Feeds

Buy Smarter: what you need to know about... optical disc drives

Laser sharp storage

Top three mobile application threats

Buyer's Guide Optical drive is the collective term for CD, DVD and Blu-ray readers, recorders and rewriters, the mainstay of swap-in-swap-out storage in notebook and desktop computers.

At its simplest, an optical disc can load applications or play music or films, and at its most complex, in the form of a dual-layer, Blu-ray BD-RE disc, it can play high-definition (HD) movies and record up to 50GB of data.

You may be wanting to upgrade an optical drive, or move from CD to DVD or DVD to Blu-ray, or you may want to add an extra drive to a machine with a spare bay. Whatever it is, there is a variety of drives to choose from.

Watch Video

Optical drive types

You will find it increasingly difficult to buy a CD-only drive, as effectively all DVD drives play all varieties of CD in addition to handling a range of DVD types. Blu-ray drives can similarly read, and usually write, both DVDs and CDs.

Samsung SH-BO83L Internal BD-ROM/DVD Writer

Upgrade your desktop's internal optical drive for greater capacity storage and HD playback

There is only one type of recordable and one type of rewriteable CD, but there are two complementary standards of DVDs: DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW. These DVD-plus and DVD-minus formats are distinct, but most modern drives can read and write both of them.

The rewriteable Blu-ray drive uses the abbreviation BD-RE, rather than BD-RW, as the drive has to be fully Erased before rewriting.

DVD drives are available as standard 3.5in internal and half-height, laptop-style devices. Both of these can also be had as external drives in separate enclosures, linked via USB, Firewire or eSATA cables.The Samsung Ultra-Slim AA-ES3P95B charges easily using one USB cable and has a hidden power cord. If you are after an external drive, make sure you get the appropriate type for the connection you have available.

Optical Disc Formats

Optical Disc Formats

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Next page: Specialist drives

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.