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The 3 Best External Blu-ray Drives  Nov 2018

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Your Guide To Buying an External Blu-ray Drive

By Yehudah Posnick

    Blu-Ray technology was developed in 2001. It uses a blue/violet laser to read special Blu-Ray discs, which have much greater capacity than typical DVD discs, which are burned and read using a red laser. Blue light has a smaller wavelength than red light, so it is able to concentrate more information in the same amount of space. (DVDs are 4.7 GB, while Blu-Ray discs can hold 25 GB. There are even dual-layered discs that can hold twice that much, as well as triple- and quadruple-layered discs!) Blu-Ray discs also feature greater resolution: They can have 2160 pixels of resolution, as opposed to 576 pixels for DVDs. Perhaps you want an external Blu-Ray Drive: maybe your laptop doesn't have a slot for an internal drive, or maybe you want to be able to move the Blu-Ray Drive to different devices. In any event, it's good to know what are the different features: read/write, speed, and capacity. Here is a guide to the best external Blu-Ray drives on the market.

    A major difference between an internal and external Blu-Ray player will be the power supply. Whereas an internal Blu-Ray drive gets its power from your laptop or PC, the external drive will have two types of power:

    • USB connection: Most USB connections provide enough power to run a Blu-Ray drive. If they are USB 3.0, they should provide enough power to run a Blu-Ray drive. Older laptops may not provide enough power, and will require an external power source, or to get their power from two USB ports simultaneously, using a Y-splitter cable.

    • External power source: These types of drives will require an external power source. They'll come with an adapter that converts from wall current to the 5V that you'll typically need.

    Based on all the consumers' reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

    • Compatible for Apple devices: The Sea Tech Aluminum Super Drive can be used on Apple products: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac, as well as on Windows PCs.

    • Playback speed: Even though some products say that they play back at 6X, that's really for reading data. If you are intending to watch a movie, then the maximum playback speed is less: most likely around 2X. (If it spins at a greater speed, it tends to make a lot of noise, which may interfere with the movie playback.)

    • Blu-Ray software: You will need to install Blu-Ray reading software on your computer: even though the device can be Plug-and-Play, it will still require Blu-Ray software. There are free downloads of Windows 10 software that will allow reading Blu-Ray movies. Some drives, such as the Samsung USB 2.0 Blu-Ray drive will come with a free license of Power DVD 12 software, to allow you to view Blu-Ray videos.

    • Speed—The speed refers to how fast the Blu-Ray drive will read or write to discs. The maximal speed presently is 16X. That means that it transfers at a maximal speed of 16X a transfer rate of 4.5 Megabytes of information per second. Burning discs at that speed is not recommended: the discs tend to wobble, and do not record the information properly. It's recommended to burn at slower speeds—the copy will be a more accurate copy of the original, with fewer chances for errors.

    • Capacity—The best Blu-Ray drives can read and write to BDXL (= Blu-Ray Disc Extra Large) discs, which have a capacity of 100 and 128 GB.

    • Read and write: You can buy external Blu-Ray drives that read and write. But writing with them will shorten their lifetime. If they read Blu-Ray discs, they will read all the older formats as well: DVDs and CDs. And if they can burn Blu-Rays, they can burn all the older formats. And some have the capacity of reading even damaged discs: discs with scratches, fingerprints, and imperfections.

    • 2D to 3D conversion: Since you need a special Blu-Ray drive for 3D movies, there are Blu-Ray drives that allow for converting from 2D movies to 3D movies.

    • Hook-up to Smart TV: Some Blu-Ray drives allow for a USB connection to a Smart TV. That will allow you to play back movies on your TV set.

    Samsung Electronics--was founded in 1969 by Lee Kun-hee. They originally specialized in electronic appliances, such as televisions and refrigerators. They later expanded to mobile phones and internal and peripheral computer components, such as hard drives, memory cards, optical drives, flat screen monitors, and more.

    Pioneeris an electronics company that specializes in digital entertainment products. They are located in Kawasaki, Japan, and were founded in 1938 by Nozomu Matsumoto. They make electronics for cars such as GPS navigation equipment, speakers, amplifiers, DVD receivers, and more. Their optical drives include SATA and USB DVDs and Blu-Ray burners, as well as speakers.

    Sea Techare retailers of electronics and home appliance equipment. They make an aluminum external USB Blu-Ray writer that is compatible with Apple products.

    ASUSis an electronics and computer hardware company. They were founded in 1989, and have their headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan. They make a wide range of computer equipment, for both laptops, tablet PCs and desktop computers.


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