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.
As the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner, Leawo Blu-ray Copy is one of the best Blu-ray burning software programs on the market today. It allows you to burn new copies of your favorite Blu-ray movies with ease. You can use it to create virtual Blu-ray discs on your computer's hard drive, which you can then use to burn new copies without the original disc. It also allows you to burn Blu-rays that are protected by anti-piracy encryptions. But it's missing some compression and customization features that kept it out of the top spot on our side-by-side comparison.
Before any Blu-ray burning program can create a new disc, it must first bypass the encryption algorithms found on almost every commercial movie. These encryptions are meant as a bulwark against illegal piracy. Leawo Blu-ray’s decryption abilities allow you to circumvent these protections so you can burn new copies of the Blu-rays you've bought.
When we rated and ranked the best Blu-ray burning software, we evaluated each program's interface and workflow. We found that anyone, regardless of their computer skill level, should be able to use this Blu-ray burner program with little to no problems. All you have to do to start the burning process is load the disc you want to burn into the program, hit the Copy button located above the preview window. This starts a disc-to-disc burn which can take several hours depending on your computer's processing power, the Blu-ray burner and the size of the files you're burning. This lengthy processing time is normal among the best Blu-ray burner programs we reviewed.
We don't recommend using the disc-to-disc burning option if you plan to make more than one new copy of a Blu-ray disc. A better option is to use the program to extract a disc's image (ISO file) onto your computer's hard drive. Once there, you can load it into the program and burn a new copy without needing the original source disc. This method can save you hours of waiting time versus if you did individual disc-to-disc burns of the same movie. In our tests, it took this burner software 43 minutes to burn a new copy of a Blu-ray disc from an extracted ISO file. This also was typical of the products in our review.
Extracting an ISO file has additional benefits other than speed. If you have a Blu-ray's ISO file on your computer, you can use it the same as a physical disc on your computer's Blu-ray player application. It's also a great tool for archiving both your Blu-ray and DVD collections. But since Blu-ray files are so large, they'll fill up your computer's storage quickly. You may want to buy an external hard drive with terabytes of storage space if you want to back up your entire digital media collection.
We tested this software by burning copies of several Blu-ray movies. When our video experts examined the results, they found the new copies to be identical to the source disc. There were no flaws in the picture and no hiccups in the menu, navigation or any other aspect of the Blu-ray disc. This means that you can expect a perfect copy of any Blu-ray movie you own.
Blank Blu-ray discs come in three sizes: 25GB, 50GB and 100GB. Most full-length movies come on 50-GB discs. Unfortunately, 50-GB and 100-GB blank discs are quite expensive. When burning your Blu-ray movies, don't buy the most inexpensive blank discs you can find – make sure they have enough storage capacity to hold a full Blu-ray movie.
Unfortunately, this program cannot compress a large Blu-ray movie to fit onto smaller-capacity, less-expensive blanks. The Blu-ray burner that ranked first on our side-by-side comparison chart has this ability, and it lets you compress your movies to fit onto a Blu-ray disc. The omission of these tools is one of the chief reasons Leawo Blu-ray Copy fell short of the top spot in our review.
Another area where this program comes up short is in its customization tools. Beyond making identical copies of discs, this application can burn a movie-only copy of a Blu-ray. This option strips away everything except the feature presentation on a disc. This means you lose menus, bonus features, additional audio tracks and subtitles. This is useful if you want to burn or archive a movie without the superfluous content found on most commercial Blu-ray discs.
Next to the Movie Only button in the software's interface is an option labeled Custom. This option lets you pick and choose which Blu-ray tracks you want to burn onto a new disc. However, it's greyed-out if you have a Blu-ray disc or ISO file loaded into the software. If you have a DVD loaded to copy, though, this tool becomes functional. We would like to see custom option expanded to Blu-rays in future iterations of this burner application.
Of all the Blu-ray burner programs we reviewed, only Leawo Blu-ray Copy has every technical and customer-support option we look for in this category. If you have an issue, you can refer to the FAQs section on the company's official web page, submit an email help ticket, or even log into their chat room to consult with a customer service representative immediately. Leawo also answers questions and messages sent to them on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
There's a lot to like about Leawo Blu-ray Copy. It allows you to make exact copies of your favorite Blu-ray movies. It can bypass the anti-piracy encryptions on commercial discs, and it allows you extract disc images for both burning and archiving purposes. If it had improved customization tools or compression options, this Blu-ray burner software would give the top-ranked product a serious run for its money.