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.
Express Burn by NCH software is more than just Blu-ray copy software: It's an all-inclusive authoring toolbox with features that allow you to create all types of CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and more. However, it lacks some the most important features we look for in the best software in this category, such as bypassing copy protections and compressing the disc to a DVD.
If you're looking to copy or back up commercial Blu-ray movies with this application, you'll have to find a different program. That's because this software doesn't have the necessary decryption algorithms to bypass the antipiracy protections found on commercial discs. This restricts the copying abilities of this program to homemade and unprotected Blu-rays. The best products in our review can bypass these encryptions and allow you to copy the movies you've already paid for.
Like all the Blu-ray copying programs on our lineup, performing a disc-to-disc duplication can take several hours using Express Burn. This is due the fact that Blu-ray discs can hold up to 100 GB of information. If you plan on making more than one copy of a Blu-ray movie, we recommend that you extract its disc image (ISO file) and save it to your hard drive first – and then burn each new copy from that file. This will save you the hours of time it normally takes to extract, write and burn the disc image each time you make a copy.
During our testing period, we used Express Burn to make a full 1:1 copy of a test Blu-ray from an extracted disc-image file. It took this program 90 minutes – double the average copying time of 45 minutes – to complete the copying process. This is the slowest copy time we recorded among the Blu-ray copy software applications we reviewed.
After the test copy was complete, our video experts watched the new disc searching for imperfections in movie's audio and video quality. They determined that the copy made by Express Burn was an exact match – 100 percent identical to the source disc with no quality loss.
You can also use Express Burn to make digital backups of your unprotected Blu-ray discs. This is done by extracting the Blu-ray's ISO file and saving it to your computer's hard drive. Once a disc image is on your computer, you can use it as a virtual disc to watch in your media player. You can even burn a new copy without needing the original source disc.
If you buy Express Burn, it should be for its extensive set of authoring tools – not its Blu-ray copying features. Although it may be functional and produce a high-quality copy, this application was slower than any product we reviewed, and it doesn't work with commercial Blu-ray movies. Although it fails in the Blu-ray copy department, it excels as a disc-authoring program and optical disc toolbox.