Lite-on iHBS112 internal Blu-ray writer
Cheap and fast - cheerful too?
Review Lite-On is certainly pushing the boundaries of optical disc burning at aggressive prices. The iHBS112 is an internal drive that goes beyond the combo by letting you read and write Blu-ray, DVD and CD media in one unit. Its Blu-ray writing speed, 12x, matches the current fastest on the market.
That's not bad for £123.
As a standard Sata drive, the hardware is simple to install, and it worked right away as a data reader and media player under Windows 7 without requiring additional drivers.
Lite-On's iHBS112: matches the fastest on the market
For burning your own discs, Lite-On supplies a copy of CyberLink's BD Solutions on a DVD-ROM. This software suite includes BD-enabled editions of PowerDVD (movie playback), PowerProducer (movie disc authoring), PowerDirector (movie editing) and Power2Go (data disc burning), along with a couple of disc utilities: PowerBackup and LabelPrint.
Looking at the numbers, the ability to burn BD-Rs ought to be as big a removable storage revolution today as the appearance of affordable DVD-R drives and media was some ten years ago. After all, the iHBS112 makes it possible to write to single-layer, 25GB BD-R media at 12x speed and dual-layer, 50GB discs at 8x.
Now, given all the scare stories you have been reading recently about the real-world longevity of optical discs, do you really want to consign even more data to them, in 50GB chunks? And bear in mind that although Blu-ray raw data transfer speeds are nominally faster than those of DVD, filling a 25GB or 50GB disc is going to take an awfully long time.
This is especially true for large quantities of very small files. I formatted a single-layer BD-R for use with Windows 7's Live File System - which enables ad hoc writing of files, leaving the disc session open - and then dragged a 5.1GB folder containing 23,094 files onto it. The initial copy completion estimate was seven minutes but this was shortly revised to one hour. When I returned to the computer an hour later, the estimate had risen to 13 more hours.
When I finally removed the disc, it was hot to the touch. Ouch.
HDDs for backup? Really? Ever done actual backups, have you? Or are you speaking of your pr0n collection where... ehm... "quick access" trumps reliability, and loss of any specific chunk of data would certainly go unnoticed? Ever drop an HDD and then try to read data from it? I've had drives die from a 20cm drop, myself.
While I would agree that optical discs aren't ideal for long-term backup, an application for which they certainly aren't intended, they're a good poor-man's choice for the task, I dare say. And considering the number of operational 10+ year old CDs I have (hundreds) vs. the number of operation 10+ year old HDDs I have (0), I would take optical disc backups over HDDs any day.
Random Googling suggests that 12x would require about 10,000 RPM, which is pretty high for a plastic disc. That would come out to around 400mbit, or approximately the speed you can hope to get out of a really good USB 2.0 drive (with a decent usb controller.)
I doubt 64x / 2gbit is ever going to happen for this particular media.
But that's ok, since we all know that optical media is pretty worthless these days. I used to only burn CDs to put in my car stereo (Sand + originals don't mix, plus if I burn mp3s on disk I get way more music,) but my new stereo has an SD slot, so I've officially got no reason for writing optical disks any more. Don't even need them for OS installs any more now that Win7 is perfectly happy w/ a 4GB USB stick (and Linux has been capable of a network install pretty much forever.)
I'm done with optical ...
Hmm options to store 2TB of data. Blue Ray burner + 80 blanks vs USB/eSATA hard drive dock and 2 2TB hard drives (one is a backup in case of hardware failure).
If I didn't have a PC hooked up to my TV, I'd buy a Western Digital HD Live box for about $110 and then hook it up to my home network or hook it up to an hard drive.
I am sure that this is a good format for some people, but I just don't see any merit in it for me personally, even if the discs were $.10 each and the burners $50.
Prices Go Down
Not sure where you're shopping but I buy BR media for less than $2.50 per disk. Remember when DVD disks were that much too? They always start expensive and fall as adoption increases. I used to use 2 CDs rather than half a DVD for price reasons, now a DVD costs the same as a CD. Soon a BDR will cost almost the same as a DVD. Sure Sony sells singles in a jewel case and hasn't lowered the $19.99 price since the beginning but that's a trap for people not paying attention.
As for recording times I have no problem burning a full BDR in an hour and that is WITH verify. You're crazy if you don't.
Backup? You kidding?
With a single BD-R disc costing as much as a Hollywood-flick-pressed one, not gonna happen. Due to piracy concerns, blu-rays can be recorded, yes, but at prohibitive cost. The studios managed to kill the media, as far as computers go, as a whole.
As for portable HDDs, on the other hand... I just bought an outdated and almost obsolete USB-2.0 one with a 500GB HDD (465GB actual, whatever) for the same or less price than this BD-recorder. And, oh my gosh, lo and behold, it records 9-10 times more, 5x faster. Plus I don´t have to pry my case open to shove it inside, I can plug it on USB (eg, any-freaking-where). Will my buddies own a BD player on their computers, so they can read my backup? Guess what, anything 5 years old won´t.
For entertainment purposes, however, it has its uses. Or, if for any particular reason, your 4-year-old DVD-recorder caved in, or you can´t find a suitable replacement that will plug in your SATA-only motherboard, that drive will do.