In our world, Lite-On is known usually as the maker of Plextor-branded SSDs, but Philips & Lite-On Digital Solutions Corp. (PLDS), a joint venture between Philips Electronics N.V. and Lite-On Technology Corp., is one of the world’s largest makers of optical disc drives that produces rather unique products. At Computex, PLDS demonstrated its upcoming EB1 external ODD that supports Ultra HD Blu-ray playback.

The Lite-On EB1 UltraSlim Portable BD Writer can playback and burn all contemporary types of optical discs, including CDs, DVDs, and BDs.  In addition, the product has everything that is required to playback Ultra HD Blu-rays, making it the word’s second UHD BD-capable external ODD after Pioneer’s BDR-XD06J-UHD. The key advantage of the EB1 over its rival is dimensions: the drive promises to be considerably slimmer and lighter, thus matching ultra-thin laptops.

The EB1 from Lite-On requires a USB 3.0 connection, so the company is debating whether it needs to sell it with a USB Type-A or a USB Type-C cable. Meanwhile, since the product is still in development, Lite-On does not disclose all of its specs just yet, but typically external ODDs burn discs rather fast these days, so it is reasonable to expect up to 6X speed for SL and DL BD-R media. Obviously, the EB1 ODD will support Lite-On’s buffer underrun protection and other modern technologies that PLDS has.

Keep in mind that to playback an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc on a PC, in addition to an appropriate ODD your computer must feature an Intel processor supporting SGX technology (activated in BIOS) and the UHD 630 iGPU, an HDMI 2.0a output with HDCP 2.2, Windows 10 OS and CyberLink’s PowerDVD 17 software (read more here and here).

The price of the Lite-On EB1 has not been finalized, but the company is looking at a $80 – $100 range, making it cheaper than the Pioneer drives mentioned earlier. As for availability timeframe, expect it to hit the market early next year.

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  • rocky12345 - Monday, June 25, 2018 - link

    I would buy it if it comes in at that price and would work would USB 3.0 since 97% of the systems sold in the last 5 years have USB 3.0.
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Not sure what you are talking about: "The EB1 from Lite-On requires a USB 3.0 connection...."
  • lmcd - Monday, June 25, 2018 - link

    Restrictions on playing UHD disks on PC are so disgusting. I forget not to click on these things until it's too late and I'm reminded of this infuriating situation again.
  • id4andrei - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Can't you work around those restrictions with handbrake and the like(mkv and whatnot)?
  • dontlistentome - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Yet again piracy is the best choice because of these hoops and restrictions.

    UHD BD is not cracked, but there are workarounds to decrypt discs now.
  • GreenReaper - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    The irony is that SGX is exploitable via Spectre - so all that work is likely to be for nothing the moment someone gets bothered enough by the restrictions to code up a workaround:
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Streaming solves that problem. Yeah, there's a loss of quality, but physical media purchases aren't worth the effort these days.
  • Golgatha777 - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Physical media is fine. What's not worth it these days is trying to get a PC to playback UHD BD or even BD for that matter. The hardware requirements are extremely steep for one, and even if you happen to have the hardware required anyway, the software required is more expensive than a standalone playback unit. Other issues include lack of Dolby Vision or Atmos (or at least poorly supported for Atmos) support on the PC. Not to mention sometimes buggy software, not being able to rip UHD BD currently, commercial software being required to support Cinavia and actively looking for virtual drives, etc. etc. etc....too many damn hoops to jump through.
  • 1prophet - Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - link

    Yet they constantly promote features in newer TVs like deeper blacks, high dynamic range, 4k resolution and soon 8k, etc., etc, something that only physical media can provide for most people, but we are supposed to settle for the mediocrity of streaming.
  • Tams80 - Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - link

    So the sh*tshow that is Blu-ray continues. I understand the reasons behind regions, but frankly as a consumer I don't want there to be different regions at all.

    Not that, that is the main point here. Blu-rays on PCs are just,,, urrrrghhhh. Just let me use the damn thing that I've already bought!

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