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Advice on an external burner?

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April
Advice on an external burner?
on Aug 30, 2005 at 2:09:50 am

I have an iMac G5 and would like to get an external DVD burner to burn my FCP projects for the following reasons:

1. less wear and tear on my superdrive
2. option to print images onto disk/light scribe
3. burn projects faster (In my console log, it says that recent projects had a 'requested burn speed of 47x, actual burn speed 2x' -- is there a way I can change my burn speed? it takes forever!)

Currently I only have iDVD4 but will get DVD Studio Pro soon.

Any suggestions on burners that will help me achieve above and won't break my wallet? Not looking to spend more than $200. Brands to stay away from?

Some have suggested getting an internal burner and a box? as opposed to an external burner, as it's much cheaper -- what is a box?

And any thoughts on lightscribe? Worth it? I noticed on LaCie's site that they don't have lightscribe DVD-R's, only +R's. Will this be an issue when giving DVDs to clients, as I was told that +R's have a greater chance of compatibility issues with DVD players?

Thanks much!
April


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Alex Alexzander
Re: Advice on an external burner?
on Aug 30, 2005 at 2:09:25 pm

Pioneer is a good choice, although I use a late model Sony myself. I forget the model number, but it is a double layer. I'll hook it back up later at let you know. I just bought a loose Sony and a Macally external FW case and put it together myself. Cost was about $100 or so.

iDVD does not support external drives, best of my knowledge. So DVD Studio Pro will be needed to talk to the external drive.

I own a LightScribe drive, and its a great idea, but very slow, and you have to buy special LightScribe DVDs and CDs. The LightScribe printing is quite dull, and difficult to read, and can take as long as 30 minutes to fully print a surface.

A better choice for printing is a simple Epson R300 printer. I bought one for just $129 and it prints a full surface, in extremely good color in just about a minute or two. I am frankly amazed how good it looks. I am a former lithographer as this compares well to offset, and looks better the silk screen in my opinion. So it's $129 well spent. You will need to buy CDs that are silver coated, or DVDs that are white coated for ink jets. Either way, the cost is far cheaper than LightScribe, and far faster, and so much more elegant. I consider the printer to be one of my better purchases. Go to newegg.com and buy your media there. Verbatim even has white coated +R DL media for $105 for a 25 pack. Without coating, those are $90, so not much of a premium. For -R DVD-5s white coated, the price is near the same as regular. CDs are about $19 for 50 silver coated ink jet printable.

In terms of which discs to buy, I'd stick with -R. I am not sure the Mac knows how to set the DVD-ROM book type on +R media, which makes it more compatible. Toast 6.01 for example didn't do this, and as a result, Toast burned DVDs to +R media wouldn't play in many home players, where as -R media would play just fine with Toast. So stick with -R if possible.

-Alex


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April
Re: Advice on an external burner?
on Aug 30, 2005 at 2:51:56 pm

Thanks Alex, very helpful info!! Will definitely look into the Epson.

(just FYI, I heard that there's some loophole with iDVD, that if you use patchburn, you can use an external burner, though projects often crash)


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April
Re: Advice on an external burner?
on Aug 30, 2005 at 2:55:37 pm

oh and, Alex, when you say you put your internal burner and external box together yourself, is that something that's easy to do? looks to be much more cost-effective to do it that way, just worried I don't have the technical skills.....


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Alex Alexzander
Re: Advice on an external burner?
on Aug 30, 2005 at 10:51:13 pm

Most of these external cases tell you how to add a loose drive to the case. It's just a few steps really. I do it all the time for hard drives and DVD burners.


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Ron Shook
Re: Advice on an external burner?
on Aug 31, 2005 at 9:59:00 pm

April,

A couple of addendums to Asex's great comments:

[Alex Alexzander] "A better choice for printing is a simple Epson R300 printer."

or the even simpler and equally high quality Epson R200 printer, which can be had for 80 or 90 dollars. I'm not sure, but it's probably a little slower than the R300 and doesn't have a card reader.

[Alex Alexzander] "You will need to buy CDs that are silver coated, or DVDs that are white coated for ink jets."

There are also silver coated DVDs for inkjet printing (make sure it has that qualifier), that make quite elegantly labled DVD's with just black text and perhaps a colored logo. Much easier on the ink budget for the many projects that don't demand a full coverage, photographic print job. These look much more elegant than when printed on white coated DVDs. Not all manufacturers made them, but a couple of the better do, and they usually cost the same as white coated.

Ron Shook


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April
Re: Advice on an external burner?
on Sep 1, 2005 at 3:50:43 am

Thanks Ron, I'm leaning towards the R200 now, and will keep an eye open for silver coated DVDs -- great help!


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