The Lite-On 4X SATA Blu-ray optical drive is your basic Blu-ray player and common DVD/CD optical drive that plays Blu-ray, DVD and CD discs and comes with the OEM edition of Cyberlink’s PowerDVD 8 multimedia player.
Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 20/25
How much I enjoy 24/25
Lite-On is one of the largest optical drive manufacturers and they have some great and low cost drives including your newer Blu-ray player and reader/writer drives. The Lite-On iHOS104 SATA drive can be purchased at several online sites like Newegg and Amazon as well as brick and mortar stores like Office Depot.
The Lite-On iHOS104 costs about $55 and plays Blu-ray discs, DVD’s and CD’s of a wide variety of types including just about all the common disc types you would use for everyday computing. The drive performs at 4X for Blu-ray playback, 8X for DVD’s and up to 32X for CD’s but actual playback speed will vary depending on your system and the disc.
The Lite-On iHOS104 comes with the drive itself that has the SATA power and data connections, a silver and black front bezel, four mounting screws, user manual, SATA cable, disc tray removal tool and the Cyberlink PowerDVD 8 OEM software disc. Installation should all be automatic as drivers for optical drives should be a part of your system or download automatically from Microsoft’s update service.
The disc removal tool is a simple bent piece of wire that is handy when you need to open a drive when there is no power to the computer. To remove a disc when no power is to the drive just push the wire into the small hole on the front and the drives optical disc tray will be pushed open.
Using the drive is simple for general computer use but to play that magical Blu-ray disc and movies you will need some other software that does not automatically install when you put the drive into your system. The iHOS104 does come with a software package from Cyberlink that plays CD’s, DVD’s and Blu-ray movies and other multimedia types like music and videos.
The Cyberlink PowerDVD version 8 is an OEM edition which means it contains all the functionality of the higher end edition but without the surround sound audio ability. I have reviewed edition 6 and 9 of the full Cyberlink PowerDVD suites and really like the software package as a great multimedia player.
The retail or full version allows you to play full surround sound for your system but the OEM version only has stereo capabilities so if you have a surround sound system you may need to upgrade your PowerDVD. If you’re buying the iHOS104 as a Blu-ray player the software you get is good but not as good as paying a little more will give you.
I have tested several Blu-ray player software packages and Cyberlink’s suites are the best I have used from the several I have tried. The OEM version is exactly like the better editions just without the full surround sound support so if you try the suite included and like it the upgrade editions are the same just with full surround sound.
The iHOS104-08 drive I received has the most up to date firmware version installed but you can update to a new firmware version easily using a Microsoft program called SmartPack Utility. I have not had any problems with the Lite-On drive but currently the most problems you will have with playing Blu-ray movies stems from the DRM protection the discs have.
When playing movies, especially new ones directly after their release date you will often need to update the player to have the newest DRM protections enabled to play the movie. One way to remove these annoying protections and not have to worry about them at all is a program called AnyDVD from SlySoft.
The program removes the copy protection and other protections from optical discs so you don’t have any problems playing or copying Blu-ray, DVD and CD discs. While the purchase price of the drive is low adding a couple of programs does amount to little more and should be taken into consideration when planning a Blu-ray upgrade.
Even with a little more for the protection removal program the convenience of watching Blu-rays from your computer makes up for it. If you continually have problems playing Blu-ray movies and not being able to run the movies even after updating the program I would suggest buying AnyDVD.
I have been using the Lite-On 4X Blu-ray drive for several weeks watching Blu-ray movies along with the occasional DVD movies and listening to some music CD’s. The drive handles all the various discs I throw at it equally well and as fast as expected according to the specifications.
I did some basic testing to check speeds of reading and writing and the drive does come close to the listed speeds with an average of 2.94X read speed for Blu-ray. The CD speed I was getting is 19.37X and for DVD I was getting 6.09X, all speeds are average read speeds and I used Nero DiscSpeed 5 for my tests.
I compare these speeds to my Plextor Drive which costs about $100 and is double the speed for both rated speeds and the tested speeds I received. The Lite-On Blu-ray drive tested just fine and worked well for my system without any problems at all for using on a daily basis both reading all types and writing DVD and CD discs.
I have used this drive for a couple of months and have not had any problems at all playing movies and all the other uses like program installation, DVD and CD playing and recording for backups. The Lite-On drive works very well and is about the lowest cost Blu-ray optical drive you’re going to find for playing Blu-ray movies on your PC.
I do have the AnyDVD program installed and every once in a while I have had to update the Cyberlink program for new Blu-ray movies but even for movies I get before the release date I can play them all. The Lite-On iHOS104 Blu-ray optical drive works very well for an inexpensive Blu-ray drive for your computer, it works well and comes with the multimedia program for playing your Blu-ray films.
I highly recommend the Lite-On iHOS104 optical drive for an inexpensive Blu-ray drive for your system that comes with the program for playing those Blu-ray movies.