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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Pioneer DVR-K14L/K04L


1. Introduction

Pioneer, one of the greatest manufacturers in the optical storage industry, recently released two slim burner solutions exclusively for use with notebooks. The DVR-K14L and K04L are capable of burning both DVD+R and DVD-R media at 8X. Moreover, the Pioneer slim burners support up to 4X for DVD-RW/+RW and 2.4X for Double Layer media. With the CD format, both can write and re-write CD media at 24X speed.

Before moving on with the review of the Pioneer drives, we should analyse the basic differences between these two similar but not identical models. As we mentioned before, both drives have the same specifications but there is something that separates them. The loading mechanism (i.e. the way the media is inserted in the drive) of the K14L drive has the classic tray loading mechanism where the media is inserted onto an ejecting tray. The K04L on the other hand, uses the caddy mechanism where the media is inserted into the drive through a vertical slot, without the use of a loading tray.

- Specifications

Interface:
USB 2.0
Buffer Size:

2MB

PC Required :
Pentium 166 MHz or faster CPU, 64 MB DRAM Required
Compatibility :
Windows 98 / 2000 / ME / XP
Dimension : 128mm x 12.7mm x 129mm
Weight : 200g
Power plug type : US, EU, UK, and AUS
DVD Family : Write: 8X+R, 8X-R, 2.4X +R9
  ReWrite: 4X +RW, 4X -RW Read: 8X
CD Family: Write: 24X CD-R, 24X CD-RW, Read : 24X

Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool, VSO Inspector and DVDInfoPro:

Both drives, the K04L and the K14L, use the RPC II region control which supports up to 5 region changes.

- The drives...

The rear panel has the USB and power adapter input.

- K14L :

- K04L :

- Installation: The drive was installed with USB 2.0 interface connection and under WindowsXP, recognized as "Pioneer DVD-RW DVR K14L". The drive's firmware is the only version available, v1.00.

For the needs of the review and comparison tests, we compare the Pioneer drives with the NEC ND-6500A and LiteOn SOSW 852SX drives, flashed with their latest firmware. Please note that all four drives ( the two reviewed drives and the comparison drives), are for laptop pc use mainly, and we should expect good quality rather than speed.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.40
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.27
  5. PlexTools v2.17
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.16
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.1
  8. DVD Decrypter 3.5.1.0
  9. CopyToDVD 3.0.34.58

2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

The Pioneer K14L supports maximum reading speed up to 24X for CD-R and CD-RW media. What follows is a graphic representation of the K14L performance compared to the other two drives:

The Pioneer drive came last using Pressed CD, second using CDR media and first, using USRW media, all in comparison to the other two slim drives...

- DVD Format

Using Single Layer media, the Pioneer drive, reported high speeds, not high enough though to beat the LiteOn slim drive. Using the PTP (Parallel Track Path), a Dual Layer media, the Pioneer drive gave out the best results,and finally in the OTP (Opposite Track Path) case, again a Dual Layer media, the Pioneer came second, reporting high transfer speeds.

In all the above cases, using DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW the K14L reported medium speeds but overall a stable performance.

Finally, in the DVD ripping test using a pressed DL movie, the Pioneer reported the lowest speed.

- Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction Tests
Using the ABEX test discs series from ALMEDIO with the Pioneer K14L, we get the following results...

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num : 891594
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 43631
Avg:-72.3 dB(A)
Max:-21.6 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 6018
Avg: 2.3 Samples
Max: 612 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
75.5 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The drive managed to achieve a total test result of 75.5 out of 100, which illustrates the ability of the drive with the specific test disc. The total error count is relatively low, while no samples were skipped. The performance is rather good.

ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 12
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 4
Avg: -89.9 dB(A)
Max: -71.0 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
94.1 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The behavior of drive was much better in this case where it managed to correct almost all errors. The result was 94.1 points, while no muted or skipped samples were reported.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

In order to evaluate the sound reproduction and error correction capabilities of a CD player (currently the Pioneer K14L),
we used the CD-Check Audio Test Disc. The disc, designed and manufactured with error patterns,contains five tracks, with each track progressively harder to read and reproduced by the CD player. These tracks are referred as Check Level -1 through Check Level -5.

Using a software multimedia player, such as Windows Media Player in this case, the five tracks are reproduced, with a clear and successful reading on each track, as long as the tone reproduced is smooth, uninterrupted, without any skips or loops. Each of the levels passed, is a percent of the reliability of the sound reproduction of the tested device.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
Pioneer K14L/K04L
5/5
5/5
3/5
0/5
0/5

The drive passed only the first three Check Levels of the test, but in the third track not all the attempts were successful. The performance reveals less than average error correction. The fourth and the fifth levels include an error size of 1.125mm and 1.500mm respectively, and the drive produced continuous audible clicks over those tracks as do many of the drives we have reviewed in the past.


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

What follows is a quality check test, which reports the ability of the drive, while reading scratched/defective media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media comes from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media

ABEX TDR-821

The following graphics plot comes from CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test, using a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with 4.7GB capacity with an artificial scratch emended on the disc ranging from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The Pioneer K14L proved more than capable of reading the artificially scratched disc with a small drop in speed at the end of the defective area.

ABEX TDR-825

Similar to the TDR-821 the TDR-825 is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The difference between the two discs is that the later emulates not a scratch but a group of defective areas with dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and fingerprints sized about 65 to 75 micrometers.

In this case, the K14L progressed smoothly while reading over the first defective area of the drive, but as it moved onto the second defect, the drive showed an inability to overcome the fingerprints and generating an error in the middle of the particular defect. Although it managed to complete the test, a read error was reported.

- Dual Layer media
ABEX TDR-841

Let us see, how the drive does in reading an 8.5GB single sided, dual layer DVD- ROM with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm on both layers.

Smooth reading in both layers, with slight fluctuations in speed over the defective areas. Overall a good performance.

ABEX TDR-845

Much like the TDR-841, the TDR-845, a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc with a capacity of 8.5GB differs from the first disc in the fingerprints contained in both layers along with the scratched areas. 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, good reading from the Pioneer drive with the PTP DL disc and two defects on both layers. Again, only slight fluctuations in speed for each layer.

ABEX TDV-541

Using Nero CdSpeed we tested the drive with the TDV-541, a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB. Based on the 540 series for inspection and calibration of DVD-VIDEO players, the TDV-541 inspects the layer switch operation and the error correction capabilities of the drive, including scratches ranging from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

click to enlarge!

The Pioneer performance is inadequate in this case, with good reading in the first layer but a very large drop in speed just after the layer change and continuing through the second layer.

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.

click to enlarge!

As with most drives with this disc, the Pioneer successfully read both sides of the media test disc. Good reading.

- Conclusion
In most cases the error correction was good.

5. Protected Disc Tests - Reading Tests

In order to test the ability of the Pioneer K14L drive in creating an image of a protected disc, we used the well known image maker Alcohol 120% and three types of protected media, one being a PSX game, one with the SafeDisc protection and one with SecuRom protection. Below are the transfer rates and durations of the drives in each case.

Game Title Protection Scheme Duration Reading speed
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme" Lybcrypt 1:36 min 921 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter SafeDisc v.2.50.051 52:59 min 105 sectors/sec
VRally II SecuROM v.2 4:21 min 1277 sectors/sec

With the PSX and Vrally (SecuRom) protected media, the drive produced good results with regards to speed, second in the comparison with the other two drives. As for the Safedisc game, the drive completed the ripping in about an hour, so it's quite obvious that it didn't do as well as with the other games. Overall an average performance.

- Writing Tests

The Pioneer K14L 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

Pioneer K14L/K04L


6. DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD

The specific Pioneer drive supports up to 24X CAV DAE speed. Using a pressed AudioCD and its CD-R copy, we have the following:

The K14L performed well in this test, reporting good speeds.

- Advanced DAE Quality

Using the advanced features of the Nero CdSpeed Advanced DAE Quality Test, the Pioneer K14L returned a quality score of 100 with no data errors or sync errors though it did not manage to complete the Advanced DAE Quality Test, reporting errors while simulating the "on the fly" function.

- Reading 90/ 99mins AudioCDs

The drive could not complete reading of the 90min Audio CD, as shown in the graph above.

click to enlarge!

Again, the drive could not complete reading of the 99min Audio CD, as shown in the graph above.


7. Protected AudioCDs

For this test we used Exact Audio Copy (EAC) and three audio discs each created with different copy protection techniques.

The tested protected Audio discs were:

The "White Lilies Island" from Natalie Imbruglia comes with the Cactus Data Shield 200, a disc which contains artificial errors, rendering a reader incapable of processing them, while Sony's Key2Audio on Celine Dion's album "New Day Has Come", contains a second session where readers are unable to access the TOC (Table Of Contents).

The tested tasks are:

The K14L recognized up to the 12th Audio track of CDS200 disc,

and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed, it then recognized the 13th Data track.

The test results are shown in the following table:

Pioneer K14L/K04L
Key2Audio
CDS200
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks

Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC successful for all tracks.

The Pioneer K14L will rip both Key2Audio and CDS200 protected audio discs. Both discs were recognized and their contents were ripped at the maximum speed.

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 associated to specific burner 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 using the Plextor PX-712A (firmware v1.05).

 

Pioneer K14L/K04L
CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
Reading performed without any errors, writing produces few C2 spikes

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

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

No errors were reported after extracting all files.


8. CD Recording Tests
The K14L supports 24X CD-R and 24X US-RW recording speeds. The drive Cd media recording supported speeds...

The following screenshot confirms the maximum speed of 24X. The test started at 10.04X and finished at 23.99X, having an average speed of 16.85X. Click on the image for a full CDSpeed graph:

click to enlarge!

Using Nero Burning Rom, we created an 80min data compilation, recording the data on several 700MB disc. In only 6:36 minutes, the Pioneer completed the task with a maximum speed of 24X.

In the graph that follows, we can see a graphical depiction of all the recording times with various discs, with the writing performance varying slightly according to the inserted media.

- CD Overburning

The drive does not support overburning.

The K14L supports 24X Z-CLV rewriting speed with Ultra Speed Rewritable Media (US-RW).

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

The drive starts the writing task at 16X and reaches a maximum of 24X. The test started at 10.06X and finished at 23.98X, having an average speed of 16.35X.


9. 3T Jitter Tests

On this page you can see the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs for various media burned at 24X CAV writing speed. According to the Red Book, good Jitter results should be below 35 ns.

- 3T Pit results

At 24X writing speed, all media reported in the main good levels, which indicates average performance. Best results came with the BenQ and Traxdata media.

- 3T Land results

In this case, the Jitter test reported high 3T Land results, indicating average performance. Best results were again with BenQ and Traxdata media.

On the following page, we check the C1 and C2 error rates for the same discs, to come up with more specific conclusions.


10. C1 / C2 Error Measurements

With the aid of PleXTools v2.16 and Plextor 721A, it's time to start measuring the C1 / C2 error rates on the discs we burned with Nero burning software at the maximum supported speed of 24X.

 

BenQ 80min 52X @ 24X

SKC 80min 52X @ 24X

Traxdata 80min 52X @ 24X

MMore 80min 52X @ 24X

TY 80min 48X @ 24X

- Summary

Extremely good performance by the K14L, with C1 being far below the limits in all cases and despite the case of SKC media where some C2 errors were reported.

- Appendix

Media Label
ID Code
Manufacturer Name
Lead Out TIme
BenQ 52X
97m22s67f
Daxon
79:59:74
Taiyo Yuden 48X
97m24s 1f
Taiyo Yuden
79:59:72
MMore 80min 52X
97m17s 6f
Moser Baer India, Ltd.
79:59.74
Traxdata 52X
97m15s17f
Ritek Co.
79:59:70
SKC 52X
97m26s26f
SKC Co., Ltd.
79:59:73

11. Writing Quality Tests - Clover System Tests

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.

BenQ 80min 52X @ 24X

Click for full results

MMore 80min 52X @ 24X

Click for full results

SKC 80min 52X @ 24X

Click for full results

Traxdata 80min 52X @ 24X

Click for full results

TY 80min 48X @ 24X

Click for full results

- Summary

Taiyo Yuden and MMore media revealed the best writing quality among the media.


12. DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

As mentioned in a previous section of the review, the Pioneer K14L as well as its twin K04L, both support up to 8X maximum burning speed for DVD+R/-R and up to 4X for DVD+RW/-RW media.

The supported recording speeds as shown by Nero Burning Rom...

 

Using Nero Cd Dvd Speed, we get the following graphs, were we can clearly see the maximum supported speed in each case and strategy for 8X with DVD+R/-R media.

click to enlarge!

In the above graph we can see the writing strategy using 8X Dvd+R media.The test completed in 13:34 minutes. The starting speed was 2.49X, reached a maximum writing speed of 8.33X and reported an average speed of 5.46X.

click to enlarge!

The test started at 2.07X, reached a maximum writing speed of 8.29X and reported an average speed of 5.62X. The test completed in 12:25mins.

- Burning Tests

The maximum writing speed supported by theK14L with -R media is 8X. As we can see, almost all of the media burned at 8X recorded times that would imply a speed closer to 6X. The best performance came with Datawrite -R 8X media which was burned in 13:33mins.

In this case, using +R media, the drive supports up to 8X maximum speed. The best performance came with Datawrite 8X media, burned in only 13:33 mins.

- Comparison with other drives

In comparison to the other two drives, the K14L reported good writing times, being the second fastest with DVD+R media and the fastest with DVD-R media.

In this case, the Pioneer DVR-K14L came last when writing DVD+RW media being the slowest of the three drives in the graph, but once again, we can see that it reports much better times with the -RW media in which case it was the fastest.

- DVD Overburning Test

Unfortunately, the drive does not support DVD overburning for both the -R and +R media formats.

- DVD+MRW Tests

The drive does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


13. 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:
  • The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.
  • The Plextor PX-712A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 overspeed 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

In all cases Plextools reported low PIE error levels which was not confirmed by CDSpeed.


14. 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:
  • The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.
  • The Plextor PX-712A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 overspeed 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 the case of Optodisc, although CDSpeed reported an almost smooth graph, Plextools could not access the disc.


15. 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:

  • The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.
  • The Plextor PX-712A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 overspeed 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 Plextools and CDSpeed reported different results.


16. 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:

  • The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.
  • The Plextor PX-712A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 overspeed 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

  • TY 4X DVD-R @ 4X

- Summary

Low error levels, confusing graph...


17. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

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

  • The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.
  • The Plextor PX-712A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 overspeed 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 +RW, -RW Writing Speed

- Summary

Mitsubishi DVD+RW had the best writing quality overall...


18. DVD+R DL - Page 1

- Writing Tests

We burned two DVD+R DL discs with DVD-Video content. The source disc was "Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" disc1 with a total size of 6.86GB. First, we transferred the movie to the hard disc with DVD Decrypter in ISO format (single file). Afterwards, we used CopyToDVD v3.0.0.26.

  • Traxdata DL

The writing process was finished after 38:35 minutes. The average speed was 2.29X as reported by CopyToDVD software. The recorded disc had DVD+R9 format booktype setting.

  • Verbatim DL

The writing process was finished after 38:34 minutes. The average speed was 2.30X as reported by CopyToDVD software. The recorded disc had DVD+R9 format booktype setting.
Disc Label
Disc Information
Max Allowed Writing Speed
Total Recording Time (mins)
Traxdata 2.4X
RITEK D01
2.4X
38:35
Verbatim 2.4X
MKM 001
2.4X
38:34

For comparison reasons, we post DL burning times for other writers, with the same disc content and same recording software:
Drive
Time (mins)
Pioneer K14L
38:34
NEC ND-6500A
37:42
BenQ DW1600A DL
40:16
BenQ DW830A
39:14
LiteON SOHW-832S DVD+R DL BookType
38:33
LiteON SOHW-832S DVD-ROM BookType
38:36
SONY DRU-700A

38:39

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

38:23

LiteON SOHW-1633S
38:34
BenQ DW1620A
40:03

As we can see from the above table, the reviewed drive isn't the fastest but in no case is it slow.


19. DVD+R DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

Now, let us have a look at the writing quality of the drive, using the LiteOn SOHD-167T and the Plextor PX-712A drives.

click to enlarge!

Not very good performance, especially near the layer change where we can clearly notice a dramatic drop in speed.

Using Plextools, we plotted got the above scan, with high PI/PO. Not very good performance from the Pioneer drive in this case either. Overall an average performance.

click to enlarge!

Once again, using the CD DVD Speed utility, we got the above scan, which indicates quality reading with no drop in speed this time, smooth reading from the beginning of the scan until the end.

Excellent performance with Verbatim DL media.


20. BookType Setting

The BookType Setting for DVD+R/RW formats is supported by the Pioneer K14L. But this function is user defined. The drive has an auto BookType procedure, where for DVD+R and the DVD+R DL media, the BookType is automatically changed to DVD-ROM prior to burning in order to maximize compatibility with other drives.


21. Conclusion

According to our tests, the drive showed ordinary reading performance, as is to be expected by a drive for laptop use, with good CD error correction. DVD error correction is average and we didn't like the error produced with the ABEX TDR-825 test disc. The reading speed is not an issue with such drive, since it has not been designed for ripping movies or games... On the other hand, we would like to see our 90/99min discs read as well as the Advanced DAE Quality test to finish successfully. Fortunately, all of our protected Audio CDs were recognized and ripped successfully.

In our CD recording tests, the performance was good with low C1 errors and no C2. Clover System also did not report E32 errors. We would like the Jitter levels to be lower however...

Once again, as seen before with other Slim Drives, the reported burning speed isn't that stated in the specifications. Although Nero reported 8X recordings, the actual speed was lower, the time needed confirms this. The PIE error levels were low in most cases which reveals good writing quality. However, CDSpeed didn't confirm this.

The bitsetting feature is something that we would like to see, for higher compatibility, while quality scan capability would be welcomed.

According to the latest market prices, the drive costs around US$240 (VAT included).

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like to be fixed

 

Retail Package
Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
Writing
Features


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