LG GSA-H55N (IDE) review

£16
Price when reviewed

Blu-ray writers have been available for over a year now, but when we looked at them in issue 146 even the cheapest cost a stratospheric £407. Today, prices have plummeted, and an ever-expanding range of high-definition movies makes Blu-ray an increasingly attractive option.

LG GSA-H55N (IDE) review

The LG GSA-H55N uses the older IDE interface, rather than SATA as employed by all the other drives here, but this doesn’t hinder its performance. Single-layer DVD-Rs were dispatched in just over four-and-a-half minutes, and even dual-layer discs took little over 13 minutes. Considering the £16 asking price, we were impressed to find a copy of Nero Express included in the package, along with a basic DVD authoring package and CyberLink’s PowerDVD.

Conclusion

If you want to make cheap, fast data backups, DVD is still the format to beat. With even the cheapest write-once Blu-ray discs working out at around 45p a gigabyte, Blu-ray has a long way to go before it becomes a viable medium for anything other than HD video authoring.

If you’re building a media-centre PC or fancy watching HD movies on your TFT, however, LG’s GGW-H20L brings HD DVD and Blu-ray playback into the realms of affordability.

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