Recommendations for a DVD-ROM

Could someone please recommend a reasonably
priced DVD-ROM?

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mikecrConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I use Creatives 6X DVD with decoder card, price is around $259 and it is impeccable. I've seen others but I was sold on this one. You can also get the Toshiba which is software driven and the drive costs about $89. My friend has one and it doesn't do a bad job either. These prices put you at both ends of the ladder so you can decide from there.

What do you call reasonably priced?

i.e. is a reasonably priced computer a Pentium 100 system for $150 dollars or a PII-400 system for $800 dollars?

I just mean to say that you can get an early drive really cheap and maybe be limited by it in the future, or you can get a recent drive at a good price, whatever your preference maybe you will see something you like here....

I would get the creative 5x kit, especially if it betters your current vid card, then you are guaranteed less problems with vid card compatibility.

if you have a good vid card, then the cheaper deal for a recent drive looks like the Hitachi 4x, probably the creative labs decoder would be a good plan.

I would not bother with the 1x kit or the 1x drive here since the drive doesn't support cdr or cdrw formats and may not like some of the newer DVD formats either. Besides, you don't save all that much over the newer faster drives. You can probably download most of that creative labs software package in the 1x kit so it hardly seems worth the extra $17 dollars that buying the parts separately would save.


Road Warrior
jnowlinAuthor Commented:

Road Warrior, a reasonably-priced DVD-ROM drive for *me* would be in the $200-$250 range. It sounds like Mike's had good luck with a known
manufacturer, Creative Labs, for $259.

Mike, what is the decoder card you mention above? Does that Toshiba
have one as well, or must all DVD-ROM drives have one? I have a pretty
good Number Nine Revolution IV *video* card, but this decoder card sounds like something different.

What formats does a DVD-ROM drive support? The Creative is 6X in DVD-ROM mode only? I'm sorry about the extra questions. I'll add some more points to the 'pot' to alleviate any added grief on my part.

I will check out Road Warrior's URL up there. I'm just out for the best product for the lowest amount of money, like anybody else. Thanks.

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The decoder card allows you to hook your video card to the decoder for superb video and it also has ports to send out ot tv and vcr. The Toshiba does not have a decoder card and you get regular digital video.

The Creative runs as a 32X cdrom also and supports all cdrom formats.

Decoder cards are a good idea for processors less than 400Mhz, since they do all the decoding work to decompress the data stream from the DVD and convert it to video, takes nearly all the load off the CPU, gets you smooth full screen video, and also those outputs to a TV. The decompression can be done with software, but even with a fast processor, you know how annoying windows can be, suddenly going into a 15 second swap frenzy for no apparent reason, if it only does this a couple of times during a 2 hour film it can be darn annoying as the video slows down, jerks and loses sound.

If you are using win98 there is a possibility you could use a vid card that comes in a kit as well as your current vid card, so you could have the DVD movie playing with output to your TV through the decoder while you use your monitor and computer for something else (though if you do something intensive it could still slowwwww the movie) I tend to play a familiar movie on my vcr while doing something like tidying up my harddisk, since the movie doesn't require all my attention, until I get to my favourite bits, and it relieves the boredom of the no-brainer task. Anyway, this isn't a guaranteed option since the vid card from the kit and your current vid card might not like to work together. It works in theory because win 98 has multiple monitor support.


Road Warrior.
I have a Gateway system which I chose to upgrade with a Creative Dxr2 (which is now fairly outdated). One problem is that it was a barebones IDE drive with no decoder card, so all the work was done by software.
Originally the system had an ATI onboard video card which could run CineMaster in accelerated mode, but I stupidly chose to add a Voodoo Banshee to the system, which was absolutely pathetic for playing DVDs. I started using Cyberlink PowerDVD to play them, they were jittery and almost unwatchable. Now I use Software CineMaster, which seems to work ok. The system is a Celeron 400, so I suppose that help.
Try and get a decoder card if you can afford it, and get a reasonable speed drive.
Have fun,
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