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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage

Thursday, December 21, 2006
LITE-ON BD B LH-2B1S Blu-Ray Drive

1. Introduction

LiteOn recently released its first Blu-ray drive, the LH-2B1S. Leveraging the support and technology of the Philips / BenQ joint venture, the Taiwanese company released the drive in a market which currently appears to be considering the Blu-Ray technology as "premium", and more suited towards professional users.

LiteOn's BD burner differs from the rest of BD drives appearing on the market by the fact that it comes with a S-ATA interface, making it ideal for the majority of the latest motherboards and offering easier connection to the PC system. Of course, the main strengths of the drive remain its specifications, which include support for all CD/DVD and Blu-Ray formats.

Writing speeds for the LiteOn BD drive are set at 12X for DVD±R, 4X for DVD±R DL and 32X for CD-R. The drive does not support the DVD-RAM format; a feature that found in the other first generation LG and Panasonic-based Blu-Ray drives (Plextor, Sony). However, it is the fastest when it comes to writing speeds for the "traditional" CD and DVD formats. But the most important thing is the 2X writing and reading speed for single layer BD-R and BD-RE media formats.

What is very interesting is the fact that the drive does not support reading or writing of dual-layer Blu-Ray discs. Most of our readers would expect this feature, especially considering that the corresponding drive from BenQ (BW1000), which practically shares the same technology, is expected to offer BD-R DL burning (1X) through a firmware upgrade. LiteOn has hinted that there will be no such a possibility with its LH-281S drive, claiming that it is a limitation of the current hardware.

At a glance, the basic features of the drive include:

  • Up to 25GB on one BD-R / BD-RE disc

  • Serial ATA Interface

  • SMART-BURN avoiding Buffer Under Run error, smartly adjusting writing strategy & running OPC to provide the best burning quality.

  • DVD read compliant: DVD single/dual layer (PTP/OTP), DVD-R (4.7GB), DVD+R, DVD+R Double Layer, DVD-R Dual Layer, DVD+RW and DVD-RW discs with diameter of 8 or 12 cm

  • CD read compliant: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, Photo CD, Multi-session, Karaoke CD, Video CD, CD-I FMV, CD Extra, CD-R, and CD-RW discs of 8 or 12 cm

  • Conform to Orange Book: Part 2 CD-R Volume 1, Part 2 CD-R Volume 2 Multi Speed, Part 3 CD-RW Volume 1 (1x, 2x, and 4x), Part 3 CD-RW Volume2: High Speed, Part 3 CD-RW Volume 3: Ultra Speed

  • DVD read compliant : DVD single / dual layer ( PTP / OTP ), DVD-R ( 3.9 GB / 4.7 GB ), DVD-R multi-borders, DVD+R, DVD+R multi-sessions, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW.

  • Support Fixed packet, Variable packet, Disc-at-once, Session-at-once and Track-at-once

In order to play HD content titles, a compatible HDCP monitor or HDMI TV set is required. While a number of graphics cards claim to be HD compatible, it is not always the case and there are still some issues involved. Certainly, the latest graphics drivers need to be downloaded from nVidia and ATI. Finally, region control has been implemented, similar to that used with DVD titles, so the correct region must be set. In addition, HDCP-capable play-back software is also required.

 

 

Bundled in the retail package, LiteOn offers a complete software suite, including the following:

Cyberlink BD Solution Power DVD Playback BD/DVD
PowerProducer Video Editing and Authoring
Power2Go Back up your files, create audio CDs and burn CDs/DVDs/Blu-ray Discs(BD), drag and drop operation.
PowerBackup PC backup solution. It analyzes, sorts, and archives files onto a hard drive, disc, or removable storage media. Supports CD/DVD burners.
InstantBurn Burning
Cyberlink BD/HD Advisor Checks whether the your PC configuration is suitable for Blu-Ray playback
Quick User's guide
SATA data cable
1 TDK BD-RE blank disc
Mounting screws

What's interesting in the drive's front panel, is the activity LED, which indicates the drive's operating status. When the LED is on, the disc is loaded and ready; when blinking, the drive is reading / writing / rewriting or the disc is loading. The LED lights up blue, red and green when a BD, DVD or CD respectively, is loaded.

A typical rear view, for a SATA optical disc drive. The 15-pin connector for DC power input (Serial ATA Power Connector) and the 7-pin connector for Serial ATA data interface (Serial ATA Data Connector) are present, as you can see in the image below.

Our test sample was manufactured in October 2006 in China.

The drive is built around the Philips Nexperia PNX7866EL chipset, an all in one chipset supporting all CD and DVD media formats, except for HD-DVD. It also has an Arima Optical Pick-up Unit (OPU) and a Philips DSP chip.

Click for High Resolution Image

Click for High Resolution Image

Installation

The LiteOn LH-2B1S was installed as a typical SATA drive and was recognized as "LITE-ON BD B LH-2B1S".




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