Today, I finally got the LG GP96 drive delivered to me. It was ordered some 3 weeks ago but you know, Amazon’s shipping to US territories is the worst, taking weeks to ship them just to have them ship them with UPS 2-day Air service. So yeah, it was shipped on the 10th of August and I got it today, when the initial order was made on July 22nd. Nevertheless, today, I finally got it and I can say that the main purpose of this drive indeed works.
The LG GP96 (Marketed as the LG GP96Y drive) is a USB External Slim DVD writer marketed as having Android connectivity. This is the drive’s selling point, and you may wonder why I got it if I already have some other external drives, some of which I converted from internal to external. The main reason is exactly the Android connectivity.
Hitachi-LG is a joint venture and one of the few to still make optical drives. The other big player being Pioneer. ASUS drives are rebranded drives from either of these two and LiteOn no longer seem to be manufacturing newer models and instead focuses on selling OEM drives. Third-parties and strange-name companies that sell DVD drives are mostly using refurbished drives giving them another chance in the consumer world (Remember that drive that turned out to be a TEAC drive from 2005?).
It is true that the world is shifting toward streaming, but DVDs and Blu-Rays are still the best way to actually own a movie. LG seems to understand this and is where they present us with new drives. This one with Android connectivity allow us to actually watch movies on our phones. It also allows us to play audio CDs, rip them, and burn phone data directly to discs.
We need 2 apps to enjoy the most of this drives. They are UD Link and TrueDVD+. The former allow us to browse the disc, play and rip Audio CDs and burn data. The latter is the actual DVD player app that allow us to watch movies.
Having said the drive’s main features, we’ll now begin with the unboxing.
The drive package is solid and presents us with an image that’s kind of misleading since the drive is not wireless but does point out that it works with TVs, Amazon’s Fire TV and Android Phones and Tablets. It also works with a computer as a regular drive would.
The back of it gives us the easy steps on how the drive is used:
Content-wise, it comes with the drive, A CyberLink Media Suite 10 installation disc, 2 USB cables and the user manual:
The drive is of the slim form factor style. The only logo in it is their Super Multi drive logo:
The back of it just has a Micro USB port:
Underneath it, we have the drive info. The actual model number is GP96YB70 with an SVC code of YB70:
The cables included are a USB-A to Micro-USB and a USB-C to Micro-USB cable:
The software and documentation includes the CyberLink Media Suite 10 installation disc as well as the usual instruction manual and warranty information:
The user manual is very good at explaining what’s needed to use it with Android devices:
Here’s a look at the drive’s optical mechanism:
The laser optic is really not that different from other LG drives.
In order to play back a disc, you need the TrueDVD+ app from the Google Play Store and of course, a movie disc:
Upon launching the app, we are requested to give it permission to access the optical drive:
Because this is the first time using the drive, we need to select a region that matches the disc’s intended playback region. The app only allow us to select the Region 1 option as this disc is sold in the United States:
Once it is set, we can just sit back, relax and enjoy our movie. The app is touch-friendly and it is very easy to navigate around the disc menu:
I think this drive caches the playing title. While it was playing back the trailers before the menu, it read but after a while it stopped reading, yet the trailers kept playing. This may be a strategy in order to save battery. Optical drives are power hungry indeed.
My next test will be to watch movies with it. That’s the purpose of why I got this drive, and finally means I can watch those Redbox movies on the phone with this drive.
You can get this drive on Amazon at the following link: