Back in the good old days, if you were going to buy a DVD burner it was easy. A DVD burner was just a DVD burner. However now days there are some many different types of DVD drive burners that it makes it very confusing when trying to buy a new one. What are all the funny names associated with these DVD Drives? Lightscribe, Dual layer, and Bluray?
What features to look for when buying a DVD burner
- Speed Most DVD burners you buy now days usually burn DVD’s at 18x or 20x. Anything less than that and it is old stock. To burn cd-rom the speed is around 48x and to burn a dual layer DVD it is usually 4x. Of course the speeds get faster every year.
- Dual Layer This means your burner will be able to burn to DVD discs that have more than one layer. So instead of 4.7gb of DVD disc storage you can have double that. You have to buy a dual layer disc to burn two layers. They are a bit more expensive than the ordinary DVD-r/DVD+R.
- Bluray This is the latest technology when it comes to DVD disc copying and writing. A Bluray disc fits 25gb on one layer. If you have a dual layer Bluray disc it fits 50gb of data. Your burner must be compatible with Bluray to read or burn these discs. Simply being a dual layer burner is not enough. Bluray disc are expensive because it is only a new technology. Bluray VS DVD disc See how to buy a Bluray player.
- Lightscribe This is a recent technology that prints a label directly to your CD or DVD disc. You can design and print text and graphics onto the surface of a disc making them look neat an professional. It is done with the same laser that burns the data to the DVD disc. You need to buy special discs for this purpose.
Compatibility Make sure your DVD burner can burner onto all types of DVD discs, including the DVD-r and DVD+R as some older DVD players are only compatible with the older types.
A DVD-RW SATA Optical Disk Drive such as the one pictured above is very cheap now days. Buying a new dvd drive now days will usually include dual layer capability but it won’t be bluray. Some dvd drives are bluray readers but not burners. You just have to be careful.
Extra DVD burner buying tips
- Research your burner online. Go to forums and see what they are saying about a particular burner. In the past I have bought two different burners and there was a clear difference in performance. Some burners continually have errors when burning discs and waste your money.
- Make sure you buy a DVD burner that is compatible with your computer system. You do not want to buy a SATA connection DVD burner when your motherboard only has IDE connections.
- Make sure the DVD burner is compatible with your operating system. Some people still have an old operating system on their computers.
- Get software included with your DVD burner. If you do not get software it can cost you more money to buy it just so you can use your DVD burner.
- Choose a color that matches your computer. Most DVD burners come with an interchangeable face plate.
- Think about where you are going to play these DVD discs you create. For instance a Bluray disc will not play in your average home DVD player.
- I would personally buy a Dual layer fast speed Dvd burner that is Bluray compatible. I would forget about the Lightscribe disc labeling as a disc printer looks so much better and is in color.