EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

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Cathy Poole
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EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by Cathy Poole » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:57 am

Please help me.

Could anyone recommend an external Blu-ray burner, with USB connections (obviously) to use on a PC?
USB 2 or USB 3.

I can see various makes on ebay, but which ones can I trust?

Michael Slowe
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by Michael Slowe » Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:16 pm

Cathy, I've been using an external BD reader / burner connected to my MacPro for some years now and it seems to work well. I got one by Lacie, I don't have the model details to hand as I'm away from home. I just drag the .mov file into Titanium Toast Pro 11 and make sure that the BD burner is recognised rather than the usual DVD one in the Mac. Toast then encodes the file and the burner burns the disk that I place in the Lacie.

Cathy Poole
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by Cathy Poole » Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:38 am

Many thanks for your reply, Michael.

I have been using a LaCie DVD burner for a couple of years now.
I also have a LaCie Quadra Hard Drive which I am very happy with.
Unfortunately I don't think LaCie make Blu-ray burners any more, which is a great pity.

I may be wrong, but I can't trace these burners anywhere on the internet.

If you have any other suggestions of makes and models you can trust,
please let me know. I don't want to buy an unbranded or unmarked model
from some dodgy company that I've never heard of.

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John Roberts
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by John Roberts » Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:04 pm

Hi Cathy, probably not much help to you but I did a little digging about and uncovered a highly recommended Samsung external BD drive, stocked at PC World. However, when I looked the following day and it had disappeared, and on subsequent checking it appears they no longer stock any external BD burners of any kind.

My BD burner is internal, and I have always used LG drives with no problems as long as the firmware is updated when it occasionally requests it.

Michael Slowe
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by Michael Slowe » Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:44 am

I am finding so few people wanting BD's rather than DVD's. They (mostly) want the DVD to play in their computers which is upsetting when we go to so much trouble to present a nice HD picture. So we can surmise that they don't have BD or even DVD players but just rely on computers. There you go, Apple are succeeding in their aim of abolishing discs! It will all be files very soon. Cathy, you won't have a need to burn BD's I'm sorry to say. I had to send a 40GB file of a documentary to a festival in America who needed it for projection. Rather than mess about with Drop Box or We Transfer I sent it on a £15 memory stick, capacity 64GB's. That's the future it would seem. What a long way from cans of 16mm film!

Cathy Poole
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by Cathy Poole » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:39 am

Dear Michael,

You paint a very sad picture for me regarding Blu-ray discs.
You say that few people want Blu-rays rather than DVDs,
but surely the number of people entering Blu-rays in The BIAFF must be increasing slightly?

I really don't want to use USB sticks for sending to other people.
How do I label the USB stick?
Do I really tie a luggage label to the stick with the title of the film,
my name and address, and all sorts of other information that competition organisers require?

I do of course use USB sticks, but only for previewing my films on my TV
so I don't have to go to the bother of burning re-writable DVDs or Blu-ray discs.

Making a covers for my films has always interested me.
(And I've now just recently discovered disc printing).

When my film is finished, I have somewhere to store it on my bookshelf.
I can find each and every title very quickly. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do that with a USB stick.

There are Blu-ray players available, you can buy a nice Panasonic model from Argos for only £59.00
but I'm after a Blu-ray burner which is a completely different thing.
I worry about the future of Blu-ray because many people say that DVD quality is good enough.
They're probably right, but these same people have all gone out and bought huge high-definition television sets.

We have to remember that film-makers are slightly different from people who just watch TV or go to the cinema.
We need different equipment: high powered computers and editing software, all that sort of thing.
We don't just send emails and look at YouTube all day.

I'd be happier if The BIAFF accepted high-definition films online,
but also, and this is important,
show the films on-line without us having to send in a disc at a later date after the judges have made their decisions.
Because if that's the case, I'll still need that Blu-ray burner.

Am I the only person on The Forum who wants to use Blu-ray discs, please let me know?

And as for 16mm film?
Some of you were lucky.
The rest of us had to hump around 5 or 6 cans of 35mm film for a feature of 100 -120 minutes.

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TimStannard
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by TimStannard » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:22 am

The BluRay disc is a strange beast, having been released a bit too late to become the norm.

People who care about getting HD quality enough are generally savvy enough to be able to use digital files from other media and prefer the flexibility that gives them. Indeed the medium almost becomes irrelevant as quality does not change between one copy and the next. As such they can download a file from the internet and store it on a local hard disk device on their own set-up at home as part of a media library or copy it onto a USB stick to show somewhere else.

In many ways this is how it should be - it is the content that matters not the medium.

There are a couple of downsides: Playback and Packaging.
Playback - Michael often talks about people watching on tiny computer screens, but the fact is that is nothing to do with the content or the media - it is simply convenience, and I don't think we are going to change people's attitude to this - especially if Cathy's tale of people playing back BluRay on PCs is typical. That being the case, the medium makes no difference.

Packaging - This adds value to a product, there's little doubt. When you receive a DVD or BluRay, nicely packaged it feels iike you have received something of value which is in contrast (at least to me) to receiving a download link. And Cathy is as absolutely correct about being able easily to label the product! But I suspect that alone will not be enough to save the disc - I'm sure I'm not alone in mourning the loss of the fantastic source of information and platform for artwork that was the 12" LP.

Because BluRay really arrived too late, whereas most people have a DVD player, the same cannot be said for BluRay player and therefore DVD is the norm for mass distribution where the added value of packaging counts. Most wedding/event photographers who've commented on the forums I frequent say they are generally asked for DVD - if the customer wants HD, they'll request an MP4 o a USB stick.

Like it or not, that's the way it's going (gone). The obvious parallel is music. Is it even possible to buy a "single" other than a digital download now?
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Cathy Poole
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by Cathy Poole » Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:52 am

The question still remains.
When I send my film to The BIAFF at the end of the year,
which format should I use if I want the judges to see a high-definition image?

Do they really want a USB stick tied to a luggage label?

Tim, you may well say that it's the content that matters, not the medium.
And although I agree with this, I still think that great content with superb
picture quality is still better than great content over poor picture quality.

Ask any film judge.

Another original question still remains. Can anyone recommend a reliable Blu-ray burner?

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TimStannard
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by TimStannard » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:08 am

You misinterpret me, Cathy, or rather I didn't express myself very well.

By content in this context I meant the physical bits and bytes. I was distinguishing between the digital bits (which remain the same) and the medium of which they are stored. In other words a film that has the same picture and audio quality whether delivered on USB stick, USB hard drive, BluRay, DVD (as a file rather than as a DVD video) or even streamed over the air (assuming good enough bandwidth).

Indeed removal of the limitations of the BLuRay spec gives us greater possibilities such as 1080/25P.

As for BIAFF, has it been suggested that they are not going to accept BluRay?

I'm afraid I've only ever used internal BluRay re-writers. FWIW I have a USB Samsung DVD re-writer which has never let me down. Have you heard tales of unreliable external BluRay re-writers?
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it

Michael Slowe
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by Michael Slowe » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:22 am

I'm with Cathy all the way on this but, as Tim so eloquently puts it, the days of film cans and discs has gone, certainly in the professional world and almost certainly in ours. As Cathy asks, how are we going to identify past productions at a glance? We're going to have to access drives, scroll through files and with luck, find the one we want. It will then probably have to be transferred to a smaller, portable drive to give to someone, put on a memory stick or, worst of all, compressed and sent over 'the wire'. As to BIAFF Cathy, that is not the only festival running today! They will still take discs but will probably only want files within a few years, as do the vast majority of festivals worldwide. Cathy get your files archived on to more than one reliable drive and go with the flow, reluctantly, that's what I'm doing.

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John Roberts
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by John Roberts » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:47 pm

Hi everyone :D

There is no question that BIAFF BD entries, or indeed DVD or Mini DV entries are to be dropped now or at any time in the foreseeable future, in fact submission formats are being expanded to include online files. Rule 4 of the 2017 competition rules states:

"Entries will be accepted on the following formats: DVD, Bluray disc, Mini DV tape, USB stick. In addition, entries may be uploaded on-line via http://www.wetransfer.com quoting an e-mail address for receipt of competition@theiac.org.uk

You must also provide a spare copy of your film to aid the judges in writing their appraisals, either as a standard definition DVD or by e-mailing an on-line link to the film to competition@theiac.org.uk

Alternatively, you may submit your film via the FilmFreeway website http://www.filmfreeway.com"


As you can see, online entries are being accepted for BIAFF, including for judging. I tend to use mp4 files, but it's not simply a case of selecting 'mp4' in a drop down list as there are other factors which need checking, such as video and audio bitrate and audio samplerate amongst others. These settings affect quality of playback.

As regards projection, BIAFF currently relies upon good-natured volunteers from various regions to donate equipment and as such any non-standard playback system (i.e. NOT Blu-Ray) might not be able to play back the myriad of formats submitted. From 2018 BIAFF is being organised centrally where the competition officer and the BIAFF committee should have more control and time available to sort out projection difficulties.

Online projection is currently not an option due to the variable nature of internet connections, but downloading from WeTransfer or FilmFreeway is, and as long as the submitted film is a reasonably standard format and CODEC, offline HD multimedia projection at BIAFF from those files should not be an issue.


As regards external BD burners, the mere fact that they are virtually unobtainable should indicate that there is very little demand for them now, for the reasons stated previously. If you can find one, an LG or Samsung should be a good bet, but I'll warrant that out of 100 users you will find 75 that swear by a particular brand/model, and 25 that swear at it. I have yet to find a universally praised burner of any kind! :P

John

ned c
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Re: EXTERNAL BLU-RAY BURNERS

Post by ned c » Sun Oct 09, 2016 7:16 pm

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... rning.html

Link to a USB 3 external BD writer. This is in the USA but the price is very good. Made by ASUS.

ned c

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