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IFA 2006 :: Blu-ray external drive proves Toshiba wrong

by Nick Haywood on 6 September 2006, 18:22

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We try out a Blu-ray drive to test Toshiba's claims

IFA 2006 Now we’re always on the look-out to verify a story or fact we’ve been told. So of course, as soon as Toshiba told us that Blu-ray drives were susceptible to the lens making contact with the disc and the disc’s Zircon layer damaging the lens, we were keen to get hold of  a Blu-ray drive and see if this is true.

So we found ourselves over on the New Universe stand where they were showing off an external burner at the heart of which is a Panasonic Blu-ray drive. Once we explained our thoughts on the whole lens/disc crash thing, New Universe were actually more than happy to let us try it out.

With the drive loaded up with a Blu-ray re-writable disc and with Nero 7 throwing a whole load of data at it, we picked up the drive, turned it over, held it upright, held it at 45 degrees from the horiziontal and then placed it back down and guess what happened?

Click for larger image


Absolutely nothing. No grinding of glass… no sound of several hundred pounds of new technology tearing itself to bits… nothing. Just the whir of a drive busily writing away.

We even accidentally subjected the drive to a shock test - it had been stuck to the table with Velcro pads, so wrenching it off the pads meant it came away with a fairly violent jerk but still the drive kept on spinning.

After the test, we popped the disc out of the drive and there wasn’t a mark on it, not that you’d expect to see any if the hardened layer is only slightly less tough than diamond… but the drive was reading quite happily too, showing there was no damage to the lens either.

So what can we conclude from this little impromptu experiment? Well, for a start it shows that Blu-ray drives are just as robust as any other drive out there… and it also shows that companies backing a competing technology should always have their claims checked out.


HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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Good to see you are doing your duty to validate the claims of the industry Nick :)
You should reread the interview with the toshiba engineer.
He said a warped disc may come into contact with the laser due to the closeness of the lens to the disc. There was nothing said about bumping or manhandling the player to cause the disc to contact the lens.
True, but the disc and drive were busy burning a movie in Nero 7. I can't think of anytime when the disc will be hotter than when it's being written to.

But what Toshiba implied was that a disc warping downwards would be closer to the lens, so with a warped disc, surely giving it a rattle would prove whether this was an issue or not?