LG Hitachi 8x Blu-Ray Burner WH08LS20
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 12-30-2010
Provided by: Geeks

The version of CyberLink PowerDVD that ships with the WH08LS20 drive is an outdated release. The CD installs v7.3 and even after downloading the latest patch available from CyberLink I was still unable to play a recent Blu-ray title. As the patch is from 2008 it was obviously not designed for Windows 7, and it's possible there is an incompatibility with the OS or the fact that it is 64bit. Unfortunately CyberLink does not offer any discount to upgrade from a prior version; the online price is the same whether you're a previous or new user. I did download the trial version of PowerDVD v10 and verified it was able to play just fine.

I used the free DVDFab HD Decrypter to rip both DVD and BD media to hard drive. With only up to 16x DVD speed it took more than 16 minutes to copy 4.5Gb to disk, at an average rate of around 4.7MB/s. By comparison my other 24x DVD burner usually averages 7-7.5MB/s. At 8x BD speed the copy process took 47 minutes to grab 43Gb of data, yielding an average rate of just over 15MB/s. If you're compressing the data while ripping from the disc, expect these times to increase significantly. Remember that if you plan to burn these to a single layer disc you'll need to cut the size down to fit.

To test the burn process I used the open source ImgBurn. I did notice one oddity in that it never showed any data in the device buffer during a DVD burn, although it did appear during the BD process. The LG WH08LS20 has 4MB of cache but is apparently not using this during a DVD copy. With some Sony 16x DVD+Rs the LG attained a maximum 15.9x write with a 10.9x average. Considering that I usually get only 17-18x max out of this media even on my 24x drive, that's not bad.

In the Blu-ray operation ImgBurn does seem to use the device buffer, which held steady at 94% during the entire process. I'm using some RiData 4x BD-R media for this copy and the LG drive had no problems burning at up to 8.1x and achieved an average speed of 6.8x during the roughly 13 minute time frame. Speed-wise the LG drive seems to do better at Blu-ray burning than DVD. I had no problems viewing the burned discs either on the computer itself or in another player.

Let's wrap things up with some final thoughts and conclusion.

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