Pros / This is the only Blu-ray burner we reviewed that lets you compress Blu-ray movies onto smaller-capacity blank discs or DVDs.
Cons / You need a specific type of blank Blu-ray disc to compress your movies. Plus, it can take 10 hours or longer to complete the process.
Verdict / Blue-Cloner's flaws are minor, and it burns excellent-quality copies of your movies. If you plan to back up your Blu-ray collection, this is the program you want.
Editor’s Note: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) forbids circumventing copy encryptions contained on commercial discs. The DMCA makes no exceptions for circumventing these encryptions for personal use. Top Ten Reviews does not endorse piracy or any other illegal activity.
Of all the Blu-ray burning programs we reviewed, Blue-Cloner 6 was the only product to include nearly every tool and feature we look for in this category. Not only can it make exact copies of your Blu-ray movies, you can save them to your hard drive for archiving or future burning. Additionally, it's the only program we reviewed that lets you compress commercial Blu-rays to fit onto smaller-capacity blank discs and DVDs. We also found this program burns excellent-quality discs – whether they're compressed or not. For these reasons and more, Blue-Cloner 6 claims the top spot on our side-by-side comparison and earns the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
- Ease of Use
- Time to Complete Identical Blu-ray Copy
Blue-Cloner 6 is a unique Blu-ray burner in many ways. One the most obvious differences with this Blu-ray copy application versus others is its dual interface. The program offers both Express and Expert burning modules. Express mode is the easiest way to burn an identical or compressed copy of a Blu-ray movie. Once a disc (or disc image) is loaded into the interface, you start the burning process with just a few clicks. Express mode quickly walks you through the process step by step, thereby eliminating all the guesswork and getting your burn started in less than 10 seconds.
Expert mode is where you'll find the program's customization and compression tools. The compression options allow you to shrink a large Blu-ray movie to fit onto a smaller blank Blu-ray or DVD. There are several sizes of blank discs, ranging from 25GB to 100GB storage capacity. The more storage capacity a disc has, the more expensive it is. Most commercial Blu-ray movies are contained on 50-GB discs. The ability to compress a Blu-ray movie means you can make backup copies of your movies without having to pay for the more expensive blank discs. Blue-Cloner is the only burner program on our lineup with this ability.
However, the ability to compress Blu-rays comes with some trade-offs. Blue-Cloner 6 can only compress a movie to a specific kind of blank Blu-ray: BD-RE. These are not commonly found in retail stores. You'll most likely have to order them online. Additionally, it takes an exceptionally long time to burn a compressed Blu-ray. In our tests, it took 10 hours to complete the process. Since it takes up a lot of your computer's processing power, you’d be best served to run it overnight.
Compressing Blu-rays onto DVDs is a different story. We compressed our test Blu-ray movie to fit onto both a blank DVD-5 and DVD-9. It took two hours and 20 minutes to complete that process. This disparity is most likely due to the fact that the program only has to create a 9 or 5-GB standard definition video as opposed to a 25-GB high-definition one.
One of the most important features in any Blu-ray copy software is the program's ability to decrypt commercial discs. Nearly every Blu-ray movie you buy contains anti-piracy encryptions. Blue-Cloner 6 circumvents these protections so you can burn backup copies and archive the movies you've bought. Without this ability, you could not use this program with the vast majority of Blu-ray movies.
You also have the ability to save a Blu-ray’s disc image (ISO file) to your computer's hard drive. This is useful for several reasons; chief among them is that you can use it to burn new copies of your movie without needing the original source disc. You can also archive them on your hard drive.
Since Blu-ray files are so large, they'll fill up your computer’s storage capacity very quickly. If you want to back up your entire Blu-ray library, you may want to buy an external hard drive with several terabytes of storage. This may be an expensive option, but it's worth it to have access to the movies you've paid for in the event they get lost, broken or stolen.
We used each product in our lineup to burn new copies of several Blu-ray movies. Our video experts then inspected the results, searching for flaws in the video, audio, menu navigation and more. They found that when Blue-Cloner 6 burned an uncompressed copy of a Blu-ray, the new disc was nearly identical to the original. And while this is great, every other product on our side-by-side comparison chart achieved the same results.
The quality of the compressed movies was excellent. Compressing often causes quality degradation, but our video experts were only able to find extremely minor flaws. Of course, you lose a bit of a Blu-ray's crispness and clarity – especially on a DVD – but issues like compression artifact, pixelation and motion blur were all but absent. The flaws our experts found would most likely not be detected by an untrained eye.
One of the major reasons this Blu-ray burner topped our rankings is because it's the only program that has most of the customization tools we look for in this category. Expert Mode allows you to create a movie-only copy of your Blu-ray. This option strips away everything except the feature presentation. No menus, bonus content, alternate audio tracks – just the movie. This is a good option for users who don't want to copy those features. It's also a good way to eliminate the need to compress a movie to fit onto a smaller-capacity disc.
With Blue-Cloner 6, you can also split up a 50-GB Blu-ray disc to fit onto two, 25-GB blank discs, with the feature presentation on one disc and the special features on the other. This is convenient, because it can save you money and eliminates the need to wait through the lengthy compression process. Furthermore, you can make custom Blu-rays by selecting which Blu-ray tracks you want to burn onto a new disc. This is great for getting exactly what you want out of your burn – and Blue-Cloner 6 is the only program on our lineup with these abilities.
Help & Support
Open Cloner, the maker of Blue-Cloner, offers all but one of the technical and customer-support options we look for in the best Blu-ray burning software. If you have a question or issue, the first place you should look for a solution is the FAQs section found on Open Cloner's website. Nearly all common questions can be answered there.
You can also log into a dedicated chat room that connects you with a customer service representative almost immediately. If neither of those options work for you, you can always send them an email through their ticket system. You will probably never need to employ these services, but in the event of a problem, Open Cloner is more than happy to help.
Blue-Cloner 6 topped our review of the best Blu-ray burning programs. It's the only product that allows you to make more than identical copies of Blu-ray discs. Its compression and customization options are unmatched by the competition. You do have to tolerate a long wait time when compressing a movie to a blank Blu-ray disc. Other than that, the program's flaws are small and its benefits large. Whether you're backing up, archiving or burning new copies of your Blu-ray library – Blue-Cloner is simply the best you can buy.