Turn off the Ad Banner  

To print: Select File and then Print from your browser's menu.

    -----------------------------------------------
This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
-----------------------------------------------


Appeared on: Thursday, March 03, 2005
Pioneer DVR-109


1. Introduction

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 1

Introduction

has been leading the DVD recording race, especially when we consider that almost all of the previous models supported the fastest DVD-R writing speeds. The A07 was the only recorder that supported 8X±R recording speeds while the A08 continued the tradition by supporting 16±R writing speeds along with 4X DL writing. At the end of January 2005, Pioneer started shipping the DVR-109, which supports the fastest available writing/re-writable speeds, making the comparison with NEC ND-3520A and Plextor PX-716A real interesting for most users.

- Official press release

According to the posted press release on 06/01/2005:

"...The DVR-109 offers Dual/Double Layer support for DVD-R/+R media types at 4X along with 16X writing to DVD-R/+R, 8X writing to +RW and 6X to DVD-RW. The drive's combined specifications deliver the highest level of all-round DVD-writing performance currently available.

The DVR-109 can write 4.7GB of data to write-once media in seven minutes on either DVD-R or +R media, complemented by the capability to store up to 8.5GB on Dual/Double Layer discs. The product is ideal for a wide range of applications including the authoring, editing and storing of video files*, developing digital music catalogues, building image libraries and backing up data. It is among the first drives to offer 16X write speeds on DVD-R in line with the October approval of the speed enhancement to DVD-R by the DVD Forum.

Pioneer created the DVD Forum's preferred specification - DVD-R - which reigns supreme as the most-purchased media format. Our track record for innovation is further underlined by the fact that we are usually first to market with write-speed enhancements. However, while most manufacturers tend to focus on write speed as the key selling points of their drives, Pioneer has also invested in enhancing core technologies. Our drives offer a range of features to improve writing quality and compensate for media irregularities and the DVR-109 represents the optimum evolution in DVD writing performance, observes Chris Tampsett, Senior Manager, Pioneer Europe Multimedia Division.

The DVR-109's embedded hardware features - "Precision Recording Technology" to enhance DVD writing performance. This technology includes a "Liquid Crystal Tilt/Thickness Compensator" to ensure precise writing by automatically adjusting for Single and Dual/Double Layer media that are warped or of uneven thickness. An "Ultra Dynamic Resonance Absorber" (Low Vibration Mechanism) is also provided to reduce the instability and vibration caused by imbalanced or damaged media to achieve and maintain the integrity of the recording and playback performance. "Reduced length": DVR-109 has reduced its outer casing length by 18mm for easy installation into compact towers.

The drive will offer DVD-R Dual Layer compatibility through a firmware upgrade once the DVD-R Dual Layer specification has been officially approved by the DVD Forum. The write speed for selected DVD-R Dual Layer and +R Double Layer media types can also be increased to 6X through this firmware upgrade. The +RW Alliance is now finalising the +RW 8X format and the product can be enhanced to support this media through a firmware upgrade once the +RW 8X specification has been officially approved by the +RW Alliance..."

- Specifications

DVD DVD-R*1, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R DL (Dual Layer), DVD+R DL*3 (Double Layer) DVD+RW
CD CD-R 700(type 80), 650MB(type 74), CD-RW, Ultraspeed CD-RW, Highspeed CD-RW
Read Support
DVD DVD-ROM (single layer and DL), DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R DL (Dual Layer), DVD+R DL*3 (Double Layer), DVD+RW, DVD-RAM (Non-cartridge DVD-RAM Version 2.0/2.1 only)
CD CD-ROM(Mode 1), CD-ROM XA Mode 2 (form1, form 2), CD-DA, CD-Extra (CD Plus), Video CD, PhotoCD (single/multi-session), CD-Text, CD-R, CD-RW (High-speed CD-RW, Ultra Speed CD-RW)
Write Speed
DVD-R 16x, 12x, 8x, 6x, 4x, 2x, 1x
DVD-RW 6x, 4x, 2x, 1x
DVD-R DL 6x, 4x, 2x
DVD+R 16x, 12x, 8x, 6x, 4x. 2.4x
DVD+RW 8x, 6x, 4x, 2.4x
DVD+R DL *3 6x, 4x, 2.4x
CD-R 40x, 32x, 24x, 16x, 10x, 4x
CD-RW 24x, 20x, 16x, 10x, 4x
Read Speed
DVD-ROM (single) Max 16x CAV
DVD-ROM (dual) Max 12x CAV
DVD-R, DVD+R Max 12x CAV
DVD-RW,DVD+RW Max 8x CAV
DVD+DL MAX 8x CAV
DVD-RAM Max 2x CLV
CD-ROM, CD-R Max 40x CAV
CD-RW Max 32x CAV
Mounting Orientation Horizontal and Verticle
IDE Interface ATAPI PIO Mode 4, Multi word DMA Mode 2 16.6 Mbytes/sec. Ultra DMA mode 4
66.6 MBytes/sec.
Data Buffer (size) 2 MBytes (Write, Read)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 148mm x 42.3mm x 180mm

*Cautions
*1 DVD-R Version 2.0 for Gerenal only
*2 Media specific feature. Use speed certified media. An 80 wire IDE cable is required to achieve maximum writing speed
*3 DVD+R Double Layer Media

As Pioneer suggests "...To achieve the specified writing and reading performance it is important that the DVR-109 is connected to the IDE port via an 80 way ribbon cable and that the IDE port is at least UDMA 66 or above...". Lets now see the drive's main characteristics as given by NeroInfoTool. and DVDInfoPro:

- The package

The Pioneer DVR-109 is the bulk version of the DVR-A09XL series, meaning you will simply get the bare drive and a disc with software. There are physical differences between DVR-109 and DVR-A09XL, as far we know, the DVR-A09XL series won't sold around Europe, since the price is quite higher than the DVR-109 and the competition is very rough. The DVR-A09XL series have the advantage of a much nicer front bezel and the "QuietDrive" software that can reduce/speed up the reading/ripping speeds with CSS DVD-Video discs.

The front of the drive is rather simple, without the Pioneer logo but with the DVD-R, DVD+RW and USRW logos. As you can see, we got two drives, one with white and one with black bezel:

On the rear you can find the analogue audio output, the IDE selection pins, the IDE connector and the power input. As we discussed earlier, you should really use 80pin IDE ribbon cable to get the maximum performance of the drive..

The top of the drive includes the identification sticker with code number, serial number, manufacture date and place of manufacture ("Made in China"):

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. Click on the photos for an enlarged view. The drive uses more or less the same chipsets as found over NEC ND-3520A, of course the board design and firmware developed by Pioneer:

Below is a close up photo of the drive's pickup/lens system:


Click to enlarge

- Installation

The device was connected to our test PC and was identified as "PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-109" under WinXP.

The drive shipped with v1.09 firmware revision, which was updated to the latest available v1.17, that used to perform all the writing tests.

The reading tests were performed with the v1.09 firmware.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.61
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.27
  5. PlexTools v2.20
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.51
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.6
  8. DVD Decrypter 3.5.2.0
  9. CopyToDVD 3.0.42

2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 2

Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

The Pioneer, due to its 40X supported speed for the CD format, was slower than the NEC and the Plextor drives.

- DVD Format

All the tested drives support 16X CAV reading speed with SL discs. Pioneer and Plextor seem to be the faster but the difference is negligible.

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 ASUS and Pioneer drives once more exhibit similar performance. In this task, the Pioneer drive performed faster even than an already fast Plextor drive. Simply excellent reading performance...

The graph shown above indicates the reading performance for the drive with OTP dual layer media. 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 of 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. Once again Pioneer leads the race.

Here, NEC is the faster reader with the recordable formats, while Plextor with re-writable.

The performance for CSS DL media with the Pioneer drive is slow, since the drive includes riplock protection when reading CSS DVD-Video discs. This "problem" doesn't occur with the DVR-A09XL series or of course, with patched un-official firmware.

- DVD-RAM

The drive can read DVD-RAM but only at 2X CLV, according to the specs. For our test, we used a 5X DVD-RAM disc from Maxell burned with the LG GSA-4120B. The disc was read without any problems at 2X CLV.

-Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction Tests

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - 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: 2785583
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 58499
Avg: -66.7 dB(A)
Max: -8.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 45382
Avg: 18.9 Samples
Max: 1491 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 4
Avg: 6.0 Samples
Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result
64.8 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
Not present or doesn't supported by EAC

Unfortunately, as it seems from the table and the graph above, the performance for this test was poor. The total error count is extremely high while the maximum value is much higher than the limit. There were many muted samples as well as even more skipped samples than usual. The total score of 62.3 out of 100 is fair indication.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 0
Avg: -174.0 dB(A)
Max: -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
100.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
Not present or doesn't supported by EAC

The Abex TCD-726 test disc is much easier for drives in general to read. The Pioneer DVR-109 drive succeeds in achieving the absolute score of 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 more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The tracks are 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
Pioneer DVR-109
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

This is typical performance for several of the latest writers we have tested. Pioneer could improve the performance with a future firmware upgrade.


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 4

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the 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 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 SL media up to 16X. The scratched area did not affect the reading process. The drive showed very good behavior with this disc and no errors were produced.

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 between 65 and 75 micrometers.

Once again the drive read the disc at 16X. This time however, the 75micrometers fingerprints forced the drive to lower its speed in order to read past the defect on the disc. No errors were reported.

- 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.

Very good performance.

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.

Once again the reading graph is smooth revealing strong error correction.
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 upon 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.

Although this disc is a problem for quite a few drives, the Pioneer drive corrects any defects and reads it successfully.

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.

Excellent reading graph...


5. Protected Disc Tests

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - 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
2:05 min
723 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07
SafeDisc v.2.60.052
58:03 min
96 sectors/sec
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
2:31 min
2277 sectors/sec

The reading performance of the drive with PSX games was average. The SafeDisc protection seems to be a minor issue for the Pioneer, as it is for the NEC. The performance with SecuROM was very good, and the Pioneer was the fastest among the drives.

- Writing Tests

The drive 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 (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 v3.1

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
Yes
Creative CD5233E

Pioneer DVR-109

The drive can backup accurately only up to SD v2.51.201, due to the used chipset. The newer builds cannot be replicated accurately, either with EFM Correction option or without.


6. DAE Tests

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 6

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

The drive supports up to 40X CAV DAE speed. The following results were reported when using Exact Audio Copy.

The Pioneer confirmed the manufacturer's specifications regarding 40X DAE speed. As EAC reports, the drive doesn't support C2 error reporting (at least compatible with EAC), but caching and accurate stream are supported.

- Advanced DAE Quality

Pioneer received a perfect quality score of 100. Unfortunately, the Pioneer drive can't read Lead-in/out data but can read CD Text and Subchannel data.

- Ripping 90/99mins AudioCDs

The drive has problems reading 90/99min Audio CDs with NeroCDSpeed. As it can be seem from the tranfer rate graphs below, the drive failed to finish both readings.


7. Protected AudioCDs

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - 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 v0.9beta5.

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 it recognized the 13th Data track.

The test results are shown in the following table:

Pioneer DVR-109
Key2Audio
CDS200
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison not the same for all corresponding tracks
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison not the same for all corresponding tracks

The drive managed to rip successfully both protected CDs, however the Read&Test CRC comparison wasn't the same for all 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 to 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 v1.04).

Pioneer DVR-109
CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
Reading performed without any errors

The C1/C2 error rates are rather low but we would like to see no C2 errors.

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

No reading errors were reported after extracting all files meaning, the drive can backup the disc without any problems.


8. CD Recording Tests

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 8

CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Format

The drive supports 4X, 8X, 16X (CLV), 24X (Z-CLV), 32X (P-CAV) and 40X (CAV) writing speeds.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive ends the test after 3:00mins. The test started at 17.83X and finished at 40.48X having an average speed of 30.42X.

Although Nero reported that some discs burned successfully at 40X, the time needed was close to 4:30min. For this reason we made some simulation tests with those discs. As it can be seen, the true speed was 32X, while the writing strategy depends on the inserted disc.

- 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 with all the recording times for the various media.

Below is another graph that displays the recording times for the same project with all the tested drives. The Plextor PX-716A has the lowest recording time due to its 48X recording speed.

- Other features

The drive can only overburn only up to 82mins:

- CD-RW Format

The drive supports both the HS-RW and US-RW formats. With US-RW media, 10X, 16X (CLV), 20X and 24X (Z-CLV) writing speeds are available, as Nero reports.

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

We also used Nero Burning Rom in order to burn a data disc at 24X. The data compilation we burned had a size of 651 MB and the duration of the recording process was 3:45 minutes.

- CD-RW Mount Rainier

The drive doesn't support the Mount Rainier feature.


9. Writing Quality Tests - Clover System Tests

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 9

Writing Quality Tests - Clover System Tests

This is the first time we include the following tests in a burner review. The Clover Systems CDX Compact Disc Analyzer is a high-speed tool to quantitatively measure the quality of a CD. It will analyze CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-I, CD-R, Photo-CD, Enhanced CD and CD-RW discs at 4X, 8X, 24X, 32X or 40X speed. It effectively measures disc quality by examining the quantity and severity of CIRC errors generated during playback. It also provides the capability to measure signal parameters related to pit geometry, such as asymmetry and reflectivity. Together, all these bits of information provide a thorough analysis of disc quality. The Clover Systems Analyzers can also perform various format-checking tests on data discs, and do bit-for-bit data comparison on all types of CDs. All tests are carried out at the maximum speed of 40X.

CIRC error correction uses two principles to detect and correct errors. The first is redundancy (extra information is added, which gives an extra chance to read the disc), and the second is interleaving (data is distributed over a relatively large physical area). The CIRC error correction used in CD players uses two stages of error correction, the well known C1 and C2, with de-interleaving of the data between the stages.

The error type E11 means one bad symbol was corrected in the C1 stage. E21means two bad symbols were corrected in the C1 stage. E31 means that there were three or more bad symbols at the C1 stage. This block is uncorrectable at the C1 stage, and is passed to the C2 stage. Respectively, E12 means one bad symbol was corrected in the C2 stage and E22 means two bad symbols were corrected in the C2 stage. E32 means that there were three or more bad symbols in one block at the C2 stage, and therefore this error is not correctable.

BLER (Block Error Rate) is defined as the number of data blocks per second that contain detectable errors, at the input of the C1 decoder. Since this is the most general measurement of the quality of a disc, you will find BLER graphs for all media tested below. If you click on the images you can see a more detailed table, indicating error levels. The Red Book specification (IEC 908) calls for a maximum BLER of 220 per second averaged over ten seconds. Discs with higher BLER are likely to produce uncorrectable errors. Al low BLER shows that the system as a whole is performing well, and the pit geometry is good. However, BLER only tells us how many errors were generated per second, and it does not tell us anything about the severity of those errors.

- Sumarry

The test criteria are a little high and for this reason only the Verbatim media "passed" the test. For all other discs, we had E32 errors, meaning the disc is un-readable. Pioneer should fix the CD-R recording support for the remaining, popular media brands, other than Verbatim.

- Appendix

Media Label
ID Code
Manufacturer Name
Lead Out TIme
SKC 52X
97m26s26f
SKC
79m59s73f
Maxell 48X
97m15s17f
Ritek
79m59s70f
Philips 52X
97m15s17f
Ritek
79m59s70f
Traxdata 52X
97m15s17f
Ritek
79m59s70f
BenQ 52X
97m22s67f
Daxon
79m59s74f
TY 80min 48X
97m24s 1f
Taiyo Yuden
79m59s72f
Verbatim 52X
97m34s23f
MCC
79m59s73f

10. DVD Recording Tests

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner- Page 10

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The main differences between the DVR-108 and DVR-109 are, the increase in DVD-RW and DVD+RW speeds up to 6X and 8X respectively and the adoption of the DVD-R DL format. Both DVD±R DL media can be burned up to 6X (CLV), which is at the very least, impressive. The exact same recording speeds are present with Plextor's PX-716A, while the NEC ND-3520A is somewhat slower, mainly with the DVD±R DL format (only 4X). Nero Burning Rom reported speeds are shown below, after inserting DVD-R and DVD+R 16X certified discs.

While Pioneer reports CAV/PCAV writing technology for all writing speeds above 6X (8X/12X/16X), with the 1.17 firmware, several media are supported at 12X burning with Z-CLV and not P-CAV. We assume that newer firmware will support more media with the CAV/PCAV writing technology... By using Nero CD-DVD Speed with DVD-R and DVD+R media, we are able to see the supported writng strategy for each speed and format for this burner. Click on each image below for a complete CDSpeed graph.


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge

We didn't manage to perform an 8X DVD+RW burning. Currently only 4X can be confirmed and its writing strategy is CLV. This is something that is also confirmed by the official supported media list from Pioneer, which you can see on the next page. We expect new firmware to support the 8X writing speed.


Click to enlarge

- Burning Tests

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

Not many DVD-R media are supported at 16X. The lowest recording time was 5:54mins with TDK's TTH02 media. Many 8X media are oversped by Pioneer up to 12X, with more or less the same recording times. While RitekG05 is supported at 12X, the actual recording done is at 8X, as the final recording time indicates...

Once again, not many media are supported at 16X. The lowest recording time of 5:34mins is very good, again several 8X media can be oversped up to 12X. Lastly, many 8X media, unfortunately, are supported only at 4X. Hopefully newer firmware will fix this.

- Comparison with other drives

The Pioneer DVR-109 proved to be the fastest burner in this comparison, for both DVD±R formats! The NEC ND-3520A was the fastest (but the other drives don't yet support 8X +RW), while the DVR-109 is the fastest with DVD-RW!

- DVD Overburning Tests

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

- DVD+MRW Tests

The drive doesn't support the Mount Rainier feature.


11. Official supported Media List v1.17

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 11

Official supported Media List v1.17

DVD-writable media list & Higher speed writability by DVR-109 series

The DVR-109 Series memorizes the optimal writing conditions (Write Strategy) which may be unique for some DVD-writable media. The maximum writing speed for the DVR-109 series is dependent on the media type. The media which is supported by the individual Write Strategy (the best writing condition memorized) for the DVR-109 series is listed below.
For any media type which is not listed below, please refer to "DVD-writable media table supported by the DVR-109 Series".

  1. Of the media manufacturers listed below, there exists the media that does not exert the stated performance (8x/12x/16x writing). Please to consult with respective manufacturers if any questions arise regarding particular media.
  2. Media evaluation has not completed for the other media manufacturers not listed below.
  3. The list does not guarantee all the listed are capable of higher speed writing always.
  4. The list will be updated from time to time to add the results of new evaluations..
 
Media type
The maximum writing speed
Media manufacturer
DVD-R
16X-speed
16x
CMC Magnetics Corporation , SONY Corporation , Taiyo-Yuden Co., Ltd. (That's) *3 , TDK Corporation , Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.(maxell) *6, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation(Verbatim) *6
12x *1
BeALL Developers, Inc.*6
4x
Other media than those above
8X-speed
12x
CMC Magnetics Corporation *4 , Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.(maxell) , RITEK Corporation *4 , Taiyo-Yuden Co., Ltd. (That's) , TDK Corporation (Manufacture ID:"TTH01") *2
8x
Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. , Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation(Verbatim) , Prodisc Technology Inc. , SONY Corporation , TDK Corporation (Manufacture ID:"TTG02")*2 , Daxon Technology Inc. *6, GIGASTORAGE Croporation*6
4x
Other media than those above
DVD-R DL
4X-speed
6x
Scheduled for listing at a future date
DVD+R
16X-speed
16x
SONY Corporation, Taiyo-Yuden Co., Ltd. (That's) *3, TDK Corporation , Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.(maxell) *6 , Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation(Verbatim) *6
12x *1
CMC Magnetics Corporation , Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.(maxell) , Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation(Verbatim) , MOSER BAER INDIA LIMITED , Philips Electronics
4x
Other media than those above
8X-speed
12x
CMC Magnetics Corporation , Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation(Verbatim) ,Taiyo-Yuden Co., Ltd. (That's) , TDK Corporation , Philips Electronics *4
8x
BeALL Developers, Inc. , Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.(maxell) , MOSER BAER INDIA LIMITED , Prodisc Technology Inc. , Ricoh Company, Ltd. , RITEK Corporation , SONY Corporation
4x
Other media than those above
DVD+R DL
2.4X-speed
6x
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation(Verbatim)
2.4x
Other media than those above*5
DVD+RW
8X-speed
8x
Scheduled for listing at a future date

‹ as of 17th/February, 2005 ›

*1:  Some of 16X DVD-R/DVD+R media are written with 12X maximum according to the conditions of Pioneer's writer.
*2:  Media ID is the information made from combination of alphabet and numerical letters which is unique for the media.
*3:  Starting with firmware revision 1.01
*4:  Starting with firmware revision 1.05
*5:  Starting with firmware revision 1.09
*6:  Starting with firmware revision 1.17

12. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 12

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing 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.

16X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

The writing quality for DVD-R at 16X is simply great. Both CDSpeed and Plextools confirmed this.


13. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 13

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing 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.

12X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

The PI scans with Plextools show low levels, while the reading graphs from CDSpeed were smooth. Once again the writing quality is excellent.


14. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 14

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing 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.

8X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

Although there are not many media brands that can be burned at 8X, this has nothing to do with the writing quality at this speed. Good writing quality is aslo evident here...


15. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 15

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing 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.

4X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

Once again the quality is high.


16. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 16

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing 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.

16X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

The writing quality at 16X is very good, according to Plextools and CDSpeed.


17. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 6

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 17

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 6

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing 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.

12X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

The recording quality at 12X +R is near perfect.


18. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 7

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 18

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 7

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing 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.

8X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

Once again the quality is great...


19. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 8

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 19

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 8

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing 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.

4X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

In all cases, the quality is rather good. In the case of Creation media, the PIE levels were increased in comparison with the other media brands, but even in this case the CDSpeed reading graph was as smooth as it gets.


20. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 9

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 20

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 7

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing 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.

DVD±RW Writing Speed

- Summary

The recording quality with DVD re-writable media was average for several media brands, while only in one case was the quality was good, that of Traxdata media.


21. Writing Quality Tests - Almedio AEC-1000

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 21

Writing Quality Tests - Almedio AEC-1000

The AEC-1000 consists of a DVD Drive and the "ALChecker" error measurement application which can check the written data quality. The application is capable of 1X CLV measurement as well as 4X CLV on DVD-Video/ROM and finalized DVD+R/-R media.

There are three measurement modes:

The checking status is shown graphically in real time while you can save the error graph at the end of the test. The reported errors are the PI and the UncPO. In the case of PI, it counts the number of rows corrected by the PI error correction in each group of eight consecutive ECC blocks. In the case of UncPO, it counts the number of ECC blocks in which more than one byte is uncorrectable in eight consecutive ECC blocks. For our quality scans, we set for 1X CLV and Fine Mode which is the slowest and with the safest results. Also, we chose to measure all the media burned at the maximum available writing speed, namely 16X.

The above message is what was reported after all tests were finished. Once again, the high writing quality, even at 16X, was confirmed.


22. DVD+R DL - Page 1

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 22

DVD+R DL - Page 1

The Pioneer DVR-109 is among the first DVD burners (along with Plextor's PX-716A) supporting 6X DVD+R DL with currently sold 2.4X Verbatim DVD+R DL media. We don't have any DVD-R DL media yet at our labs, but in any case the DVR-109 doesn't support DVD-R DL under v1.17 firmware.

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 in ISO format (single file).

We chose the "GLADIATOR.ISO" image file and we selected the Pioneer burner to start burning.

When we pressed "OK", the burning procedure started:

The DVR-109 finished the burning task after 16:29, which is the lowest recording times we have witnessed at our labs. According to CopyToDVD, the average writing speed was 5.37X and as was expected, the recorded disc had DVD-ROM booktype, important for the highest possible compatibility with DVD players.

We used media from Traxdata, CMC Magnetics, Ricoh and Philips to confirm the drive's writing abilities. Below are the logs from CopyToDVD for each burn:

- Traxdata DVD+R DL 2.4X

- CMC Magnetics DVD+R DL 2.4X

- Ricoh DVD+R DL 2.4X

- Philips DVD+R DL 2.4X

For comparison reasons, we post DL burning results from other writers, with the same disc content and same recording software. The Pioneer DVR-109A is the fastest since it supports 6X (CLV) speed:

Drive
Time (mins)
Pioneer DVR-109 (6X) 16:29
LG GSA-4163B 22:24
LG GSA-4160B 37:59
Plextor PX-716A 23:33
NEC ND-3520A 22:35 
NEC ND-3500A 22:52
Pioneer DVR-108 23:10
Asus DRW-1604P 23:10
Philips DVDR1640P 24:23
BenQ DW1620A 24:21

23. DVD+R DL - Page 2

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 23

DVD+R DL - Page 2

In order to test the Pioneer DVR-109 DL's writing quality, we used the LiteOn SOHD-167T and the Plextor PX-712A drives with our usual tests:

A nearly perfect Plextools graph, the LiteON graph was perfect too.

- Summary

In all cases the writing quality was excellent, except for that of CMC Magnetics medium where the second layer reported increased error levels.


24. 109 vs SA300

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 24

109 vs SA300

For checking exactly what the Pioneer DVR-109 reports, we used three different media, burned with other writers. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X. We used the latest version of CDSpeed, with a special switch to turn this function on. DVDinfoPro can be used to work with the drive, but there are some consern about what it reports exactly. Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested Pioneer drive. Using other drives, even another DVR-109, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

In the case of PI sum, the trend lines are similar but the values are very different. On the other hand, both PIF trend lines and value levels are almost the same.

Once again the PIF graphs and values are close enough while for PI sum, only the trend lines are similar.

Neither the trend lines or the values for both PI sum and PIF graphs are similar.


25. Bitsetting

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 25

Bitsetting

As with the Pioneer DVR-108, the DVD-109 doesn't support BookType Setting for DVD+R/+RW formats. With DVD+R DL discs, Booktype is automatically set to DVD-ROM.

As Pioneer explains "...It is known that not all existing DVD-ROM drives and set-top DVD Video players will be able to if at all reliably play DVD+R DL discs. This could especially be the situation with DVD players manufactured over 12 months ago. The only way to know if a player is compatible with DVD+R DL media is to simply try it. In particular check if the player can reliably switch to the second layer and continue playing. It must be remembered that standards for Dual Layer did not exist when most earlier players were designed and manufactured so there was no way a manufacturer could have taken this into account.

Media Support - Book-type issue on +R DL media

+R DL media is tentatively-assigned the book-type field "1110h" which results in very low playback compatibility when the disc is placed into a legacy DVD player or legacy DVD-ROM drive. For "maximum compatibility" with legacy DVD players and DVD-ROM drives the book-type field should be set as "0000h" (DVD-ROM) when the disc is finalized/closed.

The DVR-108/DVR-A08XL's firmware will "automatically" set the default book-type field to "0000h" (DVD-ROM), thus eliminating the need for a separate "bit-setting utility" and further increasing the playback compatibility of +R DL discs when used with legacy DVD players and DVD-ROM drives
..."

In case you need bitsetting, there is a way to support it by flashing the device with un-official firmware, although we expected that Pioneer would have supported this feature by default.


26. Conclusion

Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 26

Conclusion

The Pioneer DVR-109 is the first 16X ±R burner to support the 6X speed for both DVD-R DL and DVD+R DL media. The writing time to burn a DVD+R DL disc at 6X is 16:29min, while the writing quality is very good and the DVD-ROM booktype promises maximum compatibility with DVD players.

The DVR-109 isn't the fastest CD reader you can buy and its CD error correction could be better. On the other hand, its DVD reading abilities are much better, mostly with pressed media. The NEC ND-3520A supports 16X reading with stock firmware for DVD±R media where the Pioneer drive's max is 12X. DVD error correction was very good, without any major problems, while the CSS DVD-Video ripping speed is slow, due to the riplock feature. Don't forget that the DVR-109 can read DVD-RAM media too, albeit at a slow 2X CLV...

When reading protected discs, the DVR-109 isn't the greatest tool, where Safedisc's bad sectors are skipped very slowly and only SecuROM protected games are ripped at an adeqaute speed. More bad news, when trying to backup protected games discs only the older Macrovision Safedisc builds (<2.51) can be replicated accurately.

According to our DAE tests, the drive can't read from the Lead-in/out area but can read CD Text and Subchannel data while it passes with a perfect score, the Advanced DAE Quality Test. The 90/99min discs are another issue for the DVR-109, since it reported unrecovered errors while reading both. The three tested AudioCD protected discs are not a real problem, although the Read&Test CRC checksum wasn't the same between the corresponding tracks (i.e. between the original and extracted tracks).

Looking at the CD writing speeds, while Pioneer claims 40X, users might be dissapointed if the inserted disc is not a supported disc. From our tests, only Verbatim 48X media burned and read back without any problems. Several other media we used had much higher recording times and E32 errors, which may lead to un-readable discs. Overburning is also not reliable, since our 90/99 test discs weren't recognized by the drive, so we had limited results, only up to 82mins, using an 80min disc.

Last but not least, and probably the most important issue for a DVD burner is its writing quality and with a variety of media at all recording speeds. This is a strong point of this drive. While the supported media list is rather limited for 16X (upcoming firmware will improve this), the writing quality in most cases was excellent. Compared with two other famous burners, the NEC ND-3520A and Plextor PX-716A, the DVR-109 managed to give the lowest burning times for the DVD±R and DVD+R DL formats. Power users would like to have bitsetting for DVD+R/+RW too, but Pioneer unfortunately doesn't support it, ignoring user requests for this feature even with the DVR-107/108 series. DVD+R DL projects have autobiset to DVD-ROM, ensuring the highest possible compatibility with desktop DVD players.

Lastly, we should mention, the ability of the drive to report C1C2 and PIPO errors from CD/DVD media through the use of DVDInfoPro and Nero CD/DVD Speed (with a special trick). The price for the drive is very low, as usual, and at the time of this review was somewhere between US$75~80. Concluding our review, we can say that the Pioneer DVR-109 has several positive and negative points which should be weighed by users before buying. Amateur users will love this drive, since the writing quality is excellent in most cases. Power users may want several features added.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like To be fixed

Retail Package
Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
Writing
Features


Home | News | All News | Reviews | Articles | Guides | Download | Expert Area | Forum | Site Info
Site best viewed at 1024x768+ - CDRINFO.COM 1998-2014 - All rights reserved -
Privacy policy - Contact Us .