Fri, 30 Oct 2009 LaCie d2 Blu-ray Professional BD-R, BD-RE Drive review
External Blu-ray drive works well with the Mac
- Manufacturer: LaCie
- Pros: Attractive case design; ships with Toast Titanium 9.
- Cons: Expensive; problem burning discs with Toast over USB 2.0.
- Min specs: Mastering/Burning: Windows XP with the latest service pack Windows Vista™ / Mac OS X 10.4.8 or higher Pentium 4 3GHz processor / Power PC G4 or higher, Mac Intel Dual Core processor Minimum 512MB RAM HD Video Playback: Windows OS, NVIDIA® GeForce 6600GT, ATI X1600 GPU with latest driver and minimum 1280x1024 monitor resolution To play a protected BD movie in HD through a digital DVI or HDMI interface: HDCP GPU + HDCP ready display and Windows OS
- Price: £364.99 including VAT
- Star rating:
Lacie’s d2 Blu-ray Professional BD-R, BD-RE Drive is an external optical drive that can burn data to Blu-ray discs, as well as single and dual-layer DVD and CD media. The drive connects to your Mac via FireWire 400 or USB 2.0, though we had some trouble using the USB 2.0 connection with the included Toast Titanium 9 software. (We also had issues with Toast Titanium 10.) The FireWire connection gave us no trouble.
Using the company’s stackable d2 case design, this external Blu-ray drive uses Pioneer’s BDR-203 mechanism and requires external power to operate. The drive can burn 25GB single-layer Blu-ray (BD-R) discs as well as 50GB BD-R DL discs at speeds up to 8X. Burning data to Blu-ray discs is supported by OS X’s disc burner utility, or through a third-party application like Roxio Toast.
You can burn high definition Blu-ray discs to watch on your home theatre component Blu-ray players by using the latest version of Apple’s Compressor, part of the Final Cut Studio, or with Toast Titanium after downloading and installing Roxio’s $20 High Def/Blu-ray authoring plug-in.
And while there is some Windows software that allows you to watch Blu-ray movies on your PC, these high definition discs are not viewable on your Mac. Aside from Blu-ray media, the drive can burn all flavours of DVD, +/-, RW, DL, as well as CDs and CD-R discs.
In our timed tests, the d2 Blu-ray Drive was a decent but comparatively slow performer, posting third-place finishes when compared to the results of four other recently tested external Blu-ray burners. LaCie isn’t the only company whose drives failed to complete burns with Toast over USB; other drives using the Pioneer BD-203 mechanism had problems as well.
Hopefully, the problem will get resolved soon. But until then, FireWire 400 worked just fine with Toast and USB worked just fine with OS X’s built-in disc burning utility and Compressor.