Blu-ray burner

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What are they for

Blu-Ray Disks (BD or BRD) are those optical devices capable of storing data, especially music and videos, born from the need for ever greater definition in images and sounds, which therefore set themselves the objective to replace current DVDs on the market. Their name (Blu-ray) comes from the innovative use of a blue laser light in their reading. Their introduction on the market occurred only in recent years (2004) and the first manufacturer to develop this new technology was Sony with its latest console, the Playstation 3. The use of these devices complements a new quality process of home cinema, based on Full HD ultra high definition screens (which came after HD Ready) and the digital cinematography of the brand new HDV video cameras. Once a new optical medium has been introduced, all that remains is to introduce the respective readers, and therefore the respective burners, onto the market, the former essential for reading this type of disc and the latter for being able to archive data from your PC. The characteristics of these discs are, at least apparently, astonishing: double layer BDs can contain up to 50 GB of data, compared to 4.7 for a common single layer DVD, and compared to 0, 7 GB of "old" CDs. These data should be taken with a pinch of salt for the simple reason that although 50Gb seems like a lot, due to the new codec technologies (MPEG2) and video resolution, it can contain 3-4 hours of footage, therefore a film with extra content and little more. blu ray discs However, the 50 GB remain effective if the disks are used for general data storage, and for this purpose the appropriate burners are useful. It could happen, especially for companies rather than private individuals, that they have to make backup copies of very large data, such as to exceed the capacity of current DVDs.

Background

The history of the burning process is a recent one: storing data, information, amateur videos or other has always been a human need in the digital age where bits have replaced paper. The first CD burners date back to the 90s of the last century and the writing speeds were limited, 2X; their very high costs. Since then, many steps have been taken, just as we can say that we have burned many CDs and DVDs. Writing speeds have been increasing exponentially, as has the capacity of the media available on the market. These improvements corresponded to greater demand on the market and consequently a lowering of prices, until the introduction of new supports, which started the cycle again. The Blu-Ray format is the result of the study of the Blu Ray Disc Association, an association of companies producing electronics, IT and cinematographic products, including big names such as Apple, Sony, Lg, Philips, HP, Warner Bros and even Walt Disney, to produce new types of discs with ever-increasing capacities. BDs were introduced on the global market by Sony in 2002, with the intention of their use by the new Playstation 3 console. The name Blu Ray which obviously derives from the translation of "Blue Ray" had small problems of trademark, in fact it was not possible to register the name Blue (which in English indicates "Blue") but the final "e" had to be eliminated to avoid the use of common words in the registration of the tradeMark. Small flaw: there are still few film titles available in this format, there are almost no games, and its diffusion is going slowly. If this support becomes more widespread, it is likely that the prices of special burners will also drop and become the new standard, only to be overtaken by some other innovation, but this is known to be part of progress.

Characteristics

Blu-Ray burners must first be able to read and burn (i.e. record data) to Blu-Ray discs. As already mentioned, these have significantly higher capacities than normal DVDs, so these burners must be able to write large quantities of data in the shortest possible time. There are currently devices on the market with speeds of 8X, 4X (still extremely expensive) and 2X (more widespread), which respectively take about half an hour and an hour to write a 25 Gb Blu Ray and double the time for double layer ones. 50 GB. However, as regards the interconnection interfaces between the burner and the PC, there are no substantial changes: Serial Ata or Ultra Ata are the most popular. Another important feature of BD discs is data protection: they use AES, Advanced Encryption Standard with extremely changeable decryption keys. For this reason, the reproduction and copying of this type of disc, if not authorized, is highly complicated if not impossible. In this sense and recently developed, the device contained in Blu-Ray discs allows you to load a "virtual machine" onto the player capable of damaging portions of recorded material in the case of copied content. This represents a further differentiation of Blu-Ray burners compared to normal DVD burners. If, however, you hear about the bulk version of the burner, don't worry, this term only indicates that the burner is sold without a box to be mounted in your PC, and obviously you will benefit economically from these models. It should be remembered that since this technology is in its infancy, as well as being very expensive, it is not free from errors, especially when writing if you don't have an excellent burner. Throwing away a BD because it was burnt during burning is not like throwing away a CD or DVD, given that BDs have quite high prices: starting from 10 Euros per piece. An important parameter in this sense is the internal buffer, which we will talk about later.

Operation

Externally these types of burners do not present substantial differences compared to previous burners, so their dimensions are limited, they can be installed inside your case as well as in the slot of the CD and DVD reader or burner and they have special software for burning. The burning process is also similar to that of previous media, as Blu Ray discs are also divided into tracks and sessions. The thing that changes is the reading/writing radius: it is blue-violet (this is how they get their name). The buffer is an important parameter in choosing the burner: this function allows you to compensate for any slowdowns in the writing phase, i.e. in the passage between the hard disk and the burner, because writing must be a process that is as continuous as possible and without interruptions. In this case we speak of buffer under. Blu Ray recorders on the market have 8 Mega buffers. It should also be remembered that for burning you need not only the hardware part but also the appropriate software, the one contained in the box or for more functions, one that can be purchased separately (some DVD burning software are adapting to also include BD burning as had happened from the transition from CD to DVD). According to the producers of these types of discs they would work very well, if not better than HD DVDs even on ultra-thin portable notebooks, in fact many on the market have this type of reader/writer already incorporated. Blu Ray media were in fact not only designed for video and audio, and therefore high quality films, but also to offer ever better video games with captivating graphics and increasingly engaging levels while having more memory available. On the other hand, with all the protection mechanisms for private use, the usefulness of Blu Rays remains the storage of large amounts of data.

Types

The price of these devices is around 500 to 800 Euros for complete burners, depending on the model, brands and functions. Blu Ray burners are mainly differentiated according to the main parameter which is the writing speed, indicated by a number followed by an to the maximum available indicated by the recorder. Most Blu Ray burners must also be backwards compatible, at least this is preferable, with previous media, therefore being able to burn both CDs and DVDs, Single and Double Layer at decent speeds, a fundamental feature given the widespread use of these two media. Complete Blu Ray burners, in addition to being backwards compatible with DVDs, must be able to read and write all Blu Ray formats currently on the market, i.e. BD-Rom, BD-R, BD-R DL, BD-RE, formats which apart from the difference in reading correspond to the typologies of old DVDs. The acronym DL indicates double layer or from the English Double Layer (which is opposed to the Single Layer SL), the acronym Rom indicates that the disks are read only, RE indicates instead that they are rewritable, so once written the data can be deleted to write new ones. The multisession function will also be possible for Blu Ray Discs, which allows data to be written to the medium in several phases, closing the disc appropriately with the appropriate burning software. As in the case of old-fashioned burners, there are also models of external or internal Blu Ray burners, i.e. the former which must be connected externally to your PC and must be powered separately, the latter are an integral part of the case, which can be mounted simply with screws in the slots in common burners and readers, or already integrated into portable notebooks.

Blu ray burner manufacturers

The Blu Ray burner market can be said to be newly developed, this implies high prices, relatively little choice and difficulty in choosing a perfect product. Below are the best burner manufacturers of this generation.

  • Pioneer is a Japanese electronics products company, widespread in Italy since 1980, attentive to consumer needs and also to respect for the environment. Always up to date with new technologies, even in the field of home cinema and high definition, they could not be left behind in the field of the Blu Ray generation. They offer internal and external burner models for various needs, with moderate prices compared to other brands. In the field of Blu Ray burning they were the first to produce this type of device.
  • Lite-On is a company born in Taiwan, a world leader in the production of burners and readers for different media. In this regard it boasts numerous international awards both for DVD recorders and for the new Blu Ray technology. In this sector their flagship product is the LH-2B1S, which for precision and stability was chosen as the best Blu Ray burner by many hardware and IT magazines.
  • Philips is the Italian group producing electronic, IT and multimedia goods for individuals and companies. With the launch of very high definition LCD and plasma televisions, the company certainly could not ignore the possibility of offering its customers Blu-Ray players and recorders, making the most of the potential of these media. Relatively low prices allow it to stay ahead in a difficult market especially towards the Japanese giants.
  • LG Electronics is the Korean consumer electronics manufacturing company. An attractive aesthetic line and elegance have always been strong points of this Asian giant which has updated itself with new Blu Ray technologies, both by being part of the group of scholars who introduced the discs on the market and by offering burners with excellent performance . Their models are cutting edge in terms of writing speed, among the fastest on the market.
  • Sony is the famous Tokyo company, introduced in Italy in 1981, which as already mentioned was the first to introduce Blu Ray technology onto the market and into our homes, in particular a service available from the latest new generation console, the Playstation 3 There is no denying that being the first to introduce this technology, they may be the ones who developed it best, therefore their burner is an indication of quality and safety even if the prices do not represent an advantage.
Publicato: 2010-04-03Da: Redazione

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