by Neama Esmaili

Lite-On IHBS112 Blu-ray Drive Review

When building a media PC, selecting the proper optical drive is crucial. To that end we've been working with LiteOn's newest high definition optical drive, the Blu-ray capable IHBS112. This drive has the ability to read and write Blu-ray discs as well as your typical DVD and CD media. This model is currently listed as one of the fastest available Blu-ray writers on the market with a maximum Blu-ray write speed of up to 12X. It also allows for high-definition 3D playback, making it a potentially nice addition for those looking to upgrade their desktops to Blu-ray.

Lite-On IHBS112

Lite-On IHBS112 back

 

Lite-On IHBS112 Specs

  • Performance (BD) Maximum Speed 
  • Read
    BD-ROM/R/RE SL 8X maximum by CAV
    BD-ROM/R DL 8X maximum by CAV
    BD-RE DL 6X maximum by CAV
  • Write
    BD-R SL 12X maximum by CAV
    BD-R DL 8X maximum by Z-CLV
  • ReWrite
    BD-RE SL/DL 2X maximum by CLV
  • Rand. access time
    BD SL 250ms
    BD DL 380ms
  • (DVD) Maximum Speed
  • Write
    DVD+/-R 16X maximum by CAV
    DVD+/-R DL 8X maximum by Zone CLV
    DVD-RAM 12X maximum by PCAV
  • ReWrite
    DVD+RW 8X by Z-CLV
    DVD-RW 6X by CLV
  • Read
    16X maximum by CAV
  • Rand. access time
    DVD ROM 150ms
    DVD R DL 160ms
    DVD RAM 200ms
  • (CD) Maximum Speed
  • Write
    CD-R 48X by CAV
  • ReWrite
    CD-RW 24X maximum by Z-CLV
  • Read
    48X maximum by CAV
  • Rand. Access Time
    150ms
  • Buffer Size 8MB
  • Operating 5℃ to 50℃; Relative Humidity: 15% to 80%
  • Non-Operating -40℃ to 65℃; Relative Humidity: 15% to 95%
  • MTBF: 60,000 POH

Lite-On IHBS112 top

In order to test the read/write speeds of this drive, I used Nero DiscSpeed 5, a free download available from Nero's website. I used a range of media including Blu-ray, CD and DVD. Keep in mind that read/write speeds can vary depending on the maximum limits of the type of disc used.

Using a BD-R disc (Blu-ray recordable) with a maximum write speed of 4x, the drive was only able to reach a maximum of 2x:

Read speeds for this disc reached a average of 6x, capping out near 8x:

Here are the read/write speeds using a BD-RE disc (Blu-ray rewriteable) with a maximum speed of 2x. The write speed reached a maximum of 1x, less then the potential of the disc.

Read speed for this disc reached the maximum of 8x, averaging 6x:

Here are read/write speeds using a DVD-R, with a maximum write speed of 16x. Write speeds did indeed reach maximum and averaged about 12x:

Read speeds reached the advertised maximum of 16x, with an average of 12x:

Here are test results using DVD+RW media, with a maximum write speed of 2.4x. Write speeds were consistently at maximum:

 

Read speed maximum was 12x, less then advertised maximum. The average read speed was 9x:

 

Finally, here are the read/write speeds using a CD-R disc, with a maximum write speed of 48x. Maximum write speed was 32x, well short of the maximum. The average write speed was 25x:

Read speed maximum reached the advertised 48x, with an average speed of 37x:

Overall, the read/write speeds of some the media tested was somewhat lower than the spec sheet calls for, but this isn't entirely unexpected as there are many variables, most specifically the media. 

As mentioned earlier, this model allows for playback of Blu-ray media. One of the unique features of this drive is that it is 3D capable. It comes with Cyberlink's PowerDVD software which allows for 3D playback. The software also has the ability to convert 2D content into 3D (with mixed results), including DVD movies. It is also capable of upconverting standard definition into high definition.

In terms of Blu-ray playback quality, this is subjective, but I did watch a few movies on the unit and picture quality looked sharp with minimal artifact. The movie loaded quickly as well, much faster than my Playstation 3. Standard DVD movies looked only marginally sharper when I tested a few movies on this drive.

Conclusion

Overall, the Lite-On IHSB112 is a capable Blu-ray player/writer with multi-disc support. From a performance standpoint, there appears to be some variability in read/write speeds, testing somewhat slower than advertised. Certainly the brand and type of media used can make a difference, but overall I would have liked to have seen faster speeds.

As a multimedia drive, the drive does well. Movies looked good with few artifacts. It's also 3D capable, which hopefully comes in handy in the future as 3D material becomes more popular.

With an MSRP of about $180 (you can find it on the internet in the $130-150 range), the IHSB112 is an intriguing well-priced option for those wanting to add Blu-ray playback and writing to their machines.

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