    If I had to pick an external model, I would get the Pioneer drive. (No I don't have an external BD drive, but I really like my Pioneer BDR-2208 internal drive.)
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  6. Member netmask56's Avatar
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    As long as the drive has adequate power ie an external power pack or double USB cable AND the laptop is maxed out with RAM I see no reason why an external unit shouldn't serve you well. Don't multitask whilst burning and close down all other unnecessary programs when you are burning. Don't have an external BD burner but I do use an old external DVDROM with one of my computers without any problems.
    BeyonWiz T3 PVR ~ Popcorn A-500 ~ Samsung ES8000 65" LED TV ~ Windows 7 64bit ~ Yamaha RX-A1070 ~ QnapTS851-4G
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    I strongly recommend Pioneer. I have a Pioneer and LG internal BluRay burner and the Pioneer is by far the best of the two. The Pioneer can successfully burn LTH BD-R discs and the LG cannot.

    3D BluRay ripping is iffy. DVDFab is supposed to be the best at the this. I can tell you that AnyDVD HD works OK on IMAX 2D/3D combo discs. I have not tested it with anything else. Disney puts their 3D movies on standalone BD discs. What I mean is that they do not contain a 2D copy of the movie on the same disc as the 3D copy. We've had a lot of reports of ripping problems with Disney 3D BD discs. And some 3D BD discs rip OK but the output is crazy like 90 GB, which is much bigger than is actually on the disc (50GB is the limit for BD discs) so if you are trying to reburn such discs, you'll have problems for sure.
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  8. Thank you for the response - I guess I will follow the suggestions and get something from Pioneer, as opposed to risking with other brands.

    The remaining question is:
    1) External Pioneer BDR-XD04T; or
    2) Internal Pioneer BDR-2208 (aka BDR-208DBK) + external enclosure (e.g. Vantec NST-530SU)

    The second option has higher specs (compatible with BD-R LTH + higher writing speed), but is much bulkier... I have no doubt in quality of BDR-2208, but having to use it with Vantec creates additional potential failure (and incompatibility) point.

    What do you think? Any thoughts/suggestions? Has anyone used BDR-XD04T by any chance before?
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  9. Member
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    Originally Posted by theriel View Post
    Thank you for the response - I guess I will follow the suggestions and get something from Pioneer, as opposed to risking with other brands.

    The remaining question is:
    1) External Pioneer BDR-XD04T; or
    2) Internal Pioneer BDR-2208 (aka BDR-208DBK) + external enclosure (e.g. Vantec NST-530SU)

    The second option has higher specs (compatible with BD-R LTH + higher writing speed), but is much bulkier... I have no doubt in quality of BDR-2208, but having to use it with Vantec creates additional potential failure (and incompatibility) point.

    What do you think? Any thoughts/suggestions? Has anyone used BDR-XD04T by any chance before?
    The BDR 2208 is a retail model that includes OEM software. The actual drive is a BDR-208M, which is not exactly the same as the BDR-208DBK. The BDR-208M burns more types of media. Slim optical drives have a reputation of not lasting as long as their bulkier cousins, but if portability is your main concern then I guess you will buy accordingly.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 15th Apr 2013 at 11:40. Reason: fix typo
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  10. I got a Memorex from Staples, tiny thing, but has a Pioneer in it.
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  11. Member [_chef_]'s Avatar
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    *wrong subforum*
    *** Now that you have read me, do some other things. ***
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  12. So... what do you think would be the best option?
    1) External Pioneer BDR-XD04T; or
    2) Internal Pioneer BDR-208DBK + external enclosure (e.g. Vantec NST-530SU) ?

    Cheers for your thoughts/suggestions!
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    I'd recommend the BDR-208DBK.
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  14. jman98 - Would you mind elaborating a bit? Have you used the Vantec enclosure or any other enclosure with it? Or have you used the external Pioneer, BDR-XD04T?

    I have no doubts that BDR-208DBK is probably the best internal drive. The question is, is it the best external drive solution?

    [Also... I have just realized that Vantec is not easily available in the UK. The (probably better) alternative is IcyBox (40 GBP, but esata + USB 3)]
    Last edited by theriel; 15th Apr 2013 at 17:30.
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  15. Member turk690's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by theriel View Post
    Alas, my laptop does not support USB 3.0 (although it does support esata).
    Is there really nobody on this forum who uses external blu ray drives?
    I responded on a separate but similar thread on videohelp.com; you may find what I posted there useful:
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/355289-Looking-to-buy-an-External-Blu-Ray-Drive-for-a-desktop-PC
    In your case, I'll get an external eSATA enclosure, stuff the Pioneer in it, then connect to the eSATA port on the laptop. Do not use USB (at least not for recording to BD-R). No other way, unless you come across a reasonably priced stand-alone eSATA external blu-ray writer.
    For the nth time, with the possible exception of certain Intel processors, I don't have/ever owned anything whose name starts with "i".
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  16. @turk690 - thank you for the helpful reply.

    You do raise a few really good points about the usage of USB for recording. My counter arguments could be: (1) unplug everything and use only BR drive while recording (nuisance, but doable); (2) I have only one esata which has my external HDD connected with movies collection, so that is a problem.

    Having said that, you will probably immediately point out that it is better to switch the external HDD temporarily to USB and connect BR via esata, rather than to use the HDD via esata and try burning via USB. Furthermore, with external enclosure you have the option to connect it as you wish (USB, esata), depending on the situation, whereas with external BR you must always connect it via USB 2.0.

    Another argument would be the failure cost. If something goes wrong in BDR-XD04T, I need to exchange the whole drive (90), whereas in the other option, I have to exchange only either the drive (65) or the enclosure (30).

    The last but not least argument, already mentioned, are the features. Internal BR (placed in external enclosure) is newer & more feature-rich than BDR-XD04T.

    The only counter-argument is portability. However, I cannot see myself travelling with my laptop AND additional BR discs AND BR drive, in order to watch movies. Copying the movie onto HDD before the travel will always be the best solution.

    I guess that summarises the whole discussion - please correct me if I missed anything.

    Thus, I have just ordered the following:
    - Pioneer BDR-208DBK
    - Icy Box IB-550StU3S

    Thank you for all your helpful suggestions!

    Milo
    Last edited by theriel; 16th Apr 2013 at 08:39.
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