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LG GGW-H20L Blu-ray HD DVD combo drive

Ready to run any HD disc on your PC

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LG includes a software package called CyberLink Hi-Def Suite 1.0, which covers playback of both BD and HD-DVD, as well as DVD and CD burning. The package consists of PowerDVD Ultra, PowerProducer, Power2Go 5 with LightScribe, Instant Burn, Power Backup, BD Advisor and a LG ODD firmware updater.

Once the software was installed, the ODD utility downloaded and installed a firmware update. Then it was time to play a movie. The first time we ran a high definition movie the PowerDVD Ultra software popped up a warning and we had to head to CyberLink’s website to download a 59MB patch.

LG ODD Utility

As soon as you run the software bundle, new drive firmware arrives

Once that was installed, we tried to play the movie and had to go through the same routine to download a second patch of 70.3MB. After jumping through those hoops, we found that the software worked properly and played both Blu-ray and HD-DVD movies flawlessly.

The UVD video engine in the lowly AMD ATI Radeon HD 3450 graphics card in our test system kept the CPU load to a negligible two per cent.

Then it was time to get busy burning discs to see what the GGW-H20L has up its sleeve.

The Verbatim BD-R media supplied with the drive doesn’t indicate its speed grade, which may explain why the time to burn 16GB of data was slightly slower than the old H10N drive despite the faster speed rating.

Burning the same 16GB to rewriteable BD-RW was a distinct improvement as the H20L took one hour four minutes compared to one hour 28 minutes with the H10N. When you consider that 25GB BD-RE discs cost £10 a pop and 4x BD-R media are £8 per disc, there is a strong argument in favour of using rewriteable media provided you can leave the drive burning away for an hour at a time.

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Next page: Verdict

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