which type of (internal) Blu-ray drive do I need?

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by Steve Kelly, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Steve Kelly

    Steve Kelly
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    I'm just starting setting my home media network. I got a new internet last week, and my TV is now on the network, and reading files served from my PC very nicely.

    So what I want now, is an internal blu-ray drive for my desktop pc (Dell Studio XPS) so that I can rip my Blu-rays and watch them over the network.

    Now... at the moment, all I want is to be able to do is shove a Blu-ray into my PC, do some transcoding and what-not, and having a resulting MKV file that I can stream over to my TV.
    So for that I know I just need a blu-ray reader drive for my pc.

    Now I can't see me ever needing/wanting to burn Blu-ray discs, but I do like to future-proof my systems where I can, where possible/relevant.
    I'm 99% sure I won't ever need a blu-ray writer, the way storage is at the moment (and continues to go), I won't ever be backing up data to disc, or backing up films to discs.
    Is there anything else i haven't thought of? where a BR writer could be useful?
    if not, I'll just get a reader.

    I want an internal drive, as have a nice spare bay on my desktop.
    I've seen majority of BR reader drives priced between £20 and £60. Aside from higher read-speed (which I want) are there any other obvious benefits from getting a higher priced one?
    I don't mind going to the higher end of that range, for good benefits.
    Ideally I'd like a nice balance between fast speed and good value.
    It need to be high quality/reliable too.

    Can anyone recommend a drive that fits with the above?
    any good/bad experiences?

    oh yeah, in terms of software (as i know some BR drives come with software to play BRs on PC), I guess it would be nice to be able to see the BR film/program on my PC, but not totally essential.

    thanks.
    Steve.
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Like you I only wanted a BluRay drive for ripping my discs, not for burning discs or even playback on the PC.
    I got a Lite-On iHOS104 as it was cheap and did come with playback software, but I've not even installed it. I've had the drive for a couple of years now and it is still working, so no reliability issues for me.

    Whatever you buy do a bit of research as the drive speed is often restricted when ripping, ie riplock.

    Does your TV play MKV's? Most TV's only have media playback via DLNA and therefore you will need a DLNA server program running on the PC to be able to stream. Some programs can convert on the fly to a supported format, but you need a fairly decent PC to be able to do this.

    Mark.
     
  3. Steve Kelly

    Steve Kelly
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    Thanks for replying, Mark.
    Yeah I actually ordered a Liteon (IHES112-115) on Thursday. Dabs was cheapest but have to wait a few days for them to get stock. No big rush for me though.
    It says the BR read speed is 12x, so we'll see!

    Yeah I've got a GT30 and it plays MKVs fine. Well, some anyway!
    And for those that don't work straight away, I just put them through Handbrake, et voila... works every time! (God I love that program!! :)).

    Cheers.
    Steve.
     
  4. Steve Kelly

    Steve Kelly
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    Hey Mark,

    Having a nightmare with that model I wanted, the delivery date keeps getting pushed back, it's currently end of April! and looks to be the same everywhere. The supplier in Germany is having problems/has given up, it would seem.

    So was just looking at your model, which is available... and cheap!
    Obviously you take the hit on read speed, but I only want it for ripping blu-rays, so they'll only be one-off hits.

    And so I was wondering, how long does it take to rip an average-length (let's say, 100 minutes) blu-ray film using this drive?
    Do you rip with MakeMKV?
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I use AnyDVD HD and MakeMKV to rip my discs. MakeMKV is mainly used for ripping TV series to individual episodes and AnyDVD for full disc rips of films.

    I would say a typical BluRay rip takes somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour (DVD ~20 minutes), although I'm normally doing other things while waiting for the rip so don't sit and time it ;)

    Mark.
     
  6. Steve Kelly

    Steve Kelly
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    you don't?!... weirdo!! :D;)

    joking aside, I did actually say that to the missus last night, as I was waiting/watching DVDShrink to rip something, while Handbrake was encoding a bunch of other stuff. I said to her "I actually enjoy just sitting here watching these green bars".
    Don't worry, I know who's weird and who's not, here!!

    So, I guess that drive is fairly slow, but hey ho, they're only one-off occasions, that'll do me I think. Plus I'll save £40, so cheers! :)

    With AnyDVD HD, can you strip all-bar-the-main-movie/file, if you want? (like you can in DVDShrink, for DVDs, for example). Cos I don't want all the gubbins, just 1 movie file.

    I wish there was a Blu-ray version of DVDShrink, as I find the resulting ISOs (from Shrink) are spot on.
    I had AV sync issues with the Dune originally, turned out that was down to Handbrake adding in an AAC audio file by default, of it's own accord, and me not spotting/removing it.
    During my research when trying to fix this, was trying different stuff and found that I didn't like MakeMKV DVD rips. the quality was fine, but there was something I didn't like, something was out of sync somewhere (everso slightly).
    So for my DVDs, I'm ripping with Shrink, encoding with HB, and all is grand.
    I want the equivalent for my BRs.
     
  7. Steve Kelly

    Steve Kelly
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    So I've just found out my POS PC (Dell) doesn't actually have a spare optical drive bay, as per what it looks like from the front (extra flap, extra button)... it's a fake bay!! gutted!

    so my options are now:
    - replace my existing CD/DVD RW drive with BR drive, though it would have to be able to write CD/DVD (which rules out this little cheap beauty); or
    - get an external BR drive

    The second one is the easiest option I guess (plug n play, etc), but then again it takes up more space, uses an extra plug socket, probably takes a performance hit (USB2 instead of SATA), etc.

    And going with the first option leaves me back to square one, waiting for another month before they're dispatched (or more likely, delivery date pushed back again)

    what a royal PITA!!!

    Edit: first external BR drive I looking at, powered by USB, which is nice
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  8. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Are you sure you can't put an optical drive in the second bay? I've seen them with a blanking plate under the flap that needs to be removed to fit a drive. I doubt there is no use for that space :confused:

    AnyDVD HD is full disc rip only, no ability to remove unwanted extras. However the other popular ripper is DVDFab and that can create a film only rip AFAIK, but I've not used it myself.

    Mark.
     
  9. Steve Kelly

    Steve Kelly
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    Yeah, unfortunately so! that blanking plate on my pc is riveted/soldered on, there are no screws around.
    I googled it and found a post (on a Dell help forum) with someone asking the same as me, and the guy answered him "check the service manual for your model", and gave a link. All the links are dead now (so I can't see the manual myself), but the OP responded with "oh that's a shame about the fake spare bay".
    I looked inside it yesterday just to confirm, and sho nuff, it's a no-go.

    Ne'mind, I'll go the 'external' route, and just hope it acts the same way as an internal one would (i.e. put a BR disc in, and <whichever-program-I-use-to-rip> recognises the drive to rip from). I would hope that's the case!
     
  10. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Once the USB BluRay has installed itself on the PC then it should just show up in My Computer with a drive letter, same as if installed inside the case via SATA.
    The only downside is that the drive will likely be a little slower to rip with being connected via USB.

    Mark.
     
  11. Steve Kelly

    Steve Kelly
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    Thanks Mark, that's what I wanted to hear.
     
  12. RustySpoons

    RustySpoons
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    Cheapest option is buy an external bluray drive off eBay and pull the drive out of it ;)
     

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