External DVD Burner

A Digital Versatile Disk, more popularly known by the acronym DVD, is a data storage device that can be used to store media files and other information. A standard DVD with a single layer can hold about 4.7 gigabytes (GB) of information. Dual layer DVDs can hold upto 9 GB of data. Rewritable versions of DVD are called DVD-R, or DVD-RW. DVDs as a popular storage medium would not be possible without the rampant availability of the DVD burners, and external DVD burners ensured a global compatibility across all platforms.

DVDs are typically played through a DVD player that can be installed either internally in or externally to a PC. An external DVD player can also be connected to a television set to view the media contents of a DVD.

Some DVD players come as a combination of a DVD player/burner. A DVD burner, or a DVD recorder, is a device that can be used to record or ‘encode’ data into a blank DVD. A laser is used to write or read a disc once inside the tray of a DVD drive. The user can transfer the data that is desired to be ‘burned’ into the DVD through computer signals that can be detected via the laser of the drive. The laser then transfers the data to the disc until the point where each accessible layer of the disc is filled. The DVD is then said to be permanently burned. Only if the disc is a rewritable version used with a rewritable drive can the content of the disc be changed again.

There are two kinds of DVD burners, external and internal. An internal DVD burner is installed within the processing tower of the computer, while an external one can be plugged in, via a firewall or USB cable, externally and put anywhere around the PC. The firewall or the USB cable then acts as a means of transferring data from the computer to the hard drive. The functionality of both the types is essentially the same – to record data in the disc. However, there are certain advantages of an external burner over an internal one.

An external burner can be more flexible in terms of portability. One DVD burner can be carried to and used in several computers and can also be installed in a very short time. Moreover, it is more convenient to remove and install an external burner than an internal one which involves removing the casing, raising the drive and connecting it to a power supply. With an external drive, a cable can be used to connect it to the PC and then the power supply can be plugged in. An external burner also steers clear off the PC’s cooling process which becomes more difficult with additional internal hard-drives. The single disadvantage of an external burner lies in the fact that it takes additional work space, which is not a problem with an internal burner.

When buying an external DVD burner, few things should be kept in mind. Considering one that is easy to install and carry around is always a good place to start. The firewall or USB cable that comes with the DVD burner should be checked properly to see if it is compatible with the particular formats of DVD that will be used in it. It is also a good idea to check the driver for compatibility with the PC. Burners with a higher speed like those offered by brands such as Plextor, Pioneer or Sony are a better choice than inexpensive, non-branded ones. Comparing prices and searching for longer warranty periods are also important factors to consider when buying an external DVD burner.

An external DVD burner can be the right device for users looking for portability and convenience. However, concerns lie with the use of such burners as being devices that ‘pirate’, or illegally copy, copyrighted DVDs and/or media files downloaded from the internet. Therefore these issues should be kept in mind when using with a DVD burner, be it an external or an internal one.

This External DVD Burner Review is Written/Updated on Jul 20th, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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