Good DVD Burners?

Posting on behalf of my nephew, I'm not much of a hardware guy myself..
Im going to be asking for a DVD burner for Christmas. Im not in the
know with drives anymore and i need your guys help to figure out which
on would be a good buy.
I want to be able to burn DVDs/CDs. I also want to be able to play the
DVDs i burned in a DVD player. THe drive i want should be internal and
under 200 bucks.

Is there a difference in the Formats? Is there a drive that can burn
all formats?
Also what is this dual layer stuff im reading about?
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There are a few things to consider when buying a CD/DVD burner.  

#1) what am I going to burn with it?
#2) How much $ do I want to spend on media?
#3) what formats do I want to burn?
#4) How much $ do I want to spend on this?
#5) what software do I need?

If your planning on using it for copying DVD's you already have. (or rented) and backing up files there are a few things you should know.  #1 the whole format thing is a bunch of bunk.  The best one to look out for is "DVD+ "They have not yet decided on an industry standard for DVD burning.  Everyone kind of has their own.  It is a pain in the butt if you ask me.  This is not all that big a deal and I don't see them deciding anytime soon.  

I personally have used many different burners and I have never had a problem with LiteOn.  I do not suggest Sony because of a personal problem history with many of there products.  This would be a great burner for the Price and it can burn anything form single layer 4x DVD's to Double Layer DVD's.

For soft ware I would look in to using 3 programs
Nero for normal burning (this burner come with a copy of it)

DVD Decrypted (this is for copying DVD's to your Hard Drive) Freeware

DVD Shrink (this is for burning them back on to New DVD’s) Freeware

Good luck if you need any thing else let me know.
Oh and to answer the question about Dual Layer what that means is When you buy a DVD form the store it is burned on 2 layers and hold almost 9 gig of info.  Single layer only hold about 4.5 gigs.  So a dual layer is simply letting you burn on 2 layers of the DVD to fit 2 times the info on the disk.  You need to buy dual layer disks though and they are still kind of pricey
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Plextor drives are generally considered the finest optical drives.  However, I have not yet seen a 16X or a dual layer drive from Plextor.  A Plextor 12X single layer DVD+ -R/RW drive should run about $100.00.

There are several other good choices such as Lite-On, Sony, and NEC that run less than $80.00 fror a dual layer 16X DVD+ - R/RW drive. Get a retail packaged drive or ensure that an OEM drive comes with software and cables (some do, some don't)  Nero and Easy CD/DVD Creator are the 2 most common and both are good.

That Plextor has not yet released 16X or dual layer drives concerns me somewhat.  They are usually on the leading edge of optical drives.  Just wondering if there is a problem with such drives and Plextor will not compromise their reputation for quality.


Dual layer drives can write to dual layer disks, as far as I know all DVD players can read them and most commercial DVDs are burnt to dual layer disks purely to store more info, you may have seen it before on the back of DVDs "layer transition may trigger a slight pause".. I however do not have a dual layer DVD writer but can burn 4.7gb to disks

Your looking to get a +R and -R drive, provided you get one of those you can basically give it most common disks and it will write to them (THe only difference between these 2 formats I am told is the way it writes to them, different companies developed them im told)

RW - Rewritable may be desirable if you fancy being able to re-write to rewritable DVDs, but the disks are so expensive and it can be a pain to keep them in good condition that you just might as well not bother..

Brands in my opinion don't really matter so much because half of them are the same products in a different casing anyway

I have a NEC DVD Writer (in case you were wondering), I read a few reviews before I bought it and then eventually bought it from "SVP Communications" (Check google) and have been pleased with it ever since... (If you need the model number just ask)

SVP are a british firm I think, so you might find a cheaper hardware store more local to you.. But basically the point im making is just go for one that can do +r and -R (So you have a fair amount of compatibility) the brand you buy doesn't really matter and.. if the product refuses to do *exactly* what you want it to do just send it back and quote consumer laws to them :)

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Look for a Pionner DVD

NEC I was told was just a rebranded Pioneer anyway ;-)... I don't think brands really matter
I am a fan of plextor too, but you can read here and choose:
Go Plextor -- they are more expensive but worth it.  My 48x External CDR combo is like a rock, and I am sure their DVDRs are the same.
I propose that everyone who helped in this question gets an assist, with "Iggy79" getting the "Accepted Answer" and a few points more purely for answering the fastest :)
I agree
KrowtenTechAuthor Commented:
Sorry about that everyone!  I'll split up the points since my nephew never got back to me.

Again, sorry for the delay and thank you for the help!
No problem thanks for getting back to us :)

Have a great Christmas and thanks for the Accept :)
KrowtenTechAuthor Commented:
BTW - I didn't see a button for 'Assist'.  Otherwise I'd helped everyone out with that as well.

You got the Accept do to the most verbose answer and thanks for everyone that helped.

Have a great holiday.
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