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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Friday, October 08, 2004
Sony DRU-710A


1. Introduction - Retail Package

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD Recorder - Page 1

After the release of the DRU-700A, Sony decided to up the speed for DVD+R writing from 8x to 16X. The new model to do just this is the DRU-710A and the main differences from the previous model is the 16X recording speed for the plus format and 48X for CD, up from 40X.

Since Sony is one of the biggest optical storage manufacturers, it will be interesting to see how this drive will perform and how it will face the strong competittion which already supports 16X recording for both formats, as well as 4X for Double Layer.

- Features

The Double Layer DVD+R system uses two thin embeded organic dye films for data storage separated by a spacer layer. Heating with a focused laser beam irreversibly modifies the physical and chemical structure of each layer such that the modified areas have different optical properties to those of their unmodified surroundings. This causes a variation in reflectivity as the disc rotates to provide a read-out signal as with commercially pressed read-only discs. Below is a picture showing the structure of a DVD+R DL media.

For more information about DVD+R DL technology, you can visit the DVD+RW Alliance website or Philips Research website.

The SONY DRU-710A also supports:

Form writing and reading speeds, the drive supports 16X (CAV) writing for DVD+R and 8X (Z-CLV) writing for DVD-R. RW formats can be both burned at 4X (CLV). The drive can also read DVD-ROM (pressed) up to 16X (CAV) while it offers 48X (P-CAV) / 24X (Z-CLV) specs for the CD formats.

- Specifications
Interface:
ATAPI (EIDE) internal interface
Burst data transfer rate:
66.6 MB/s max. Ultra DMA66
Writing Speed:

DVD+R DL: 2.4X CLV (max.)
DVD+R: 16X CAV (max.)
DVD+RW: 4X CLV (max.)
DVD-R 8X Z-CLV (max.)

CD-R: 48X CAV (max.)
CD-RW: 24X Z-CLV (max.)

Read Speed:

DVD-ROM (single layer): 16X CAV (max.)
DVD-ROM (dual layer): 8X CAV (max.)

CD-ROM: 48X CAV (max)

Random Access:
DVD: 140msec, CD: 135msec
Buffer Size:
2MB
Supported Disc Formats:
DVD-ROM, DVD-Video, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD-DA, Video CD, Photo CD (multi-session), CD TEXT, CD Extra, and others
Supported Writing Types:

DVD±RW: Random Access Write (DVD+RW/DVD-RW/CD-RW), Sequential Write (DVD+R/+R DL/+RW, DVD-R/-RW/CD-R/RW)

CD-R/RW: Disc at Once, Track at Once, Session at Once, Packet Writing
Dimensions: 145.8 x 41.3 x 165 mm (W x H x L)

The drive uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times, which however can easily be bypassed with various utilities, for example Kprobe's RPC setting feature:

Below are the drive's main specs as given by DVDInfoPro:

Lastly, let's see what additional information KProbe software returns:

- European Retail package

The European retail package includes the Sony DRU-710A, a quick install guide, an IDE cable and mounting screws. Also included is an extra front panel bezel, black in color, which you can swap with the white bezel that comes standard. Included software is Nero v6 OEM version.

The retail package did not contain any CD/DVD media and unfortunately no DVD+R DL.

Now let's take a look at the drive itself.

The Sony DRU-710A looks more or less the same as the previous 540A series and it has all the appropriate logos indicating the supported formats. On the front, the user will distinguish the DVD+R DL logo! As we said, SONY also provides an additional black bezel that can easily be mounted, making for a better match with black cases.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. You can click on the mainboard picture for a higher resolution image:



- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP recognized as a "SONY DVD RW DRU-710A". The drive arrived with firmware BY01. Below is a picture from Nero Burning Rom, showing the drive's specs.

In our tests, we will compare the drive with the Philips DVDRW1640P and the Pioneer DVR-108D.

- 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, Reading speed 8X CAV)
  6. PlexTools v2.16 (Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.05, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  7. DVDInfoPro v2.54
  8. LiteOn Booktype Utility v1.0.6
  9. Nero Burning Rom v6.3.1.20
  10. Omnipatcher for LiteON drives v1.3.11

2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 2

Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

The Sony DRU-710A supports up to 48X reading speed. Below are the transfer rate graphs, along with the comparison with the other two drives, from Philips and Pioneer:



Sony, due to its 48X reading speed proved to be the fastest among the drives, confirming the manufacturer's specifications.

- DVD Format

With a PTP DVD-ROM disc, the starting point of the two layers is at the inner part of the disc. The drive reads from the beginning of each layer (inner part) progressing towards the outer part of the disc.

With an OTP Dual Layer disc, the first layer structure is the same as the first layer on a PTP disc. The drive reads the first layer exactly the same way as PTP discs, and at the same speed. The starting point of the second layer of an OTP disc is located at the outer part of the disc.

With SL media the performance was similar for all drives. However with DL that changed where the Pioneer DVR-108 had no rival.

Pioneer is also faster at reading DVD-R/+R media, while with RW media, all drives had similar performance.

We rip the contents of a DL pressed movie with all of the drives. Sony was the fastest while Philips was close behind. The Pioneer drive was slow in this test.

- Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction Tests

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 3

CD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when it comes to reading scratched / defective discs. The test discs we use are the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 5066086
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 78465
Avg: -53.6 dB(A)
Max: -12.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 24766
Avg: 1.1 Samples
Max: 6 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 1739
Avg: 7.6 Samples
Max: 36 Samples
Total Test Result
55.6 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
57.9 % (out of 100.0% maximum)

The total error count was extremely high for the Sony drive and the maximum error loudness was also high at -12.0 dB(A), when the limit is set at -35.0 dB(A). For this reason, the muting samples and skipped samples were high. The performance is well below average and the total score of 55.6% is indicative of the poor performance. The C2 error accurancy was also very low.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 320
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 45
Avg: -75.0 dB(A)
Max: -62.5 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
91.9 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
100.0 % (out of 100.0% maximum)

Fortunately for the drive, this disc is much easier to read so it was reasonable to expect better performance. Here we should mention that most drives get a total test result score close to or right on 100%.

- 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 difficult tests. These tracks are referred as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

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

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
Sony DRU-710A
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

The drive passed only the first three Check Levels of the test. The performance reveals average sound reproduction and error correction. The fourth level includes an error size of 1.125mm, while the fifth 1.500mm where the drive produced continues audible clicks.

- Conclusion

The performance of the SONY DRU-710A was below average, at least with the ABEX TCD-721R. The drive's abilities with the CD-Check Test Disc were limited to the 3rd Error level.


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 4

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the DRU710A drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media came 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.

Over the most heavily defective area (1.000.000 - 1.500.000), the drive recorded major speed fluctuations between 4X and 6X while attempting to read over the defects. However the test finished successfully with no errors to reported.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of a 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 between 65 and 75 micrometers.

Despite the rather perculiar speed deviations during the first part of the fingerprint defects, the Sony drive read the contents of the disc, again without errors.

- Dual Layer media
ABEX TDR-841

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

This disc was not a problem for the Sony drive.

ABEX TDR-845

The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc of 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 micro meters.

Once again very good behavior. Notice once again the unusual behaviour at the begining of the region with fingerprints.

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.

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 also has 65 - 75 micrometer fingerprints.

Both the 541 and 545 discs were read successfully by the Sony drive.


5. Protected Disc Tests

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW 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
3:42 min
484 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter
SafeDisc v.2.50.051
13:45 min
421 sectors/sec
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
2:52 min
2420 sectors/sec

The DRU-710A drive was fast while ripping SecuROM and SafeDisc protected games. With PSX Philips leads the race.

- Writing Tests

The Sony DRU-710A supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 3 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 (at 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 v3.1x

Sims Superstar
SD v2.9x
Sims Unleashed
SD v2.8x
Serious Sam-Second Encounter
SD v2.50.051
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
Yes
Creative CD5233E

SONY DRU700A

The drive's full Safedisc2 backup capabilities reached only up to v2.8x. Newer versions are a problem for the drive.


6. DAE Tests

Sony DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 6

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD

The Sony DRU-710A supports up to 48X CAV DAE speed. When using a pressed AudioCD and its CD-R copy with EAC, we measured the following results:

Among the three drives, Sony had the fastest performance due to its 48X reading speed. As EAC reports, the drive caches DAE, supports accurate stream and can report C2 error information.

- Advanced DAE Quality

The Sony DRU-710A received a score of 100 (perfect) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. CDSpeed showed that the average reading speed is 33.29X, and that the drive supports reading of SubChannel data. Leadin / Leadout data and CD Text.

- Reading 90/ 99mins AudioCDs

The reading speed drops after 70mins down to 0.5X....We stopped the reading procedure.


7. Protected AudioCDs

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 7

Protected AudioCDs

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

The tested protected audio discs were:

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

The sequence of tests are:

The DRU-710A recognized the 12 Audio tracks of the CDS200 protected disc,

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

The test results are shown in the following table:

Key2Audio
CDS200
SONY DRU-710A
Ripping process completed, Read&Test CRC comparison same for all tracks
Ripping process completed, EAC reports timing problems, Read&Test CRC comparison not the same for all tracks

The SONY DRU-710A will rip both Key2Audio/CDS200 protected audio discs. Both discs were recognized and their contents were ripped at the maximum speed. However, the drive may not rip 100% accurately CD200 protected discs since EAC reported timing problems and at the same time, the Read&Test CRC check comparison was not the same for corresponding tracks. No problems were noted with Key2Audio discs.

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 to specific chipset weaknesses..

We ripped the disc contents with EAC and burned the produced wav with the latest Nero version as AudioCD+CD-Text. The burned media was checked for C1/C2 errors with PlexTools/KProbe software using Plextor PX-712A (firmware v1.02) and LiteOn LDW-811S (firmware vHS0Q).

CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
SONY DRU-710A
Reading performed without any errors, writing produces few C2 spikes

The C1/C2 error graphs indicate that the drive didn't manage to produce a 100% error free disc.

Lets try to extract all wav files with the Plextor PX-712A and PlexTool DAE Error Correction 5th Level enabled:

No errors were reported after extracting all files, despite the high C2 spike reported by PlexTools at around the 6 minute mark. The drive's error correction mechanism corrected the errors.


8. CD Recording Tests

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 8

CD Recording Tests

The SONY DRU-710A supports 48X CD-R and 24X US-RW recording speeds.

The drive supports 8X, 16X (CLV), 24X, 32X and 40X (P-CAV) writing speeds by default. However if you keep the eject button pressed for a while, this will be changed to 48X, a feature which is called Turbo Boost Function. Below are the recording speeds as detected by Nero Burning Rom.

We should mention that it's quite possible, due to the PowerBurn system, for the maximum burning speed to be reduced down to 32X or even 24X. Users can however disable this and get the maximum writing speed. This can be done under Nero Burning Rom->Choose Recorder->Options->Un-check Generic PowerControl Enabled.

Another utility that can be used to check the maximum speed of the inserted media comes from LiteON, (SONY owns LiteON), known as the "SMART-BURN Media Check Program":

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive reached a maximum of 48.93X. The test started at 21.60X and the average speed was 37.02X. Click on the image below for the complete graph.

For the burning tests, we created an 80min data compilation through Nero Burning Rom recording the data on a 700MB disc. The SONY DRU-710A finished the task in 3:19 minutes at the maximum 40X writing speed, three seconds slower than the 832S model.

The writing performance is generaly stable with all inserted media, as our tests showed. The SmartBurn system will lower the writing speed if the media ID code is not listed in the drive's firmware. Below is a chart demonstrating all recording times with various media.

The best performance came with Mam 80min 52X media at 196secs (3:16mins) with SmartBurn disabled, since when enabled, it allowed only 24X for the specific disc. The highest recording time comes with TraxData 80min 52X media at 201secs (3:21mins).

Although the recordings were finished successully at 48X, as the Nero screenshot above reveals, we consider that the time needed for each recording is increased for thi speed, where normally CD writing at 48X needs well under 3 minutes ( ~2:45min).

- Other features

Overburning writing
Up to 99min
CD text reading/writing
Yes

The SONY DRU-710A supports the 16X CLV, 24X Z-CLV rewriting speeds, with Ultra Speed Rewritable Media (US-RW). The drive also writes at 4X CLV with NS CD-RW and 10X CLV with HS-RW discs.

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

The drive starts the writing task at 15.97X and reaches the maximum 24X (23.99X) after the 13:00 min address mark on the disc. According to CDSpeed, the average writing speed is 22.43X.

We also used Nero Burning Rom in order to burn a data disc with 24X US-RW media from MCC. The data compilation we burned had a size of 651 MB and the duration of the recording process was 3:44 minutes.

- CD-RW Mount Rainier Tests

The drive does not support this feature.


9. 3T Jitter Tests

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 9

3T Jitter Tests

On this page you can see the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs using various media burned at 40X CAV writing speed.

- 3T Pit results

- 3T Land results

The CD writing qualty of the drive, is highly dependent on the inserted media brand. As can been clearly seen from the above measurements, Maxell and Waitec media produce increased jitter levels, while the rest were close to the 35ns limit. Verbatim and Taiyo Yuden seem to have the best (lowest) jitter values.


10. C1 / C2 Error Measurements

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 10

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 was PleXTools Professional v2.16, and particularly the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-712A (firmware v1.05)

BenQ 80min 52X CD-R @ 40X

Maxell 80min 48X @ 40X

SKC 80min 48X @ 40X

Taiyo Yuden 80min 48X @ 40X

Verbatim 80min 52X @ 40X

Waitec 80min 52X @ 40X

- Summary

The CD recording quality for the Sony drive proved to be quiet good. However there a few C2 errors that shouldn't be there.

- Appendix

Media Label
ID Code
Manufacturer Name
Lead Out TIme
Maxell
97m15s17f
Ritek
79m59s70f
SKC
97m26s26f
SKC Co., Ltd.
79m59s73f
BenQ 80min 48X
97m22s67f
Daxon Technology
79m59s74f
TY 80min 48X
97m24s 1f
Taiyo Yuden
79m59s72f
Verbatim 80min 52X
97m34s23f
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
79m59s73f

11. DVD Recording Tests

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 11

DVD Recording Tests
- Writing Performance

The SONY-DRU710A supports DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW/+R9 writing. The maximum supported speeds for DVD+R is 16X (6X~16 CAV), DVD-R is 8X (4~8 Z-CLV) and 4X CLV for DVD±RW media. Nero Burning Rom reported speeds are shown below. Notice that the drive burns CLV at 4X & 6X speeds for both DVD±R formats.

DVD+R @16X

Below we are able to see both 8X Z-CLV and P-CAV recording strategies in use on the SONY DRU-710A recorder. Depending on the inserted media, the drive adopts a different writing strategy that leads to lower writing times.

DVD+R @ 8X Z-CLV

DVD+R @ 8X P-CAV

As we said, the above strategy occurs with specific media, however there is the option to permanently change this with Codeguys "OmniPatcher for LiteOn DVD Writers" :-)

DVD-R @ 8X

- Burning Tests

We burned 4315MB of data on various DVD±R, DVD±RW media. After checking the supported media list, we noticed that almost all 4X rated media could burn only at 4X, while most 8X rated media at 8X. For the 'normal' recording tests we used the 8X rated media, burned at 8X for the DVD±R formats.

The best recording time for the DVD+R format came (as was expected) with CMC 16X media at 5:44mins.

Below are the supported media lists for the drive, and all the burning results for the various media types used.

- DVD Overburning Tests

In order to test the drive's DVD overburning capabilities, we used two media types, one 4X DVD-R from Traxdata and one 8X DVD+R from Plextor. As you can see from the screenshot below, the drive refused to start the test with DVD-R media,

while with DVD+R media, it started but when it reached 4.38GB, stopped with an error message.

- DVD+MRW Tests

The drive does not support this feature.


12. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 12

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we used two readers in combination with two software packages:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times, even when a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth with dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

CMC Magnetics 16X DVD+R @ 16X

Mitsubishi Chemicals 16X DVD+R @ 16X

CMC Magnetics 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Summary

The writing quality at 12X and 16X is good with low PIE levels, in case of CMC media. No POF, uncorrectable, errors were reported. The reading graphs at 16X with the LiteOn DVD-ROM revealed that the burned media are 100% readable. The performance with the Mitsubishi Chemicals has to be improved.


13. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 13

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we used two readers in combination with two software packages:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times, even when a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth with dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

3A Magnetics 8X DVD+R @ 8X


BeAll 8X DVD+R @ 8X

Intenso 8X DVD+R @ 8X

MMore 8X DVD+R @ 8X

Optodisc 8X DVD+R @ 8X

Philips 8X DVD+R @ 8X

Ricoh 8X DVD+R @ 8X

TDK 8X DVD+R @ 8X

Traxdata 8X DVD+R @ 8X

Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 8X

Taiyo Yuden 8X DVD+R @ 8X

Verbatim 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Summary

The writing quality of the drive with DVD+R can be considered as average, where again with half the media the drive performed well but with the rest, very badly. Its can easily be seen that most problems occur either at the inner or outer areas of the disc. The writing quality depends on the inserted media.


14. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 14

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we used two readers in combination with two software packages:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times, even when a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth with dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

CMC 8X DVD-R @ 8X

Datawrite 8X 8X DVD-R @ 8X

Maxell 8X DVD-R @ 8X

MMore 8X DVD-R @ 8X

TDK 8X DVD-R @ 8X

TraxData 8X DVD-R @ 8X

TY 8X DVD-R @ 8X

Verbatim 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Summary

The PI/PIF scans showed that with most media, there were errors and the tests failed to complete. However even in cases where the scans completed, the writing quality is not too good.


15. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 15

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we used two readers in combination with two software packages:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times, even when a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth with dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

Maxell 4X DVD+RW @ 4X

Optodisc 4X DVD+RW @ 4X

Mitsubishi Chemicals 4X DVD-RW @ 4X

Optodisc 4X DVD-RW @ 4X

Traxdata 4X DVD-RW @ 4X

- Summary

All the tests completed successfully and the PIE levels are rather low, which means good writing quality with RW media.


16. DVD+R DL - Page 1

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 16

DVD+R DL - Page 1

The SONY DRU-710A with firmware BY01 supports three media ID codes for 2.4X DL recording. Those are:

Mitsubishi Chemicals (MKM 001)
Ricoh ( RICOHJPND00)
Traxdata ( Ritek D01)

We believe that with the next firmware release, more will be supported.

- Writing Tests

We burned one DVD+R DL disc with DVD-Video content and DVD-ROM BookType setting. As the source we used "Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" disc1 with total size of 6.86GB. First, we transferred the movie to the HDD with DVD Decrypter, stored in ISO format (single file). Afterwards, we used CopyToDVD v3.0.19 to burn the image and selected the SONY burner.

After pressing"OK", the burning procedure started:

and finished after 37:25 mins. The average speed was 2.35X as reported by the CopyToDVD software.

For comparison, we post some burning times with other DL writers, which all burned the same content ("Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" disc1), using CopyToDVD software:

Drive
Time (mins)
SONY DRU-700A

37:25

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
NEC 2510A
37:17
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

Philips DVDR1640P
39:47

The SONY drive performed well. The best recording times belong the to Pioneer and Asus drives since both support 4X for the same task.


17. DVD+R DL - Page 2

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 17

DVD+R DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

In order to test the writing quality of the burned DVD+R DL DL, we again used the LiteOn SOHD-167T and Plextor PX-712A drives.

Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD+R9 2.4X @ 2.4X

Traxdata DVD+R9 2.4X @ 2.4X

The performance of the drive was about average. The media from Mitsubishi Chemicals revealed good writing quality, although we have seen better, while the Traxdata's DL media was unplayable...


18. DRU710A vs. SA300 - Page 1

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 18

DRU710A vs. SA300 - Page 1

For checking exactly what the DRU-710A reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. Those three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive reports only PI/PIF errors, we will compare those measurements at various reading speeds:

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested DRU-710A drive. Using another drive can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#1st Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

The PI/PIF error rate trend lines looks similar to the SA300 and the values for the PI although not the same, are similar.

#1st Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 6X Reading speed

Using the drive at 6X proved to be the same as with the previous speed at 8X.

#1st Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

With this test disc, all reading speeds 8X, 6X, 4X showed that at the end of the disc, the PI/PIF error rate increases. The SA300 system also measured similar performance.


19. DRU-710A vs. SA300 - Page 2

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 19

DRU-710A vs. SA300 - Page 2

For checking exactly what the DRU-710A reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media were then measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive reports only PI/PIF errors, we will compare those measurements at various reading speeds:

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested DRU-710A drive. Using another drive can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

Once again the PI/PIF error rate trend lines are similar to the SA300 and the values for the PI are almost the same.

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 6X Reading speed

6X and 8X revealed almost the same results.

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

The 4X speed reported an excellent writing quality which is far from the truth... The PI/PIF error rate trend lines are similar to the SA300.


20. DRU-710A vs. SA300 - Page 3

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 20

DRU-710A vs. SA300 - Page 3

For checking exactly what the DRU-710A reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The media was then measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive reports only PI/PIF errors, we will compare those measurements at various reading speeds:

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested DRU-710A drive. Using another drive can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#3rd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

#3rd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 6X Reading speed

6X and 8X had similar results but they were totally different from those of the SA300.

#3rd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

The PI/PIF error rate trend lines are similar to the SA300 only in the case of 4X scanning.


21. DRU-710A vs. SA300 - Page 4

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 21

DRU-710A vs. SA300 - Page 4

To check exactly what the drive reports when measuring DVD media, we compare the scans of four different media, burned by other recorders with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system. We used four reading speeds, with DVD+R media:

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested DRU-710A drive. Using another drive can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#4th Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

#4th Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 6X Reading speed

As it can been clearly seen, neither the PI/PIF error rate trend lines are similar to the SA300 nor the values for both speeds...


22. BookType Setting

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 22

BookType Setting

Booktype setting can easily be changed with Nero Burning Rom, included in the retail package. You will find the booktype option in the "Choose Recorder" tab, under "Options".

We tried to change the "Automatic" booktype setting to DVD-ROM, and we got the following message, informing us that DVD-ROM booktype is recommended to archive highest DVD-Video playback compatibility:

We then burned some DVD+R and dvd+RW media to check if the booktype setting is changed for +R/+RW/+R9 media. The media was recorded as DVD-ROM. So, booktype changes is not a problem for the Sony DRU-710A.

You can also use alternative utilities (LiteON Booktype Utility & KProbe).

With KProbe, under Tools->Bitsetting, the user can view the current Disc Type and change the BookType to either DVD-ROM/DVD+R/+RW. Unfortunately, Bit Setting isn't supported with DVD-R media:

Lets now try changing the Bit Setting for DVD+R media, the current Booktype is normal (DVD+R):

After pressing the "Set" button, the booktype changed to DVD-ROM:


23. Conclusion

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 23

Conclusion

SONY's DRU-710A has to compete with many new 16X writers with faster writing +/-R and DL speeds. The drive's weakness is the writing quality. Specifically, 9 out of 22 media reported errors and the scan/reading process was aborted. Only with RW media did the drive perform well. In the case of Double Layer discs, Traxdata failed while playing back, during the layer change.

The CD reading tests revealed that the drive is a fast reader but with low error correction capabilities. With DVD media, the performance is reversed, where the drive has good error correction but with average reading speed.

According to our DAE test, the drive was again a fast reader and managed to rip/playback all of our AudioCD protected discs. 99min AudioCD's are not a problem for the drive while 90min lowers the speed to the extreme.

CD games protection are a problem for the DRU-710A. It can only create working backups with SafeDisc versions 2.8 or lower.

The CD writing times should be lower for 48X and we would like the 48X to be supported by default in order to avoid pressing the eject button for 5 seconds every time we open the tray. The writing quality with CDs, according to our jitter measurements tests, can be characterized as good, however it depends on the inserted media.

One important feature that the drive supports is that of the booktype change. This solves any possible compatibility problems on players and other drives.

The price for the retail package varies beetween $135~170. We estimate that the price is a little high since the competition offers 16X for both DVD formats in combination with 4X with DL media at prices lower than $100.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like to be fixed


24. Firmware Hacks

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 24

Firmware Hacks

It is possible with the use of "OmniPatcher for LiteOn DVD Writers", to change the maximum supported reading speed for every supported media as listed in the drive's firmware and of course swap writing strategies between the media.

We have ticked the "Increase DVD±R/R9/RW reading speed" in order to see if the drive can benefit from the increased reading speed. Judging from the results below, only DVD+R/+RW media can "boosted" to 12X with a smooth graph, the DVD-R reached 10X, while DVD+R9 read up to 10X (CAV).

Click To Enlarge!


25. Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 1

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 25

Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 1

Sony recently released a new firmware version that aims to further boost the performance of the SONY DRU-710A burner. It provides 12X DVD-R burning speed, instead of 8X that previous firmware versions supported. It can also burn double layer media at 4X. Reading performance is not changed, but DRU-710A was already a very good and fast reader, so there is no need to optimize reading performance.

Sony also tried to optimize writing speed for certain media that could not be burned at maximum naming speed. For example, the Philips DVD+R 16X certified media could only be burned at 8X. With this new firmware, you can burn this media at 12X. You can see a complete media support list in the table below. Unfortunately, only Verbatim double layer media can be burned at 4X, but we hope to see further improvements at this point.

DVD-R
DVD+R
4M SYS 202C1/52 [ 4x ]
AML /52 [ 4x ]
AN30 /52 [ 4x ]
AN31 /52 [ 4x ]
AN32 /52 [ 4x ]
Auvistar /50 [ 2x ]
BeAll G00001/50 [ 2x ]
BeAll G40001/52 [ 4x ]
BeAll G80001/52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
CMC MAG. /50 [ 2x ]
CMC MAG. AE1/52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x ]
CMC MAG. AF1/52 [ 4x ]
DATA TRACK /52 [ 4x ]
DAXON004 /52 [ 4x ]
DAXON008S /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x ]
DKM_01 /52 [ 4x ]
Dvsn /52 [ 4x ]
FORNEX001 /50 [ 2x ]
FORNEX101 /52 [ 4x ]
FUJIFILM03 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
GSC001 /50 [ 2x ]
GSC001 /52 [ 4x ]
GSC002 /52 [ 4x ]
GSC003 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
INFODISC-R01/52 [ 4x ]
INFODISC-R20/52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
ISSM 01 /52 [ 4x ]
LD /50 [ 2x ]
LEADDATA /50 [ 2x ]
LEADDATA S03/52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
LEADDATA01 /52 [ 4x ]
LGE04 /52 [ 4x ]
LGE08 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
LONGTEN 001 /52 [ 4x ]
LONGTEN 009 /52 [ 4x ]
MAM4XG01 /52 [ 4x ]
MBI /50 [ 2x ]
MBI 01RG20 /52 [ 4x ]
MBI 03RG30 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
MCC 00RG200 /50 [ 2x ]
MCC 01RG20 /52 [ 4x ]
MCC 02RG20 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
MCC 03RG20 /00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x ]
MCI4XG01 /52 [ 4x ]
MCIG01 /50 [ 2x ]
ME 153 /52 [ 4x ]
MEI 00V001 /50 [ 2x ]
MUST 001 /52 [ 4x ]
MXL RG01 /50 [ 2x ]
MXL RG02 /52 [ 4x ]
MXL RG03 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
NANYA-JC001 /52 [ 4x ]
ONIDTECH /52 [ 4x ]
OPTODISCK001/50 [ 2x ]
OPTODISCK001/52 [ 4x ]
OPTODISCR004/52 [ 4x ]
OPTODISCR008/52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
Plasmon1A /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
POSG04 /52 [ 4x ]
POSG06 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
POSJ 01 /50 [ 2x ]
PRINCO /50 [ 2x ]
PRINCO /52 [ 4x ]
PRINCO8X01 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
PRINCO8X02 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
ProdiscF01 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
PRODISCG02 /50 [ 2x ]
ProdiscS03 /52 [ 4x ]
ProdiscS04 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
PVC001001 /00 [ 2x ]
PVCR001002 /52 [ 4x ]
RITEKG03 /50 [ 2x ]
RITEKG04 /52 [ 4x ]
RITEKG05 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
RITEKG06 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
RITEKM02 /52 [ 4x ]
SKC Co.,Ltd./52 [ 4x ]
SKC M801 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
SONY /50 [ 2x ]
SONY04D1 /52 [ 4x ]
SONY08D1 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x ]
TAIYOYUDEN /50 [ 2x ]
TAROKO-MX4 /52 [ 4x ]
TDKG02000000/50 [ 2x ]
TTG01 /52 [ 4x ]
TTG02 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
TTH01 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
TTH02 /00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
TYG01 /52 [ 4x ]
TYG02 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
UME01 /52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
VANGUARD /52 [ 4x ]
VDSPMSAB 01 /52 [ 4x ]
VDSP­SAB 01 /52 [ 4x ]
Yi Jhan 001 /52 [ 4x ]
AML /001/00 [ 4x ]
AML /002/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
BeAll000/P40/00 [ 4x ]
BeAll000/P80/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
CMC MAG /E01/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
CMC MAG /F01/00 [ 4x ]
CMC MAG /F01/01 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
CMC MAG /M01/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
CMC MAG /R01/00 [ 4x ]
DAXON /AZ1/00 [ 4x ]
DAXON /AZ2/00 [ 4x, 6x ]
DAXON /AZ3/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
DDT 01 /001/01 [ 4x ]
DT-D02 /02 /00 [ 4x ]
DT-D03 /004/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
EMDP /000/00 [ 4x ]
GSC502 /002/00 [ 4x ]
GSC503 /H01/00 [ 4x ]
INFODISC/R10/02 [ 4x ]
INFODISC/R20/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
INFOME /R20/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
ISSM /001/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
LD /001/00 [ 2.4x ]
LD /A02/00 [ 4x ]
LD /S03/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
LONGTEN /002/00 [ 4x ]
MAM /M02/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
MAXELL /001/00 [ 4x ]
MAXELL /002/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
MAXELL /003/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
MBIPG101/R03/00 [ 4x ]
MBIPG101/R04/01 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
MBIPG101/R05/01 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
MCC /001/00 [ 4x ]
MCC /002/00 [ 4x ]
MCC /003/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
MCC /004/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
MEDIA ID/001/00 [ 4x ]
MPOMEDIA/001/00 [ 2.4x ]
MPOMEDIA/040/00 [ 4x ]
MPOMEDIA/080/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
MUST /002/01 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
MUST 002/ /02 [ 4x ]
NANYA /CHX/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
NANYA /CLX/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
NANYA /DR /00 [ 2.4x ]
NANYA /RJB/00 [ 4x ]
OPTODISC/OP1/00 [ 2.4x ]
OPTODISC/OP2/00 [ 2.4x ]
OPTODISC/OR4/00 [ 4x ]
OPTODISC/OR8/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
Philips /081/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
PHILIPS /C08/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
PHILIPS /C16/01 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x ]
Plasmon /c01/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
PRODISC /R01/00 [ 2.4x ]
PRODISC /R02/00 [ 4x ]
PRODISC /R03/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
PRODISC /R04/04 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
PRODISC /R05/01 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
RICOHJPN/R00/00 [ 4x ]
RICOHJPN/R01/02 [ 4x ]
RICOHJPN/R02/03 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
RICOHJPN/R03/04 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
RITEK /M02/01 [ 4x ]
RITEK /R01/00 [ 2.4x ]
RITEK /R02/01 [ 4x ]
RITEK /R03/01 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
RITEK /R03/02 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
RITEK /R04/01 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
SKYMEDIA/R01/00 [ 2.4x ]
SONY /D01/00 [ 4x ]
SONY /D11/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
SONY /D21/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
TDK /001/00 [ 4x ]
TDK /002/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
TDK /003/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
ULTRAN /202/00 [ 4x ]
VDSPMSAB/001/01 [ 4x ]
WINGSHIN/001/31 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
WINGSHIN/G04/00 [ 4x ]
YUDEN000/T01/00 [ 4x ]
YUDEN000/T01/01 [ 4x ]
YUDEN000/T02/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
YUDEN000/T03/00 [ 4x, 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
DVD-RW
DVD+RW
CMCW02 /00 [ 2x ]
CMCW03 /00 [ 4x ]
DAXON_RW2X01/00 [ 2x ]
JVC/VictorT7/00 [ 1x ]
JVC0VictorD7/00 [ 4x ]
JVC_VictorW7/00 [ 2x ]
MCC 00RW11N9/00 [ 1x ]
MCC 01RW11n9/00 [ 2x ]
MCC 01RW4X /00 [ 4x ]
OPTODISCK001/20 [ 1x ]
OPTODISCK001/21 [ 2x ]
OPTODISCW002/21 [ 2x ]
OPTODISCW004/21 [ 4x ]
PRINCO /20 [ 1x ]
PRINCO /21 [ 2x ]
PRINCORW0004/31 [ 2x ]
Prodisc DW04/21 [ 2x ]
Prodisc DW06/00 [ 4x ]
ProdiscDVDRW/00 [ 1x ]
PVCW00D002K9/21 [ 2x ]
PVCW00V00245/00 [ 2x ]
RITEK000V11A/00 [ 1x ]
RITEKW01 /00 [ 2x ]
RITEKW04 /00 [ 2x ]
SONY000000U9/00 [ 1x ]
TDK501saku]3/20 [ 1x ]
TDK502sakuM3/00 [ 2x ]
TDK601saku /00 [ 4x ]
CMC MAG /W01/00 [ 2.4x ]
CMC MAG /W02/00 [ 4x ]
DAXON /D41/00 [ 4x ]
DAXON /D42/00 [ 4x ]
INFODISC/A01/00 [ 2.4x ]
INFODISC/A10/00 [ 4x ]
MBIPG101/W03/00 [ 2.4x ]
MBIPG101/W04/00 [ 4x ]
MCC /A01/00 [ 2.4x ]
MKM /A02/00 [ 4x ]
NANYA /DRW/00 [ 4x ]
NANYASC /DRW/00 [ 2.4x ]
OPTODISC/OP1/00 [ 2.4x ]
OPTODISC/OP4/01 [ 4x ]
PHILIPS /010/02 [ 4x ]
PHILIPS /041/00 [ 4x ]
PRODISC /W01/00 [ 2.4x ]
PRODISC /W02/00 [ 4x ]
RICOHJPN/W01/00 [ 2.4x ]
RICOHJPN/W11/01 [ 4x ]
RITEK /001/01 [ 2.4x ]
RITEK /004/30 [ 4x ]
RITEK /W04/00 [ 4x ]
SENTINEL/W01/00 [ 2.4x ]
SENTINEL/W02/00 [ 4x ]
SONY /S11/00 [ 4x ]
DVD+R9 (Double Layer media)

CMC MAG /D01/00 [ 2.4x ]
INFOME /D01/00 [ 2.4x ]
MKM /001/00 [ 2.4x, 4x ]
PHILIPS /CD2/00 [ 2.4x ]
PRODISC /D01/00 [ 2.4x ]
RICOHJPN/D00/01 [ 2.4x ]
RITEK /D01/01 [ 2.4x ]

The bolded media are the media that we tested with this new firmware. Below are the drive's main specs as given by Nero CD/DVD Speed, DVDInfoPro and VSO Inspector with the new BYX2 firmware:

The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP recognized as a "SONY DVD RW DRU-710A".


26. Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 2

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 26

Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 2

Below you can see the writing strategies the SONY DRU-710 is using with the new BYX2 firmware.

click to enlarge!

Burning process started at 6.69X and Nero CD/DVD Speed reported an average speed of 11.98X (CAV writing). Burning process was completed in 5:58mins.

click to enlarge!

Burning process started at 5.39X and Nero CD/DVD Speed reported an average speed of 9.60X (P-CAV writing). Burning process was completed in 7:01mins.


27. Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 3

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 27

Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 3

In the table below, you can see the results we got for DVD-R media format at 12X.

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we followed our standard testing procedure with the LiteON SOHD-167T reader and the Plextor PX-712A burner.

As you can see, although PI error rates where rather low, both media could not be read successfully by the LiteON reader. We hope to see DVD-R writing quality improved with a future firmware release.


28. Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 4

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 28

Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 4

In the table below, you can see the results we got for DVD+R media format at 12X.

Again, we followed our standard testing procedure with the LiteON SOHD-167T reader and the Plextor PX-712A burner to investigate writing quality.

click to enlarge!

click to enlarge!

Philips media reported better results, with very low PI error rates. Both media were read successfully by the LiteON drive, but Verbatim 16X certified media introduced high PI error values, reaching a maximum point of 820.


29. Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 5

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 29

Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 5

In order to investigate the performance of the drive with double layer media, we burned Verbatim DVD+R DL disc with DVD-Video content and DVD-ROM BookType setting.

As the source we used "Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" disc1 with total size of 6.86GB. First, we transferred the movie to the HDD with DVD Decrypter, stored in ISO format (single file). Afterwards, we used the latest CopyToDVD software to burn the image and selected the SONY burner.

There was a small pause after selecting the desired burner, but this should not worry users, since the drive needs to initialize the media to achieve maximum performance.

The burner needed 23:04mins to complete this process. The average speed was 3.83X as reported by the CopyToDVD software.


30. Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 6

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 30

Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 6

In order to test the writing quality of the burned DVD+R DL DL, we again used the LiteOn SOHD-167T and Plextor PX-712A drives.

click to enlarge!

SONY DRU-710A reported very good performance with Verbatim double layer media. No error at all with both LiteON and Plextor drives, and low PI error levels. Of course, booktype changes are always possible, while DVD-ROM booktype is the default booktype setting for DVD+R9 media.


31. Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 7

SONY DRU-710A Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 31

Updated Firmware Performance (v.BYX2) - Page 7

We usually apply hacked firmware versions for several drives to boost their performance. With this firmware release, SONY practically offers officially what we usually get "unofficially". We were happy to see that SONY is always trying to improve their drives, and add more features to drives that are already on the market. 4X double layer writing and 12X DVD-R writing support is a great addition to this new firmware, released by SONY.

On the other hand, DVD-R writing quality can be further improved. Double layer media was written successfully at 4X and reported very good quality results. According to these results, this new firmware release is suggested for all owners of the DRU-710A burner.



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