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Features To Find In a DVD-ROM Drive 

A DVD-ROM drive from Hitachi can be added to your computer to play back DVDs and large-capacity data discs. Multiple points should be analyzed as you look at this device for your computer so you will get more out your entertainment or storage needs.

What are the Interface Specifications? 

The interface that allows your drive to link to your computer is the first point to look at. You may require an IDE connection. The Integrated Drive Electronics interface provides you with power and interface cables to allow the DVD-ROM drive to link up to your computer. A slimmer interface may be required if you plan on getting your drive added into a laptop.

What Discs Can Be Read?

  • An optical light source will work on your DVD drive to read discs correctly. Your drive should be capable of reading DVDs and DVD-Rs or DVD-RW discs. 
  • Traditional compact discs and CD-Rs should be read as well. These include both data and audio-based discs. Older PhotoCDs or CDi discs may also be read on your DVD-ROM system.
  • Some DVD-ROM drives can support Blu-ray or 4K discs but you would have to check on the specifics of your hardware to see what it can support.

What Is the Read Speed?

Be aware of the read speed on your drive.

  • The speed is measured based on how fast the drive is versus the original standard of 1.385 MB per second. For instance, an 8x Hitachi drive will read about 11 MB per second, thus improving upon how the drive can read data.
  • The read speed for audio or media CDs would be slower on your DVD-ROM layout. A drive could read CDs at a speed of 40x or 6 MB per second. This is offset by how the CD contains less data.

What About Other Features?

Be aware of some additional features for getting the most out of your DVD-ROM unit:

  • Operating system support. Your setup might be capable of running on Windows computers but some drives are made specifically with Mac OS units in mind.
  • Added interfaces. You may find an audio or headphone outlet on your set.
  • Media load layout. Most Hitachi units come with basic tray-based load features. Others may come with bodies where you insert the disc into the space without any trays popping out. For laptop use, a DVD-ROM set may include a small circle in the middle that you can lock your disc into.
  • Footprint. Be aware of the footprint over how well the setup fits into your computer. An average unit might weigh at least a pound although that weight would be lighter on a laptop computer.