What’s The Best External 4K Blu-Ray Drive?

So you have some 4K Blu Ray discs lying around but both your PC and laptop don’t have CD drives. Let’s face it, CD ports are becoming obsolete, and most new laptops don’t even have the drives any more.

What can you do with your 4K Blu-ray discs? Well, I was wondering the same thing and found some ideas that might work for you. If you have Blu-Ray discs but no way to play them, what you can do is buy an external 4K Blu-ray drive. These work much the same as any CD drive except they’re plugged into your computer via a USB cable, instead of built-in.

There are lots of uses for external 4K Blu-ray drives, some of which we’ll discuss later on. You’re probably wondering what is the best external 4K blu-ray drive, and there’s one that really stood out from the rest.

Best External 4K Blu-Ray Drive:

In my opinion, the Archgon Star UHD External 4K BD Player is the best external 4K Blu-ray drive because it’s budget-friendly, plug & play, lightweight, universally compatible, and it can burn Blu-ray discs. I’ll be taking a closer look at the features below.

Supported Formats:

The Archgon Star UHD External 4K BD player supports practically all types of disks, from DVDs to Blu-rays. It can even run classic music-only discs that you probably have stored in the dashboard of your car.

Besides the old CD formats, it also supports Ultra-HD 4K Blu-ray discs. In short, you can use this external 4K BD player with pretty much any type of CDs.

Read & Write

This drive can read and write most DVD formats, including CDs and Blu-rays. However, it cannot write 4K UHD Blu-ray films, it can only read them. So if you bought some 4K UHD Blu-ray movies but you don’t have a way to watch them, now you do.

You can also write Blu-rays, however not in 4K UHD. And you can download Blu-ray movies online and then burn them to a Blu-ray using this drive.

Burn & Play 3D Movies

Another great feature of this portable external 4K BD player is you can burn and play 3D movies. If you have a 3D capable TV and it’s connected to a 3D Blu-ray drive, you can try making 3D Blu-rays on your computer with this drive, and playing them on the TV.

Burning 3D movies is quite tricky to figure out. You not only need the right software, but also hardware. Not to mention the 3D glasses. But if you have a large TV, it can be a cool experience and worth a shot.

Is a 4K Portable BD Player Compatible with Mac?

The Archgon Star UHD External BD player is compatible with Windows 10 and Mac. Windows has more options in terms of software. Mac is quite limited when it comes to software for viewing 4K UHD movies.

What’s The Best Windows Program to Watch UHD Blu-Rays?

There are lots of options, but Cyberlink PowerDVD seems to be the best option to watch UHD Blu-rays on Windows 10. You can also try using VLC, an open-source free media player.

Reasons to Buy an External 4K Blu-Ray Drive:

Besides the reasons mentioned earlier (having discs but no way to play them) there are a few more reasons to use an external 4K Blu-ray drive:

1 – Backup Media to Discs

Blu-ray discs are capable of holding about 100 GB of storage (three-layer BDs, two-layers max out around 50 GBs). Granted, a flash drive can be used to backup media too, but discs can be handy because you can store them easily in disc holders. And you can easily slide them into a console or Blu-Ray player to view the media.

If you have files and other data like home movies that you want to save, consider using one of these 4K burners to burn the files onto a Blu-ray disc. The main reason people buy these external Blu-ray drives is to back up Blu-ray discs. Of course, if you’re planning to burn Blu-rays, you’ll need the right software.

2. Take Advantage of Your 4K Monitor or TV

Nowadays, 4K monitors and TVs are advertised nearly everywhere, but there’s actually not that much 4K content out there. Even if you have a laptop that doesn’t have a 4K screen (most are 1080P) it can probably output 4K via the HDMI port.

So what you could do is plug the laptop into your 4K-ready TV, connect the external Blu-ray player to one of the laptop’s USB ports, insert a disc, and hit play. You should be able to view the media on your 4K TV in all of its glory!

The same goes for video footage shot in 4K. If you don’t have a 4K laptop or monitor, but you do have a 4K TV, what you can do is burn the footage to a Blu-ray, and then play it on your 4K TV. It should look much better than on your 1080P monitor.

Note: While most laptops can output 4K, some older models, particularly ones with no dedicated graphics card, might struggle to run 4K movies without stutters. If you run into performance issues, you could always try lowering the resolution a little bit.

3. Rip Movies

While a legal grey-area, some people use these devices to rip Blu-ray movies and save them as digital files. But you will probably be breaking some copyright and licensing laws. Some discs have different levels of protection too.

I imagine a gamer or possibly anyone else that just got a 4k monitor connected to their laptop or desktop, and want to take advantage of that and play 4K movies.

Conclusion:

An external 4K Blu-ray player can be very useful, especially now since CDs drives are not as common as they once were. You can use it for all kinds of purposes: like installing Windows 10 via a disc, or other old software that comes with a disc. You don’t have to use it specifically for Blu-ray discs, although that’s the main purpose. So if you have a lot of CDs, I highly recommend an external 4K Blu ray player.

 

Blu Ray Dvds” (CC BY 2.0) by Sean MacEntee

About S. Santos

Tech columnist and tech blogger, audiovisual aficionado trying to keep up with the ever-evolving world of gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology. If not fiddling with AV cables at home or in front of the computer, he can be found playing tennis or padel.

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