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  1. Member KyleMadrid's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I'm currently thinking about buying an external blu-ray drive for my PC so I can rip some blu-ray discs to it. The reason I'm posting here is because I'd like to know what the advantages/disadvantages are of having an external player rather than an internal one (if there are any).

    Also, I want to know if it will actually do what I think and hope it will do... which is basically the following...

    I will connect it to a USB port, put in a blu-ray disc, and then I will be able to rip it with a program such as MakeMKV.

    Please let me know if it will be as simple as this or if there are any complications that I don't know about.

    I am assuming that my computer will be able to handle a blu-ray player. It's fairly new, and I always watch football matches in full HD on it without any trouble. However, I've read that it's more difficult to find the right software to play a Blu-ray disc on windows, compared to a DVD, is this true? Even if this is the case though, I'm more concerned about being able to rip the disc, rather than just simply playing it, because I will be encoding the files afterward.

    Also, does it really make a difference if I get an external player with USB 3.0 compatibility rather than just USB 2.0? (My computer does have a USB 3.0 port)

    If anyone is interested, this is the one I am thinking of getting, but if anyone has any suggestions for a different one, then please let me know.

    http://www.mwave.com.au/product/sku-ab48794-samsung_se506bb_external_usb_portable_blur...bs=tabShipping


    Sorry if I've asked too many questions in the opening post, but hopefully some of you can answer them.

    Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help
    Last edited by KyleMadrid; 15th Apr 2013 at 17:19.
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    Read this thread for the drive recommendations: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/355237-External-BR-Burner-Samsung-vs-Pioneer

    If you are going to rip your original discs and convert to .mkv, there are many free players that will work very well for that purpose. VLC also allows you to play the movie from the original disc, but Blu-Ray support is still in beta and it may have difficulty playing certain movies. If you want the ability to play the original disc with full access to all menus and features, then a commercial software player is needed. Arcsoft Total Media Theatre and Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra are the most popular commercial Blu-Ray software players among members of this forum.

    USB 3.0 would be better because of faster data transfer.

    The only circumstances I can think of where an external drive would be preferable for a desktop are if the case is a very small/thin form-factor design, or there are no unused 5 1/4 drive bays or no unused internal power and SATA data connections available.

    Disadvantages of an external BD burner are:
    They are more expensive but often have fewer features.

    Most use slim optical drives and slim optical drives have the reputation of not lasting as long as the typical 5 1/4 half-height internal drives that are more commonly installed in desktops.

    They will either occupy two USB ports, or occupy one USB port and plug into the wall for power. That arrangement may prove less convenient for some people than installing an internal drive and using internal SATA power and data connections, especially if the drive is used often.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 15th Apr 2013 at 13:00.
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  3. Member KyleMadrid's Avatar
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    Thanks, usually_quiet.

    That thread had some good information in it as well.

    I guess I'll have to find one with USB 3.0 then. It seems quite difficult to find them in store around here though...
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  4. Member turk690's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleMadrid View Post
    That thread had some good information in it as well.

    I guess I'll have to find one with USB 3.0 then. It seems quite difficult to find them in store around here though...
    USB3 is fast and convenient and all that but it's still USB, where a controller can handle several devices connected to it. Recording a blu-ray disc (or CD or DVD) ideally requires uninterrupted data transfer, which may or may not happen when another device connected to the USB controller common with the external blu-ray drive seeks to transfer data, or an app or whatever part of Windows chooses to do so for whatever reason, all potentially leading to buffer under runs and coasters. If I absolutely had to make do with an external blu-ray drive, I will choose one with eSATA, where the controller handles just one device. If the computer to be used has no available SATA or eSATA port, I will buy a PCI or PCIe expansion card to that end. IMHO, for reading discs, USB external optical drives are okay. But for writing, they are best left where found in that virtual shelf on newegg.
    The presence of many USB external optical drives on the market implies that actually seriously recording CD-R, DVD-R and BD-R with them is a walk in the park. Apart from a narrow set of scenarios (Windows and the attendant programs are behaving like angels; no other program EXCEPT the one doing the recording is open (Image Burn, of course); the latest up-to-date and stable device drivers are installed; no other device is shared by said USB controller; perfectly reliable zero-error media is used; heaps of physical and virtual buffer memory on both the computer and the drive itself are available; no internet or wi-fi or shit is connected at the moment) it is anything but.
    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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  5. Member KyleMadrid's Avatar
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    ok, so how can I tell if my PC has SATA/eSATA?
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  6. Member turk690's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleMadrid View Post
    ok, so how can I tell if my PC has SATA/eSATA?
    It's easy to know how SATA and eSATA ports look like and what their significance is; go google it.
    SATA is normally an internal local port; if you are using a desktop, chances are there will 1 or 2 unused SATA ports inside on the main board. This means, by necessity, that you have to install an internal blu-ray drive (all such current drives are SATA). eSATA is a modification of SATA intended for use by external devices and can normally be found on most current mid to hi-performance notebook PCs. You connect an external eSATA drive to such an eSATA port on a notebook to have the benefits of a single-controller drive (unlike USB). If your notebook computer has no eSATA port, that would mean using USB external drives with it, with all the potential problems I have talked about above.
    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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  7. Member KyleMadrid's Avatar
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    ok, thanks very much.
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    Originally Posted by KyleMadrid View Post
    ok, so how can I tell if my PC has SATA/eSATA?
    The documentation that came with the PC will tell you how many SATA/eSATA it has. If you don't have any documentation, do an Internet search using the PCs make and model number. Chances are the specs posted for it will tell you how many SATA/eSATA it has. If you can't find any information for your PC online, there are pictures of SATA and eSATA ports on Wikipedia. Look for eSATA the back panel, and open the PC to see if any SATA connections are unused.
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  9. Member KyleMadrid's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by KyleMadrid View Post
    ok, so how can I tell if my PC has SATA/eSATA?
    The documentation that came with the PC will tell you how many SATA/eSATA it has. If you don't have any documentation, do an Internet search using the PCs make and model number. Chances are the specs posted for it will tell you how many SATA/eSATA it has. If you can't find any information for your PC online, there are pictures of SATA and eSATA ports on Wikipedia. Look for eSATA the back panel, and open the PC to see if any SATA connections are unused.
    Thanks. I think I've got enough information now to make a decision on which external drive to buy.

    Much appreciated
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  10. When I was in the market for an external BD-RE drive recently I found that the most economical solution was a slim laptop OEM part from China coupled with a nice adapter case I bought locally.

    If nothing else that allows you to separate your decision on the optical drive manufacturer from which port you want to use.
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