Before we list the best 4K UHD drives, the most important question to answer is ‘what is Ultra HD?’ Basically, Ultra HD or UHD is the successor of Full HD, and it is the official name for the display resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 or 2160p (quadruple of its predecessor). Although you can find UHD content digitally, the best way to enjoy it is from 4K UHD Blu-ray Discs. You will need a device with a UHD optical drive, such as UHD Blu-ray players, the newest generation game consoles, or your computer’s Ultra HD Blu-ray drive.

What is UHD Drive?

Quite simply, a UHD Drive is an optical or external Blu-ray drive that can read BDXL media. UHD drives are normally labeled ‘Ultra HD Blu-ray’ or something similar. There are two types of UHD drives, that is the ‘friendly’ and ‘unfriendly' 4K UHD drives. The ‘friendly’ drives can read regular BDXL media without implementing AACS2 protection, while the ‘unfriendly’ drives implement the AACS2 protection. What that means is the ‘unfriendly’ drives may not grant you permission to copy or backup, and in some instances even to watch the UHD content. How to tell if the drive is 4K friendly? If it has a regular AACS1 host certificate, then the UHD is 4K UHD friendly. If the 4K UHD drive is not friendly, refer to the third segment of this guide to learn how to make it friendly.


List of the Best UHD Drives

These are the best optical drives and external optical drives that support 4K UHD Blu-ray Discs:

10 Best UHD Drives

  • 1. LG WH16NS60. Internal optical drive, UHD official drive
  • 2. LG BU30N. Internal slim optical drive, UHD friendly
  • 3. LG BE16NU50. External optical drive, UHD friendly
  • 4. ASUS BC-12D2HT. Internal, UHD friendly
  • 5. ASUS BW-16D1HT. Internal, UHD friendly
  • 6. ASUS BW-16D1H-U A201. External USB optical drive, UHD friendly
  • 7. Buffalo BRUHD-PU3. External USB optical drive
  • 8. LG BH16NS55. Internal optical drive, UHD official drive
  • 9. LG WH16NS40. Internal optical drive, UHD official drive
  • 10. HP HLDS BU40N/P. Internal optical drive

Related Content 1: How to Downgrade UHD-unfriendly Firmware for 4K UHD Blu-ray Ripping, Copying, or Playing

Downgrading your UHD Blu-ray drive can be easily done in a few easy steps by using Leawo UHD Drive Tool. This is a superb, yet flexible UHD drive tool that allows you to read, rip, or burn the discs without any restriction. Here are the features of this software:

  • Leawo UHD Drive Tool
  • Leawo UHD Drive Tool

    It supports a wide range of 4K UHD drives.
    It enables you to downgrade UHD-unfriendly Firmware on Blu-ray drive to a compatible version for 4K UHD Blu-ray ripping, copying, or playing via certain programs.
    It has an intuitive interface
    It can provide you with detailed information about your UHD Bu-ray drive, as well as a helpful log when you use the software.
    It supports Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

You can read more about this software from the product page. To downgrade your 4K UHD optical drive firmware by using this software, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Select the UHD drive from the available list

Ensure that the UHD drive is connected to your computer, then start Leawo UHD Drive Tool. Select the optical drive by clicking the downward triangle icon.


Step 2: Choose a target firmware

Pick out a firmware version from the drop-down box by clicking the Downgrade Firmware button. Read the warning prompt carefully and click continue.


Step 3: Downgrade the firmware

When you click continue, the firmware should begin downgrading.


Step 4: Restart the computer after refreshing the firmware

When the downgrading process is finished, restart your computer so that your UHD drive runs smoothly and flawlessly.


Related Content 2: Solution to Rip 4K UHD Blu-ray

The best solution to ripping your 4K UHD Blu-rays from your UHD optical drive is Leawo Blu-ray Ripper. Why Leawo Blu-ray Ripper? The reasons are as follow:

  • Leawo Blu-ray Ripper
  • Leawo Blu-ray Ripper

    ☉ Decrypt and rip Blu-ray/DVD discs with disc protection and region code
    ☉ Convert Blu-ray/DVD to MP4, MKV, AVI, MOV, FLV, and other 180+ HD/SD formats
    ☉ Convert Blu-ray/DVD main movie to videos for space saving
    ☉ Convert 2D Blu-ray/DVD movies to 3D movies with 6 different 3D effects
    ☉ Fast conversion with NVIDIA CUDA, AMD APP and Intel Quick Sync acceleration technologies

Below are the specific steps you can follow for using this software:

Step 1: Load the Blu-ray Disc

Insert the Blu-ray Disc into the drive (both copy-protected and non-protected are supported), and then launch Leawo Prof. Media. Open the "Blu-ray/DVD Ripper" module and then click the "Add Blu-ray/DVD" button on the main interface.


Step 2: Select the output format

Click the drop-down list next to the “Add Photo” button. Select “Change” to enter the Profile settings panel where you can choose the output format from the “Format” or “Device” group.


Note: You can click the same drop-down list and click the "Edit" button to adjust the video and audio parameters of the output files. They include video and audio codec, bit rate, aspect ratio, frame rate, channel, etc.


Step 3: Start ripping your Blu-ray Discs

Click the green “Convert” button and then set the output directory to save the final converted Blu-ray movies in the “Save to” box. Click the button again and the ripping should start. The ripped videos will be saved onto your hard drive in the format you chose.


Related Content 3: Solution to Back up 4K UHD Blu-ray

Whether you are using an internal or external optical drive that supports UHD Blu-rays, you can always backup the content to your hard drive. For that, you can try Leawo Blu-ray Copy. Why choose this software? These are the reasons:

  • Leawo Blu-ray Copy
  • Leawo Blu-ray Copy

    1:1 Blu-ray & DVD Backup
    Copy Blu-ray/DVD in 3 different copy modes
    Burn ISO image to Blu-ray/DVD disc with ease
    Retain subtitles and audio tracks at will
    Remove disc protection such as AACS, BD+, MKB, CSS and region restriction
    Support Backup of BD100, BD66, BD50, BD25, DVD-9 and DVD-5
    Compress BD 50 to BD 25
    Easy to use interface for both novices and veteran

To backup your 4K UHD Blu-ray Discs, please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Load the original 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc

Launch the application, then insert the Blu-ray Disc into your computer’s disc drive. Once you have inserted the Blu-ray Disc, click “Add Blu-ray/DVD” to load it.


Step 2: Customize the relevant copying settings

You can select the disc type, copy mode (Full Movie, Main Movie and Custom Mode) and you can also select the subtitle and audio tracks based on your preferences.


Step 3: Start the Blu-ray Disc backup

After you have set all the parameters, proceed to click the green “Copy” button on the top-right corner.


Please Note: You should confirm the “Copy to”, “Disc Label” and “Save to” options. Once all of them have been selected, click the “Copy” button to start backing up the Blu-ray Disc content.

Related Content 4: Superb 4K HD Blu-ray Player for PC

Whether you have UHD content stored on your computer, or if you have UHD discs, you are going to need a software that can smoothly handle Ultra HD content. You can try Leawo Free Blu-ray Player, which has the following features and advantages:

When you download and install this software on your computer, follow the steps below for using it.

  • Blu-ray-player

    Step 1: Load the source files to the media player. Before browsing and loading the source video files, make sure you have installed this lightweight media player on your PC. Then click Open File from the home interface to load the source media files to the player.

  • playback-setting

    Step 2: Set the playback options. There will be a bunch of custom features for you to use, including subtitles, audio output, snapshot, DVD Blu-ray and so on. Click the settings button to enter the window for these features.

  • play-the-movie

    Step 3: Enjoy the media files playback. Click the start button to play the movie. You will be able to watch the most cinema-like movie streaming at home theater.