back to article LG GGW-H20L Blu-ray HD DVD combo drive

While it's clear that Blu-ray Disc is going to rule the HD roost, unfortunately for Sony, the rival HD DVD format will take some time to wither away. Which leaves the buying public in a tricky position. The smart money is on combo drives such as the LG GGC-H20L, which can read both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats for a price just …

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  1. Greg

    Nice to see a review

    I was thinking of buying one. Seen somwhere I can get one for £100.

  2. Stefan Smietanowski

    Dual Layer BD-R and BD-RE are supported

    This drive can burn in 2x speed to BD-R and BD-RE DL discs, that's one of the massive advantages over other drives out there!

    At least reading the official specs on lge.com ...

  3. Tusela
    Stop

    Beware 'copy protection'

    Having bought one of these drives a couple of months ago, I have had no problems except in one area - recent games which are protected by systems such as SecuRom may refuse to recognise the media, so if you are going to drop one of these in a gaming PC, you may need an alternative drive too.

    I will refrain from comment regarding SecuRom and solutions of that type - just wanted to make sure the issue was known.

  4. Chris McFaul
    Stop

    not supported???

    i use dual layer media in mine all the time!

  5. Iain
    Thumb Down

    Word of warning

    In a move of quite monumental stupidity, the version of PowerDVD 7 you get with the drive can only play back in stereo, not full 5.1 or 7.1. And you can't buy the full version either, as the website only wants to sell you PowerDVD 8 - which they've saved a few pennies on by ripping out the HD-DVD playback and making it Blu-ray only.

    Which kinds of ruins the whole fecking point of buying a dual-format drive in the first place.

  6. Stefan Smietanowski

    Re: not supported??? (Chris McFaul)

    You use dual layer BD-R and/or BD-RE media all the time? Either you do that at work or you're rich.

    If you meant DVD+-R / DVD+-RW then of course it's supported but that's not what he was talking about.

    quote from article:

    Dual-layer BD-Rs and BR-REs that weigh in at 50GB are tempting but, at £25, expensiv for a single disc. However, they aren't supported by the LG so we can put that particular idea to one side.

  7. Leo Waldock

    @Chris - dual layer Blu-ray

    To get this absolutely clear can you confirm that you use dual layer Blu-ray writeable 50GB media in this drive? I didn't have any dual layer Blu-ray media and as the spec doesn't include that feature I didn't get any in.

    Any info you have on speed, hassle factor and cost would be illuminating.

  8. Rune Moberg Silver badge
    Stop

    PowerDVD is broken

    I have a number of optical drives in my computer that are SCSI based. At one point I wanted to ditch them, but quickly discovered that my (very) old Pioneer DVD-ROM player was more adept at playing DVDs than my brand spanking new Plextor SATA based DVD burner.

    Enter a recent version of PowerDVD. It absolutely refuses to do anything whilst my SCSI drives are plugged in. It stalls trying to read from one of them, despite my desire to play from the SATA device (either the LG drive or the aforementioned Plextor device). Only when I disconnect my SCSI devices will things run "smoothly" (except DVD playback on the LG drive using PowerDVD wasn't exactly what it should be).

    When I contacted Cyberlink's support by e-mail, I was told to check my DVI cable...

  9. Ross Fleming Silver badge

    Dual Layer Blu-Ray

    From other reviews (PC Pro specifically), LGs website and various suppliers (Scan and Dabs), it *does* write to dual layer BD-R discs and takes about an hour to fill a 50GB disc at x2 speed, but is actually rated at x4 - once the discs become available. Single layer it's capable of x6, again, dependent on discs. Not sure about BR-RE though

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    "LG GGW-H20L Blu-ray HD DVD..."

    OMG WTF BBQ!

  11. Leo Waldock

    dual layer Blu-ray writing

    Ross and Jonathon have pointed out that the LG spec refers to BD-RE DL 50GB media.

    http://uk.lge.com/products/model/detail/bluray_ggwh20l.jhtml

    All I can say is 'bugger' as the bumph that came with the drive didn't make any mention of it. Sorry. My bad. I should have got some dual layer media and tried it out.

    That redresses some of my uncertainty with the LG but the cost of media is still an issue and you'll still struggle to backup a 500GB, 750GB or 1TB drive in 50GB chunks.

  12. Chris P
    Boffin

    Eject buttons

    Looks nice, but the eject button IS in the wrong place. Many years ago I had a two speed Creative Labs E2550UA drive, which had the eject button mounted ABOVE the tray - I never had to fiddle about reaching under the tray in any of the several machines I had it installed in.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    WORST REVIEW - EVER!!

    Wow,

    How can a reviewer get it so wrong - LOL

    It doesn't succeed the LG GBW-H10N, it replaces the LG GGW-H10N/L.

    So, how can you draw a comparison to it??

    LG GBW-H10N - no HD DVD, where this new drive has ... just as the GGW H10N/L did.

    "6x .... which isn’t a great deal faster than the 4x "

    For one, 4x media wasn't around in Dec 2006 so how could you test to find out ... and you didn't even test it this time around anyway

    "Verbatim BD-R media supplied with the drive doesn’t indicate its speed grade" - when you start to write to the disc you're shown what speed it is, 2x !?!?!?

    " ... Blu-ray writer has a 1.5Gb/s SATA interface rather than the IDE interface on the older drive .." - well, if you drew the right comparison to the correct drive, the GGW H10N/L you'd find out it DID have a S-ATA port

    Didn't even test the 4x burning functions?

    What's the point of testing it then, if you can't even show what it can do at it?????

    The whole point of the drive is that it CAN write 4x media, at even 6x.

    Where's the mentioned that it's an LG Hitachi partnership too???

    Soooo many many things wrong with the review, so little time in the day to waste on writing about it.

    Another useless review by the reg ...

    Get some better staff ...

    ASAP!

  14. Cameron Colley

    Linux?

    Or is this just for the paytards?

  15. Not That Andrew
    Linux

    Re: Linux

    As far as I know cdrtools, cdrkit and the various forks are all still working on Bluray support. You will probably want to try the development version of whatever tool you use.

    Aah, the joys of FLOSS, you don't like it? Then just fork off!

  16. Ben Bradley
    Stop

    BD-RE? What about BD-RAM

    I've been getting pretty excited about BluRay for a while, not because I can't wait to watch glorious HD movies (DVD still works!), but because for backup/archive purposes BluRay will be monster.

    We use DVD-RAM quite a lot, for scripted file copy backups etc. Not the quickest to write to, but easy to script once the disc is UDF formatted.

    Is a similar thing possible with BD-RE?

    Or is it purely for conventional 'burning' in sessions?

    Being able to format a 50GB BD-RE disc as UDF, then just drag and drop files onto it would be amazing!!

  17. Joe

    Read write!

    "Being able to format a 50GB BD-RE disc as UDF, then just drag and drop files onto it would be amazing!!"

    You're supplied a 25GB BD-RE disk (Verbatim). I burned 20 odd gigabytes of music to it, using the drag and drop UDF method if I remember correctly. Blu ray RAM would be cool. I wouldn't trust BD-RE/R for archival but know nothing of the tech used really so am not qualified to comment.

    Had this drive since Nov 07. Took The Reg a while to review? Also, the firmware version is now on second update to YL03: 'Improved Write Strategy' whatever that involves.

    I agree it isn't ideal backing up data to optical media as opposed to simply bunging it all on hard disk drives (however configured) but it's sensible to have another copy stored on media you know you'll be able to access that isn't subject to mechanical failure. DVD RAM is still preferred for backing up my personal photos/important files.

    BD-RE takes ages... to write.. so.. boring. So expensive too. Nice to have the capability all the same, even if the price/storage ratio isn't great at present. This drive preceded the availability of the read only GGC model, hence purchase though priority was for a dual HD format player. Does the job rather nicely in fact...

    Top marks for me, though buying now, I'd probably for for the GGC version and spend the 80 quid saved later on on a faster cheaper blu ray writer, maybe even with RAM if it even ever exists? Link given shows supported write/read media:

    http://us.lge.com/download/product/file/1000003671/GGW-H20L_spec_sheet22108.pdf

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