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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Wednesday, September 15, 2004
TDK 1616N


1. Retail Package - Installation

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 1

Most manufacturers have recently released DVD recorders supporting 16X DVD writing. TDK follows suit with their latest DVD recorder, the TDK1616N. This drive offers 16X +R/-R recording speed, along with Double Layer recording at 4X, the maximum speed available at the moment.

The TDK 1616N takes advantage of NEC's "high resolution writing strategy", as was the case with the TDK 880 and 882 models.

- Features

The TDK 1616N can read at 16X max DVD-ROM discs and 48X max CD-ROM discs. It can write at 16X for both -R and +R DVD media, and can write/rewrite at 4X in -RW and +RW discs. The recording speed for DVD+R9 discs reaches 4X. As a CD recorder, it can record at 48X max when CD-R discs are used, and 24X max with CD-RW discs. Unfortunately, this drive does not support DVD-RAM media.

- Specifications

Drive
TDK 1616N
Media
DVD
CD
Transfer Rate Write
+R

16x CAV (9 - 22MBytes/sec)

-R
48x CAV (3000-200kBytes/sec)
13x CAV (7.3 - 17.5MBytes/sec)
48xZCLV (3000-7200kBytes/sec)
12x ZCLV (8.2 – 16.6MByte/sec)
40x CAV (2550-6000kBytes/sec)
8x ZCLV (5.5 -11MBytes/sec)
40xZCLV (3000-6000kBytes/sec)
6x ZCLV (5.5-8.2MBytes/sec)
32xPCAV (2550-4800kBytes/sec)
4x CLV (5.5 MBytes/sec)
32x ZCLV (3000-4800kBytes/sec)
2.4x CLV (3.3 MBytes/sec)
24x PCAV (2550-3600kBytes/sec)
+R9
4x CLV (5.5 MBytes/sec)
24x ZCLV (3000-3600kBytes/sec)
2.4x CLV (3.3 MByte/sec)
16x CLV (2400kBytes/sec)
+RW
4x CLV (5.5 MBytes/sec)
8x CLV (1200kBytes/sec)
2.4x CLV (3.3 MBytes/sec)
-RW
24x ZCLV (3000-3600kBytes/sec)
-R
16x CAV( 9 - 22MBytes/sec)
13x CAV (7.3 - 17.5MBytes/sec)
12x ZCLV (8.2 – 16.6MByte/sec)
16x CLV (2400kBytes/sec)
8x ZCLV (5.5 -11MBytes/sec)
6x ZCLV (5.5-8.2MBytes/sec)
4x CLV (5.5 MBytes/sec)
10xCLV (1500kBytes/sec)
2x CLV (2.7 MBytes/sec)
-RW
4x CLV (5.5 MBytes/sec)
2x CLV (2.7 MBytes/sec)
4xCLV (600kBytes/sec)
1x CLV (1.38 MBytes/sec)
Transfer Rate Read
DVD-R 16x CAV (max 22000 kb/s)
CD-R 48x CAV (max 4800 kb/s)
DVD-RW 4x CLV (5520 kb/s)
DVD+R 16x CAV (max 22000 kb/s)
CD-RW 16x CLV (max 2400 kb/s)
DVD+RW 4x CLV (5520 kb/s)
DVD+R9 4X CLV (5500 KByte/s)
Access Time
140ms
120ms
Mechanism
motorized Tray load mechanism for horizonal and vertical use
Interface
IDE / ATAPI
Burst Transfer Rate
PIO mode 4 / Ultra DMA 33
Cashe Memory
2MB
Audio
digital-out and line-out at the back (MPC compatible)
Modes supported
DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-Video, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-Audio, CD Extra, CD Text, CD-IReady, CD-Bridge, Photo-CD, VideoCD, Hybrid CD
Writing methods
DAO(disc at once), SAO(session at once), TAO(track at once) with zero gap, variable or fixed packet, multisession
Compatibility
MPC Level 3, MultiRead, PC2001
Weight
1.01 kgr
Dimensions
148mm x 42mm x 190mm

The drive does not support Mount Rainier and it uses the well known RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool. VSO Inspector and DVDInfoPro:

- The drive

The European retail package includes a software disc, software manual, technical support manual, quick install poster, screws, emergency eject pin and a TDK DVD+R 4.7GB disc.

The retail ackage also includes Nero Express 6, Nero InCD 4, Nero Vision Express 2, Nero Back IT Up, Nero StartSmart, Nero Recode 2 and Nero Showtime.

On the front panel of the drive you can see the eject button, the activity led and the eject hole. There are no volume control or headphone jack.

On the rear panel you can find the analogue and digital audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE selection pins, the IDE connector and the power input.

Opening the device's case will void the warranty, so we advise against it. Instead, use the photos in this review for a closer look under the hood. Clicking on the image below will reveal a high resolution image.

click to enlarge!

The main chipset comes from NEC, with part number NEC D63635GM in combination with the NEC C333500. The same chipsets are used in the Pioneer DVR-108 and ASUS DRW-1604P.

Model name
C3335
Process
Bi-CMOS 0.35
Voltage
5V
Package
120-pin TQFP (14x14mm)
Power consumption
0.66W (8x DVD playback)
0.74W 8x DVD recording)
Speeds
DVD playback
16x CAV
DVD-RAM playback
4x
DVD recording
16x
CD playback
48x
CD recording
48x

Model name
D63635
Process
CMOS 0.15
Voltage
1.5V core, 3.3V I/O
Package
216-pin LQFP (24x24mm)
Power consumption
0.35W (8x DVD playback)
0.95W (8x DVD recording, LVDS)
Interface
Host
ATA/ATAPI5
Buffer
16Mbit SDRAM
Speeds
DVD playback
16x CAV
DVD-RAM playback
4x
DVD recording
16x
CD playback
48x
CD recording
48x

The following picture shows the laser lens assembly of the TDK 1616N. By clicking on the picture, you can see a higher resolution image.

click to enlarge!

Compared to TDK 882N laser lens, you can see that the new laser lens is more advanced, achieving higher single layer and double layer recording speeds.

- Installation

The device was connected to our test PC and was identified as "TDK DVDRW116N " under WinXP. You can see that there is no book type option, just as the TDK 882N, and there is no option to write extended Lead-Out on Double Layer discs. All tests were done using the 2.77 firmware version, released by TDK.

In this review, we will be comparing the drive to the Pioneer DVR-108 since both drives have similar specifications.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.21
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.27
  5. KProbe v2.4.2 (Reader: LiteOn LDW-811S firmware vHS0Q, LiteOn SOHD-167T firmware 9S13, LiteOn XJ-HD165H firmware CH11, and LiteOn LTD-163 firmware GH5S, Reading speed 8X CAV)
  6. PlexTools v2.16 (Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.05, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  7. DVDInfoPro v3.16
  8. Nero Burning Rom v6.3.1.20
  9. DVD Decrypter 3.5.1.0
  10. CopyToDVD 3.0.29.48

2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 2

Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

The TDK 1616N supports up to 48X reading speed. Below are the transfer rate graphs along with the comparison with the Pioneer DVR-108 drive:

The TDK 1616N proved to be faster than the Pioneer model with Pressed CDs, CD-R media and US-RW media.

- DVD Format

When pressed single layer media was used, the Pioneer DVR-108 and TDK 1616N reported similar reading speeds.

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, progressing towards the outer range for each layer. The TDK 1616N was slower than the Pioneer DVR-108 with a noticable difference in speeds.

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer on the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks towards the inner part of the disc. The average reading speed was 5.43X with a start speed of 3.01X and end speed of 7.23X. These speed values indicate minor variations from the speeds reported by the TDK 882N drive, and are lower than the DVR-108 speed values.

The TDK 1616n can read DVD ±R media up to 16X and DVD ±RW up to 8X. That makes the TDK 1616n one of the fastest readers for ±R media. The Pioneer DVR-108 cannot compete with 8X CAV reading speed for all DVD recordable/re-writable media.

The TDK 1616N reported an average ripping speed of 5125kb/sec with DVD-Video discs, and proved to be slower than Pioneer's drive when it comes to DVD Video ripping.

-Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction Tests

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 3

CD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 1367028
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 134807 Avg: -79.2 dB(A) Max: -18.6 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 4939 Avg: 1.1 Samples Max: 7 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 23 Avg: 6.0 Samples Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result
65.4 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
99.0 %

The total error count was about average, and the maximum error loudness level was high at -18.6dB. There were 23 skipped samples which is a little high, while the drive achieved a total score of 65.4. In general, the drive showed average performance with this test disc.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 21991
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 7339 Avg: -83.2 dB(A) Max: -14.5 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 133 Avg: 27.9 Samples Max: 575 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 2 Avg: 6.0 Samples Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result
73.5 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
81.9 %

The Abex TCD-726 test disc is much easier for drives in general to read. Most drives manage to compile a score in the 90s with the better drives managing 100. So it was somewhat surprising to see the drive managing only 73.5. A good reader should produce better results than these.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The tracks are being reproduced through a software multimedia player (i.e. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested drive.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
TDK 1616N
5/5
5/5
3/5
0/5
0/5

The drive successfully passed only the first two out of the five check levels for this test. Here too, the drive turned in a poor performance. Almost all drives have difficulties reading the 5th level, and good quality drives can read 4th level. But most drives will pass at least the third level without any problem. The TDK 1616N reported similar performance as the 882N drive.

- Summary

Generally we can say that the CD error correction of the TDK 1616N is less than average, something that should be fixed in newer firmware releases.


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 4

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the TDK 1616N drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed . The reference test media comes from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media

ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

The drive can read DVD media up to 16X. No errors were produced with this disc. However, the drive lowered its speed in order to read over the scratched area.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on it but instead, defective areas of dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm.

There are also fingerprints sized from 65 to 75 micrometers.

Again, the TDK 1616N reported no errors with this test disc. A continuous line was produced, showing that the drive had no problems reading the defective areas.

- Dual Layer media

ABEX TDR-841

This is an 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm, on both layers.

.

Most NEC based drives have problems reading this type of disc. As seen above, TDK has improved the DVD error correction, where the drive gave no errors during reading. The test was completed successfully. Excellent performance at this point!

ABEX TDR-845

The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes defective areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defective areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micrometers.

Again, the drive had no problems reading this disc. The 1616N read the disc as if there were no defective areas present.

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB. The disc is based on the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files.

The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

click to enlarge!

As is evident above, the TDK 1616N read the disc flawlessly. According to this reading behaviour, the drive can be described as a rather good reader. It started to read at 1.92X, lowered the reading speed automatically when needed and reached a highest reading speed of 4.61X, resulting in an average speed of 3.24X.

ABEX TDV-545

The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the data surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It has also 65 - 75 micro meter fingerprints.

click to enlarge!

The TDK 1616N started to read at 1.92X, and reached a highest speed of 4.61X, giving the same speed values as before. Although the reading speed was not as high as other 8X DVD recorders, we were happy to see that no read errors were produced.


5. Protected Disc Tests

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 5

Protected Disc Tests

- Reading Tests

To create the image of the various protected titles to the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, according to the protection type of the inserted discs. Below you can see the duration of each process as well as the transfer rate in each case.
Game Title
Protection Scheme
Duration
Reading speed
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
Lybcrypt
01:07 min
1349 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07
SafeDisc v.2.60.052
32:56 min
170 sectors/sec
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
3:09 min
1819 sectors/sec

The TDK 1616N was very fast with Lybcrypt protected discs. During SecuROM v2 ripping, the drive was slightly faster than the Pioneer DVR-108 drive. On the other hand, the Pioneer drive was faster with SecuROM v2 protected discs. However, all discs were read successfully, regardless of the ripping speed.

- Writing Tests

The TDK 1616N supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 5 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions having the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles onto the hard disk, we burned them (maximum speed) with Alcohol 120% v1.9.2.1705. Two different discs were created for each title; one with the "Bypass EFM error" enabled and one more with the function disabled.

The table below shows the results of the attempted backups and whether they worked (game installed / played normally), or not.

Drive

Fifa 2004
SD v3.1

Sims Superstar SD v2.9
Sims Unleashed SD v2.8
Serious Sam-Second Encounter
SD v2.51.051
Max Payne
SD v2.51.020
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
Toshiba
SD-M1502
No
No
No
Yes
No
Creative CD5233E
No
No
Yes
No

TDK 1616N

Yes
No
Yes
Yes

The TDK 1616N cannot produce working backups with the newest v2.8x, v2.9x and v3.1x builds. Partially working backups were produced for SafeDisc v2.51.051 & v2.51.020. It is noted that this behaviour is common to all NEC chipset based drives.


6. DAE Tests

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 6

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

The TDK 1616N supports up to 13-32X CAV DAE speed. The following results were reported when using Exact Audio Copy.

The TDK 1616N was slower with both Pressed CD and CDR media. TDK's drive reported similar DAE speeds with NEC's ND-25x0 series and TDK's 882N drives. The TDK 1616N drive can report C2 errors, but caching is not supported.

- Advanced DAE Quality

Very good recorders can achieve a perfect quality score of 100. The TDK 1616N achieved a score of 99.1, which is a very good score (but not perfect) while the Pioneer DVR-108's average speed was faster than that of the TDK 1616N. The TDK drive cannot read Leadin data and Leadout data, but it can read CD Text and Subchannel data. The reported average speed was 24.30X. Again, the drive reported similar behaviour with the TDK 882N drive.

- Ripping 90mins AudioCDs

click to enlarge!

The drive can read/rip flawlessly 90min Audio CDs at an average speed of 23.17X, starting the reading process at 15.38X and reported a maximum speed of 32.97X. Reading speed was automatically reduced near the end of the reading process, from the 77th min to the end and the drive read the disc without errors.

- Ripping 99mins AudioCDs

The TDK 1616N could not even recognize the 99min Audio CD we used for this test. The time length was wrong and the reading process could not start, giving the following error message.

It should be noted that 99min Audio CDs were a problem with all NEC based drives.


7. Protected AudioCDs

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 7

Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used three audio discs with different audio copy protections. The ripping process on all protected Audio discs was carried out with Exact Audio Copy v0.9 beta5.

The tested protected Audio discs were:

The Cactus Data Shield 200, contains artificial errors that are not easily bypassed by the reader, while the Key2Audio contains a second session causing problems for readers when trying to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).

The tested tasks are:

The drive recognized up to the 12th Audio track of the CDS200 disc,

and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed, the drive recognised the 13th track.

The test results are shown in the following table:

Key2Audio
CDS200
TDK 1616N
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison not the same for all tracks

The TDK 1616N rips 100% accurately Key2Audio protected CDs. EAC did not report timing problems, and at the same time, Read&Test CRC check comparison was the same for all corresponding tracks. On the other hand, the drive could not rip 100% accurately CD200 discs since Read&Test CRC check comparison was not the same between corresponding tracks.

This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't contain any artificial errors during the ripping process. Most problems occur when trying to write the ripped wav files, since the produced CD-R disc contains C2 and CU errors! This "problem" is rumored to be connected with specific chipset weaknesses.

We ripped the disc contents with EAC and burned the wav file produced from the Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a disc with the latest Nero version as AudioCD+CD-Text. The burned media was checked for C1/C2 errors and for BETA/Jitter errors with PlexTools software using Plextor PX-712SA (firmware v1.05).

CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
TDK 1616N
Reading performed without any errors, writing produces only two C2 errors.

The C1/C2 error graphs show that the drive managed to produce a 100% error free disc.

We then tried to extract all wav files with the Plextor PX-712SA and PlexTool DAE Error Correction 5th Level enabled:

No errors were reported after extracting all files. The drive can backup the disc 100% accurately.


8. CD Recording Tests

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 8

CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Format

The TDK 1616N probably has the highest combination of writing speeds and writing technologies supporting the following writing speeds:

It's rather uncommon for a drive manufacturer to support both Z-CLV and P-CAV/CAV writing technologies for the same writing speeds, but depending on the media manufacturer the drive the adjusts accordingly to produce the best possible results.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive reached a maximum speed of 47.98X. The test started at 21.43X and finished at 47.98X having an average speed of 36.25X.

click to enlarge!

- CD-R Recording Times

We created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and recorded it on a 700MB disc. The writing performance varies according to the inserted media. Below is a chart depicting all recording times with various media.

The TDK drive returned a time of 3:34 minutes at 32X writing speed when Intenso 52X media was used, and 3:01 at 48X writing speed when BenQ 52X media was used. Very good performance at this speed. It should be noted that all media was recorded at maximum supported speeds by the drive.

- Other features

The TDK 1616N supports overburning up to 88mins at full speed and can read/write CD-Text.

- CD-RW Format

The TDK 1616N supports 4X, 10X, 16X (CLV) and 24X (Z-CLV) rewriting speeds, with Ultra Speed Rewritable Media (US-RW).

Below you can see the Nero CD-DVD Speed writing simulation test with blank 24x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

click to enlarge!

- CD-RW Mount Rainier

Unfortunately, the TDK 1616N does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


9. Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 9

Writing Quality Tests - 3T Jitter Tests

On this page we present the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs when using various media burned at 32X and 48X writing speeds.

- 3T Pit results

Generally, mediocre performance was reported with the 1616N drive. The highest 3T Pit jitter reached 55nsec, which is way above the Red Book limit (35nsec). Best results were achieved with BenQ CD-R media. TDK should improve the CD media recording performance in a future firmware release.

- 3T Land results

Here too, the average 3T Land results were also high. The maximum 3T Land Jitter reached 55nsec while BenQ CD-R media produced the best results.

According to the above graphs, the TDK 1616N did not produce the results we expected, going on to the good performance of former NEC based drives. On the other hand, when writing at 32X, recording quality was far better, but when writing at 48X, media quality was reduced. It should be noted that all discs were recorded at the maximum supported speeds.


10. Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 10

Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

We measured the C1 / C2 error rate on the recorded discs we burned at the various supported writing speeds. The software we used is PleXTools Professional v2.16, and in particular the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-712SA (firmware v1.05).

BenQ 80min 52X @ 48X

Intenso 80min 48X @ 32X

MMORE 80min 52X @ 48X

SKC 80min 52X @ 32X

Traxdata 80min 52X @ 48X

TY 80min 48X @ 32X

- Summary

The graphs show that the drive is an average in quality recorder with CD-R media and TDK needs to look into improving this aspect. There are C2 errors reported with certain discs that could be better. It should be noted that all discs were recorded at the maximum speed supported by the recorder.

- Appendix

Media Label
ID Code
Manufacturer Name
Lead Out TIme
BenQ 52X
97m22s67f
Daxon
79m59s74f
SKC 52X
97m26s26f
SKC Co., Ltd.
79m59s73f
TY 80min 48X
97m24s 1f
Taiyo Yuden
79m59s72f
Intenso 52X
97m32s19f
Prodisc
79m59s71f
TraxData 52X
97m15s17f
Ritek
79m59s70f
MMore 52X
97m17s 6f
Moser Baer India
79m59s74f

11. DVD Recording Tests

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 11

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The TDK 1616N supports DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW writing. The maximum supported speed for DVD±R is 16X CAV and 4X CLV for DVD±RW media. You can see the full range of supported speeds on the first page of this review. Nero Burning Rom reported speeds are shown below.

By using Nero CD-DVD Speed with DVD-R and DVD+R media, we are able to see the 8X ZCLV, 12X ZCLV, 13X CAV and 16X CAV recording technology being used by the recorder for -R and +R media.

click to enlarge!

click to enlarge!

click to enlarge!

click to enlarge!

click to enlarge!

The drive's writing performance was similar for both the -R and +R formats. The drive returned an average speed of 11.86X, starting the writing process at 6.69X and ending with 16.02X.

Below is a table with several 12X and 16X recorders, listing their average writing speeds as measured by Nero CDDVDSpeed and showing that the TDK 1616N is the fastest 16X recorder. It even surpassed the BenQ DW1620A:

Drive
Writing Strategy
Writing Speed
Average
Writing Speed
Plextor PX-712A
P-CAV
12X
10.62X
LG GSA-4120B
Z-CLV
12X
9.87X
BenQ DW1620A
CAV
16X
11.52X
ASUS DRW-1604P
Z-CLV
16X
10.11X
TDK 1616N
CAV
16X
11.86X
Pioneer DVR-108A
Z-CLV
16X
10.03X

- Supported media list/Burning Tests

There are only a few -R media that can be recorded at 16X. The TDK 8X media was recorded at the 16X speed but the drive could not pass the 13.5X limit, giving similar recording performance to that of TY 8X media recorded at 12X. On the other hand, Maxell 16X media had the best performance of all.

Best performance was reported with TY 8X media recorded at 16X. It should be noted that BeALL and BenQ 8X media cannot be written at 8X where only 4X is supported for these discs. For 16X media, CMC Magnetics and Philips media could only be recorded at 8X, while Traxdata 8X and 16X media (Ritek based) supported only 4X(!).

- Burning Tests

We burned 4315MB of data on various DVD±R, DVD±RW media. We used the maximum allowed writing speed for each disc.

Recording times seem to be the same for most DVD-R media, with the exception of Promedia 8X media which was only 2 seconds slower. The drive completed a successful burn at 8X in 9:29mins.
Disc Label
Disc Information
Max Allowed Writing Speed
Total Recording Time (mins)
That's 4X @ 8X
TYG02
8X
9:29
MKM/Verbatim 8X
MCC 02RG20
8X
9:29
MCC 8X
MCC 01RG20
8X
9:29
TraxData 4X
RITEKG04
8X
9:29
Maxell 4X
MXL RG03
8X
9:29
Promedia 8X
Prodisc S04
8X
9:31

With DVD+R media, best recording times came with Memorex 8X at 9:13mins. It should be noted that TraxData 4X media was recorded at 6X in 10:21mins.
Disc Label
Disc Information
Max Allowed Writing Speed
Total Recording Time (mins)
That's 4X @ 8X
TYG02
8X
9:18
Memorex 8X
CMC MAG E01
8X
9:13
TY 8X
YUDEN000 T02
8X
9:21
Traxdata 8X
RITEK R03
8X
9:22
Maxell 8X
MAXELL 002
8X
9:19
Traxdata
RICOH HJPN R01
8X
10:21

- DVD Overburning Tests

Using Nero CD-DVD Speed, we tested if the TDK 1616N can overburn using DVD+R and DVD-R media. The drive does not support overburning, giving the following error with all inserted media.

- DVD+MRW Tests

Unfortunately, the TDK 1616N does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


12. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 12

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the TDK 1616N. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.4.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but only PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.05 using PlexTools v2.16 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe and PlexTools scans, we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the discs scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

16X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

The PI/PIF scans show that the TDK 1616N performed well with the used DVD-R media at 16X, especially with Maxell 8X media.


13. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 13

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the TDK 1616N. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.4.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but only PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.05 using PlexTools v2.16 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe and PlexTools scans, we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the discs scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

12X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

Again, the TDK 1616N creates DVD-R with rather low PI/PIF error levels at 12X recording speed. Very good performance from TDK.


14. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 14

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the TDK 1616N. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.4.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but only PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.05 using PlexTools v2.16 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe and PlexTools scans, we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the discs scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

8X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

CMC Magnetics media reported the best performance. However, the quality on all media we tested was rather good, giving again low PI/PIF error levels.


15. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 15

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the TDK 1616N. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.4.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but only PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.05 using PlexTools v2.16 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe and PlexTools scans, we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the discs scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

16X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

With DVD-R media, the TDK 1616N showed very good performance. With DVD+R media, as shown above, the drive showed even better performance, even at 16X recording speed.


16. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 16

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the TDK 1616N. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.4.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but only PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.05 using PlexTools v2.16 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe and PlexTools scans, we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the discs scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

12X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

DVD recording at 12X was supported with only one media from the discs we tested. High PI error levels were reported, but we cannot give a good or bad ruling for the drive from only one media test result. Unfortunately, according to NEC's media support list for the 3500A model, no other media is supported at 12X at this time. However, we will test 12X writing further with more +R discs when future firmware releases arrive. You can always check our forum for these burning quality results.


17. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 6

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 17

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 6

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the TDK 1616N. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.4.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but only PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.05 using PlexTools v2.16 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe and PlexTools scans, we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the discs scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

8X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

All former NEC based drives performed excellently when 8X burned media was tested. The TDK 1616N is no exception. Media quality seems to be further improved, comparing it with the TDK 882N drive and the NEC ND-25x0 series.


18. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 7

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 18

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 7

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R media we burned with the TDK 1616N. The software we used for all measurements is KProbe v2.4.2, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but only PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712SA v1.05 using PlexTools v2.16 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe and PlexTools scans, we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the discs scanned at low & high speeds, since when the error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

DVD+RW and DVD-RW Media

- Summary

Good quality performance was expected with DVD+RW and DVD-RW media, since the writing speed is reduced to 4X. The TDK 1616N did not disappoint us, posting again, low PI/PIF error levels.


19. DVD+R DL - Page 1

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 19

DVD+R DL - Page 1

- Writing Tests

We burned some DVD+R DL discs with DVD-Video content. The source disc was "Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" disc1 with a total size of 6.86GB. First we transferred the movie to the hard disc with DVD Decrypter as ISO format (single file). We used Double Layer media provided by Ritek and Verbatim (MKM). The following picture shows the media code of these Double Layer discs.

We used CopyToDVD v3.0.29.48. For our test, we used the "Movie & Pictures" option, and then the "Write DVD Video". The software prompts us to select Video_TS/ISO image folder. We chose the "GLADIATOR.ISO" image and we selected the TDK 1616N burner.

After pressing "OK", the burning procedure started without any unexpected delays (such as 50secs delay with the LiteON 832S). It should be noted that we did not change the booktype setting in order to check the default booktype setting of the TDK drive.

The writing process was finished after 22:51 minutes. The average speed was 3.88X as reported by CopyToDVD software. The recorded disc was in DVD+R9 format.

We then changed the default booktype setting of DVD+R9 media to DVD-ROM using the latest DVDInfoPro software:

The second disc we burned was the Verbatim Double Layer media. Recording time was further reduced to 22:48 mins and the average speed reported was 3.90X:

For comparison reasons, we post DL burning results with other writers, with the same disc content and same recording software:
Drive
Time (mins)
NEC 2510A
37:17
BenQ DW1600A DL
40:16
BenQ DW830A
39:14
LiteON SOHW-832S DVD+R DL BookType
38:33
LiteON SOHW-832S DVD-ROM BookType
38:36
SONY DRU-700A

38:39

LG GSA-4120B
38:12
ASUS DRW-1604P (4X)
23:10
ASUS DRW-1604P (2.4X)
38:08
Pioneer DVR-108A (4X)
23:10
Pioneer DVR-108A (2.4X)

38:23

TDK 1616N
22:48 / 22:51
BenQ DW1620A
40:03

The TDK 1616N is the fastest Double Layer recorder of all, surpassing the Pioneer and Asus 4X Double Layer recorders.


20. DVD+R DL - Page 2

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 20

DVD+R DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

In order to test the TDK 1616N DVD+R DL writing quality, instead of our usual reader (LiteOn LDW-811S), we used the LiteOn SOHD-167T with firmware 9S13. We also used the Plextor PX-712SA drive and PlexTools, and were able to scan the DVD+R DL media.

Using KProbe v2.4.2, we got a very good scan, indicating again, good quality performance from the drive with the DL media recorded. Notice that discs are not read at 3~8 CAV but at 2.5X~5X CAV (DVD+R DL media).

The reported PI error rates were lower than the 280 limit according to the KProbe scans. Verbatim media exceeded the 280 limit when Verbatim media was tested at the layer switch point. In general, the TDK 1616N gave again an image of a very good quality burner, even with Double Layer media.

In the following images, you can see for reference reasons, the media info reported by DVDInfoPro software for the Double Layer discs we burned. We reminde you that Verbatim media was burned with DVD-ROM booktype, while Ritek media with DVD+R DL booktype.

- Compatibility

We were not surprised to see that the DVD+R9 media was not compatible with most stand-alone dvd players. On the other hand, changing the default booktype to DVD-ROM ensures maximum compatibility.


21. BookType Setting

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 21

BookType Setting

The TDK 1616N allows the booktype setting to be changed, but there is no official TDK utility to do that. There is no way to change the booktype with Nero Burning Rom 6.3.1.20, since there is no booktype option in the "choose recorder" tab.

There are few utilities that can be used to change the booktype setting, but unfortunately, only DVD+R DL changes are supported for now.

Using the latest DVDInfoPro software, we were able to see the default setting of the drive, which was DVD+R DL.

We then successfully changed the booktype setting to DVD-ROM.

We then used the WinBType booktype setting utility. Again, we had no problem changing the default booktype to DVD-ROM.


22. Conclusion

TDK 1616N Recorder - Page 22

Conclusion

The TDK 1616N is the first 16X Dual DL DVD recorder released by TDK, and our impressions of this drive are very good. Most users will like the black stylish front panel that TDK uses for these drives.

The new 1616N model is a step up on previous TDK models with less reading errors being reported with the various test discs. However, the DAE speed is still low, compared to other recorders available on the market. The DVD error correction was satisfactory, while the drive needs further improvements with the CD format, since high reading errors were produced when reading the Abex TCD-721R/726 test discs. The drive cannot make SafeDisc 2.60+ backups, due to the NEC chipsets used and cannot recognize 99mins discs.

When CD-R media was used to test writing performance, we discovered that some well known media could not be burned at high speed (48X) but only at 32X. For example, TY CD-R media is supported only at 32X. This produces better quality burns, but speed is reduced. With 48X recording speed, writing quality was reduced, and these discs reported high jitter values. This is a point that TDK should consider for the next firmware release.

On the other hand, DVD recording performance was way better than CD-R media recording. Very fast recording times with 16X certified media, and good times with 8X media that were recorded at 16X or 12X.

Media quality measurements indicated that TDK keeps on improving recording quality and low PI/PO error levels were reported. Excellent performance from TDK! However, there are small exceptions, like Ritek 16X media that can be recorded only at 4X, and CMC and Philips 16X media at 8X.

With DVD+R Double Layer discs, the TDK 1616N is the fastest drive at 22:51 mins, while the recording quality with Verbatim and Ritek media was very good. The default DVD-ROM booktype (DVD+R DL media) offers the highest compability with DVD Players, while the announcement of the upcoming v2.x8 firmware supporting default DVD-ROM booktype for +R/+RW media will make users happy!

An overall very good buy with an expected low price from TDK, makes us reccomend the drive to all users who desire a fast and reliable burner.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like To be fixed



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