LG GGW-H20L Blu-ray HD DVD combo drive
Ready to run any HD disc on your PC
Review While it's clear that Blu-ray Disc is going to rule the HD roost, unfortunately for Sony, the rival HD DVD format will take some time to wither away. Which leaves the buying public in a tricky position.
The smart money is on combo drives such as the LG GGC-H20L, which can read both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats for a price just under £100.
LG's GGW-H20L: reads and writes Blu-ray Discs
Stick one of those in your media centre and you can play any movie on the market, but we can go one better than that. The LG GGW-H20L has the same features as the GGC-H20L but can also write to BD media. It costs £149, which compares very favourably to the old LG H10N drive that cost £459 18 months ago.
The key writing speeds are 6x for single-layer BD-R and 2x for single-layer rewriteable BD-RE which isn’t a great deal faster than the 4x BD-R LG GBW-H10N that we reviewed all the way back in December 2006.
The new Blu-ray writer has a 1.5Gb/s SATA interface rather than the IDE interface on the older drive, but the data buffer remains the same, at 4MB. Cosmetically, the styling of this black internal drive is very smart – and no, the styling of optical drives is not an oxymoron. However, there is an annoyance: there's a raised silver ridge that runs across the width of the drive and the eject button is set in that ridge.
Annoyingly placed eject button
You can see the button clearly in the photo but it’s quite tricky to find it by feel especially when the disc tray is open. Life would be simpler if the button was located to one side.
"Being able to format a 50GB BD-RE disc as UDF, then just drag and drop files onto it would be amazing!!"
You're supplied a 25GB BD-RE disk (Verbatim). I burned 20 odd gigabytes of music to it, using the drag and drop UDF method if I remember correctly. Blu ray RAM would be cool. I wouldn't trust BD-RE/R for archival but know nothing of the tech used really so am not qualified to comment.
Had this drive since Nov 07. Took The Reg a while to review? Also, the firmware version is now on second update to YL03: 'Improved Write Strategy' whatever that involves.
I agree it isn't ideal backing up data to optical media as opposed to simply bunging it all on hard disk drives (however configured) but it's sensible to have another copy stored on media you know you'll be able to access that isn't subject to mechanical failure. DVD RAM is still preferred for backing up my personal photos/important files.
BD-RE takes ages... to write.. so.. boring. So expensive too. Nice to have the capability all the same, even if the price/storage ratio isn't great at present. This drive preceded the availability of the read only GGC model, hence purchase though priority was for a dual HD format player. Does the job rather nicely in fact...
Top marks for me, though buying now, I'd probably for for the GGC version and spend the 80 quid saved later on on a faster cheaper blu ray writer, maybe even with RAM if it even ever exists? Link given shows supported write/read media:
BD-RE? What about BD-RAM
I've been getting pretty excited about BluRay for a while, not because I can't wait to watch glorious HD movies (DVD still works!), but because for backup/archive purposes BluRay will be monster.
We use DVD-RAM quite a lot, for scripted file copy backups etc. Not the quickest to write to, but easy to script once the disc is UDF formatted.
Is a similar thing possible with BD-RE?
Or is it purely for conventional 'burning' in sessions?
Being able to format a 50GB BD-RE disc as UDF, then just drag and drop files onto it would be amazing!!
As far as I know cdrtools, cdrkit and the various forks are all still working on Bluray support. You will probably want to try the development version of whatever tool you use.
Aah, the joys of FLOSS, you don't like it? Then just fork off!
Or is this just for the paytards?
WORST REVIEW - EVER!!
How can a reviewer get it so wrong - LOL
It doesn't succeed the LG GBW-H10N, it replaces the LG GGW-H10N/L.
So, how can you draw a comparison to it??
LG GBW-H10N - no HD DVD, where this new drive has ... just as the GGW H10N/L did.
"6x .... which isn’t a great deal faster than the 4x "
For one, 4x media wasn't around in Dec 2006 so how could you test to find out ... and you didn't even test it this time around anyway
"Verbatim BD-R media supplied with the drive doesn’t indicate its speed grade" - when you start to write to the disc you're shown what speed it is, 2x !?!?!?
" ... Blu-ray writer has a 1.5Gb/s SATA interface rather than the IDE interface on the older drive .." - well, if you drew the right comparison to the correct drive, the GGW H10N/L you'd find out it DID have a S-ATA port
Didn't even test the 4x burning functions?
What's the point of testing it then, if you can't even show what it can do at it?????
The whole point of the drive is that it CAN write 4x media, at even 6x.
Where's the mentioned that it's an LG Hitachi partnership too???
Soooo many many things wrong with the review, so little time in the day to waste on writing about it.
Another useless review by the reg ...
Get some better staff ...