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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Wednesday, May 04, 2005
LiteON SOHW-1673S


1. Introduction

After the release of the 1653S, a 16X/12X (±R), LiteOn hits the market with the 1673S model, a 16X/16X DVD burner. Since speed is the primary concern of all potential buyers out there, note here that the 1673s can burn a full DVD disc in almost 6 mins.

The 16X speed is supported for both formats. The drive's specs also report a 4X DL writing speed and an 8X speed for +RW media, while for -RW media the drive reaches the 6X burning speed.

- Features

SMART-X technology: the drive will rip the music / VCD data as fast as possible with less errors, even on a poor quality media (e.g. dirty, scratched), the drive will estimate if the ripped data will result in audio noise, interruptions or mosaic on screen, the rip speed can be reduced to get more correctable data. While SMART-X provides the fastest possible ripping speed, if you just want to listen to music or watch a movie, it's not necessary for the drive to maintain high speeds to read the data. It will automatically operate at lower speeds to get better playability, hence the smart in SMART-X.

- Specifications

Model 16X DVD Dual Drive with Double Layer Writing
Interface:
ATAPI/E-IDE
Data Buffer Memory 2MB
Data Transfer Rate (max)
 
DVD+R Writing
16X
DVD+R DL Writing
4X
DVD+RW Rewriting
8X
DVD-R
16X
DVD-RW Rewriting
6X
DVD-ROM Reading
16X
CD-R Writing 48X
CD-RW Rewriting 24X
CD-ROM Reading 48X
Random Access Time 120ms
Support Media for Reading DVD : DVD Single/dual layer (PTP, OTP), DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL (8.5GB)
CD : All CD-ROM/R/RW formats
Installation Angle Horizontal/Vertical
Audio Specification  
Line output level 0.85±0.15 Vrms
S/N Ratio 75dB
Environment  
Temperature Operating: 5°C to 45°C
Storage: -20°C to 60°C
Humidity Operating: 15-80% ( Non-condensation)
Power Requirement DC+12V±5%, DC+5V±5%
Compatibility Windows 98 SE/ME/XP/2000
Physical Dimensions  
WxHxD 145 x 41.3 x 170mm
Weight 0.9kg (typical)

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

The drive also uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. However, since this is a LiteOn drive, you can set the drive to region free using several readily available utilities.

Below is some additional information from KProbe regarding LiteON drives:

- European Retail package

The retail package is the same that we have become used to with all LiteOn drives, with the exception of the DVD+R and DVD-R media. It includes the LiteON SOHW-1673S, along with the standard audio cable and mounting screws, plus the CDs with application software, DVD authoring, writing and editing software, DVD playback software, BackUp software and User's Manual. Along with the all of the above, the kit contains the Nero OEM Suite and the Power DVD 5 for your viewing needs.

The front panel is the same as on previous LiteON models. The activity led lights up green when the device is active while also on the front, the user will discern the DVD+R Double Layer logo.

The rear panel has the usual analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), IDE connector and power input.

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

..

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and under Windows XP, recognized as "LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1673S ". The drive came to our labs with the JS02 firmware and was flashed with the latest release, JS05, as it was reported by Nero's drive properties and shown in the following image.

For the needs of comparison in this review, we will be demonstrating the drive's capabilities against those of the NEC ND-3520A and Plextor 716S drives.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.75
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v3.00
  5. PlexTools v2.20(Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.05, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.51
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.8
  8. DVD Decrypter 3.5.4.0
  9. CopyToDVD 3.0.34.58

2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

The LiteON SOHW-1673S supports up to 48X reading speed for CD-R media and 32X for CD-RW media. Below are the transfer rate graphs, where we compare its performance against the other two drives:

Although in the first graph we can see the LiteOn drive was the fastest drive with pressed CD media, that is not the case with the CDR and USRW media. With CD-R media the drive reached a maximum speed of 40X while with the CD-RW, it could only manage 32X max. The Plextor drive had the most stable, overall performance.

- DVD Format

Not the fastest drive with DVD media in the comparison. The Liteon reported average speeds, with results that place it in second place. The Plextor drive once more showed it was the most stable performer.

Fairly consistent speeds with all formats from the 1673S but a little on the slow side.

The LiteOn had a good ripping transfer rate but the Plextor is unbeatable in this test.

- Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


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: 918141
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 51282
Avg:-74.1 dB(A)
Max: -34.7 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 2924
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 11 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 2
Avg: 6.0 Samples
Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result
71.9 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
99.6%

The performance according to the graph is good. From the results we see that the total error count is low, which is good and the maximum error loudness at just under -35 dB(A) is also good. Unfortunately, there were some skipped samples which prevented the drive from attaining a higher total test result score. Good performance otherwise.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num:0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
100.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The behavior of drive was much better in this case where it managed to correct all the disc's errors. The result was a perfect 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 ability 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 tracks 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
LiteON SOHW-1673S
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 performance with the specific test disc. The fourth and the fifth levels include an error size of 1.125mm and 1.500mm respectively, and the drive produced continues audible clicks over those tracks.


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests, we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the LiteOn SOHW-1673S 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 1673S was capable of reading the 821 test media reporting some speed fluctuations near the completion of the reading, due to the drives correction mechanism. Notice that at this point the speed was near 16X.

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 good reading and would have been a great one if not for the drop in speed right before the second defective area with the fingerprints.

- 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.

The performance here is also good and it would be absolute perfect if not for the speed drop at the end of the second defect.

ABEX TDR-845

This test 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 discs is that the first includes defective areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defective areas ranges from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micrometers.

This time the transfer rate graph was very good. No errors reported.

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB. The disc is based on the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

click to enlarge!

What we have here is a nearly excellent performance with a test disc which usually produces average results with many common drives. But in this case, we can only see a wobble in speed after the start of the second layer. Nicely done by the 1673S.

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!

Excellent, smooth graph.

- Conclusion

With what can be classified as a better than average error correction mechanism, we move on to the protected disc tests of this review of the 1673S burner.


5. Protected Disc Tests
- Reading Tests

Using Alcohol 120% and three protected discs, with the appropriate settings depending on the protection type of each disc, we measured the duration and transfer rate of the protected media, the results of which are given below.

Game Title
Protection Scheme
Duration
Reading speed
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
Lybcrypt
3:03 min
493 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter
SafeDisc v.2.50.051
13:21 min
418 sectors/sec
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
2:22 min
2420 sectors/sec

The drive was the fastest among the drives in this comparison with SecuROM. With the PSX and SafeDisc protection, the drive was on the slow side. The Plextor PX-716A gave the best overall performance.

- Writing Tests

The LiteON SOHW-1673S 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 (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
Liteon 1673s
No
Yes


6. DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD

Using a pressed AudioCD and its CD-R copy with EAC, we get the following results:

LiteOn proved to be the fastest among the three drives.

-Advanced DAE Quality

The LiteOn 1673S reported the best results, being the fastest of all three drives and received a score of 100 (perfect) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test.

- Reading 90/ 99mins Audio CDs

The drive could not read the 90mins media, reporting the above error.

click to enlarge!

In this case, the drive managed to successfully read the 99mins audio cd, reporting some drops in speed near the completion of the reading process.


7. Protected AudioCDs

For this test procedure we used three audio discs with different audio copy protection schemes. 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 contains artificial errors that are not easy to bypass with a reader, while the Key2Audio contains a second session, causing problems for readers when they attempt to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).

The tested tasks are:

The LiteON SOHW-1637S recognized up to the 12th Audio track of CDS200 disc,

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

The test results are shown in the following table:

Key2Audio
CDS200
LiteON SOHW-1673S
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks
Ripping process completed, EAC reports timing problems, Read&Test CRC comparison not the same for all tracks

The LiteOn SOHW-1633S 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 with 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 using the Plextor PX-712A (firmware v1.05).

 

CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
LiteON SOHW-1673S
Reading performed without any errors, writing produces few C2 spikes

The C1/C2 error graphs show that the drive did not manage 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 LiteON SOHW-1673S supports 48X CD-R and 24X US-RW recording speeds.

The drive supports the following speeds for CD media recording, illustrated in the screen shot below:

According to Nero CD Speed, the drive confirmed the maximum 48X speed. The test started at 21.59X and finished at 48.83X, having an average speed of 36.95X. Click on the image below for an enlarged view.

click to enlarge!

For the burning tests, we created an 80min data compilation through Nero Burning Rom, recording the data on several 700MB discs. The LiteON SOHW-1633S needed only 2:43 minutes to complete this task at the maximum 48X writing speed.

In the following graph we can see the recording times the LiteOn 1673S needed with various CD-R media.

The LiteON SOHW-1673S 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.

click to enlarge!

The drive starts the writing task at 16.01X and reaches a maximum of 24.02X having an average speed of 22.48X.


9. C1 / C2 Error Measurements

We measured the C1 / C2 error rate on the recorded discs we burned at the maximum supported writing speed of 48X. The software we used is PleXTools Professional v2.16, and more specifically the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-712A (firmware v1.05).

- Summary

CD writing quality according to Plextools is very much dependent on the inserted media. In almost all cases, there were C2 errors while in the case of Traxdata media, there were also CU errors. Only with Verbatim media did it manage a good burn. We expect a newer firmware release will improve this.

- Appendix

Media Label
ID Code
Manufacturer Name
Lead Out TIme
Intenso 80min 52X
97m32s19f
Prodisc
79:59:71
MMore 80min 48X
97m17s 6f
Moser Baer India, Ltd.
79:59.74
Traxdata 80min 52X
97m15s17f
Ritek Co.
79:59:70
Philips 80min 48X
97m15s17f
Ritek Co.
79:59:70
Verbatim 80min 52X
97m34s23f
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
79:59:73

10. 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.

- Summary

The test confirms Plextools' results we saw in the previous page.

- Appendix

Media Label
ID Code
Manufacturer Name
Lead Out TIme
Intenso 80min 52X
97m32s19f
Prodisc
79:59:71
MMore 80min 48X
97m17s 6f
Moser Baer India, Ltd.
79:59.74
Traxdata 80min 52X
97m15s17f
Ritek Co.
79:59:70
Philips 80min 48X
97m15s17f
Ritek Co.
79:59:70
Verbatim 80min 52X
97m34s23f
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
79:59:73

11. DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The maximum supported speed is 16X for both the DVD+R and DVD-R formats. For DVD+RW, the speed is 8X while for DVD-RW 6X.

The supported burning speeds as given by Nero:

By using Nero CD-DVD Speed with DVD-R and DVD+R media, we are able to see the supported speeds for the drive.

click to enlarge!

The drive completed successful DVD writing at 8X in 8:36mins. The test started at 5.39X, reached a maximum writing speed of 8.03X and reported an average speed of 7.71X.

click to enlarge!

The test started at 5.36X, reached a maximum writing speed of 12.04X and reported an average speed of 9.56X.

click to enlarge!

The drive completed successful DVD writing at 16X in 6:05mins. The test started at 6.62X, reached a maximum writing speed of 15.86X and reported an average speed of 11.85X.

The test started at 5.42X, reached a maximum writing speed of 8.03X and reported an average speed of 7.72X.

The test started at 5.34X, reached a maximum writing speed of 12.04X and reported an average speed of 9.56X.

The drive completed successful DVD writing at 16X in 5:41mins. The test started at 6.67X, reached a maximum writing speed of 15.97X and reported an average speed of 11.96X.

- Burning Tests

The drive supports up to 16X writing speed with -R media. Best burn was with Verbatim media, burned in 6:19 mins.

In this case, best performance came with TDK media, burned in only 6:10 mins.

- Comparison with other drives

As we can see from the above graph, the Liteon drive was only slightly behind the NEC burner although time differences between the burners are negligible.

As with the previous case, we have drives that support the same burning speeds with all formats, so we can see the differences in times is negligible except for the NEC drive with DVD+RW media, which reported a very fast time.

- DVD Overburning Test

Unfortunately, the drive does not support DVD overburning with both -R and +R media formats, giving the above error messages.

- DVD+MRW Tests

The drive does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


12. Media Support list for FwJS05

You can see a comprehensive list of media supported by this burner in the following tables (the tables apply for firmware version JS05).

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 G16001/00 [6x,8x,12x]
BeAll G40001/52 [4x]
BeAll G80001/52 [4x,6x,8x]
CMC MAG. /50 [2x]
CMC MAG. AE1/52 [4x,6x,8x]
CMC MAG. AF1/52 [4x]
CMC MAG. AM1/00 [6x,8x,12x]
CMC MAG. AM3/00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
DATA TRACK /52 [4x]
DAXON004 /52 [4x]
DAXON008S /52 [4x,6x,8x]
DAXON016 /00 [6x,8x,12x]
DAXON016S /00 [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]
GSC005 /00 [6x,8x,12x]
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]
LEADDATA S04/00 [6x,8x,12x]
LEADDATA01 /52 [4x]
LGE04 /52 [4x]
LGE08 /52 [4x,6x,8x]
LGE16 /00 [6x,8x,12x]
LONGTEN 001 /52 [4x]
LONGTEN 009 /52 [4x]
MAM4XG01 /52 [4x]
MBI /50 [2x]
MBI 01RG20 /52 [4x]
MBI 01RG40 /00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
MBI 03RG30 /52 [4x,6x,8x]
MBI 03RG40 /00 [6x,8x,12x]
MCC 00RG200 /50 [2x]
MCC 01RG20 /52 [4x]
MCC 02RG20 /52 [4x,6x,8x]
MCC 03RG20 /00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
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]
MXL RG04 /00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
NAN YA A01 /52 [4x,6x,8x]
NAN YA F02 /00 [6x,8x,12x]
NANYA-JC001 /52 [4x]
ONIDTECH /52 [4x]
OPTODISCK001/50 [2x]
OPTODISCK001/52 [4x]
OPTODISCR004/52 [4x]
OPTODISCR008/52 [4x,6x,8x]
OPTODISCR016/00 [6x,8x,12x]
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]
ProdiscF02 /00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
PRODISCG02 /50 [2x]
ProdiscS03 /52 [4x]
ProdiscS04 /52 [4x,6x,8x]
ProdiscS05 /00 [6x,8x,12x]
PVC001001 /00 [2x]
PVCR001002 /52 [4x]
RITEKF1 /00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
RITEKG03 /50 [2x]
RITEKG04 /52 [4x]
RITEKG05 /52 [4x,6x,8x]
RITEKG07 01/00 [6x,8x,12x]
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]
SONY16D1 /00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
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 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
TYG01 /52 [4x]
TYG02 /52 [4x,6x,8x]
TYG03 /00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
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 [6x,8x]
BeAll000/P40/00 [4x]
BeAll000/P80/00 [6x,8x]
CMC MAG /E01/00 [6x,8x ]
CMC MAG /F01/00 [4x]
CMC MAG /F01/01 [6x,8x]
CMC MAG /M01/00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
CMC MAG /R01/00 [2.4x]
DAXON /AZ1/00 [4x]
DAXON /AZ2/00 [6x,8x]
DAXON /AZ3/00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
DAXON /CY3/00 [6x,8x,12x]
DDT 01 /001/01 [4x]
DT-D02 /02 /00 [4x]
DT-D03 /004/00 [6x,8x]
EMDP /000/00 [6x,8x]
GSC502 /002/00 [4x]
GSC503 /H01/00 [6x,8x]
INFODISC/R10/02 [4x]
INFODISC/R20/00 [6x,8x]
INFOME /R20/00 [6x,8x]
INFOME /R30/00 [6x,8x,12x]
ISSM /001/00 [6x,8x]
LD /001/00 [2.4x]
LD /A02/00 [4x]
LD /S03/00 [6x,8x]
LGEP16 /001/00 [6x,8x,12x]
LONGTEN /002/00 [4x]
MAM /M02/00 [6x,8x]
MAXELL /001/00 [4x]
MAXELL /002/00 [6x,8x]
MAXELL /003/00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
MBIPG101/R03/00 [4x]
MBIPG101/R04/01 [6x,8x]
MBIPG101/R05/01 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
MCC /001/00 [2.4x]
MCC /002/00 [4x]
MCC /003/00 [6x,8x]
MCC /004/00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
MEDIA ID/001/00 [4x]
MPOMEDIA/001/00 [2.4x]
MPOMEDIA/040/00 [4x]
MPOMEDIA/080/00 [6x,8x]
MUST /002/01 [6x,8x]
MUST 002/ /02 [4x]
NANYA /CHX/00 [6x,8x]
NANYA /CLX/00 [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 [6x,8x]
OPTODISC/R16/00 [6x,8x,12x]
Philips /081/00 [6x,8x]
PHILIPS /C08/00 [6x,8x]
PHILIPS /C16/01 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
Plasmon /c01/00 [6x,8x]
PRODISC /R01/00 [2.4x]
PRODISC /R02/00 [4x]
PRODISC /R03/00 [6x,8x]
PRODISC /R04/04 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
PRODISC /R05/01 [6x,8x]
RICOHJPN/R00/00 [2.4x]
RICOHJPN/R00/00 [4x]
RICOHJPN/R01/02 [4x]
RICOHJPN/R02/03 [6x,8x]
RICOHJPN/R03/04 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
RITEK /M02/01 [4x]
RITEK /P16/01 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
RITEK /R01/00 [2.4x]
RITEK /R02/01 [4x]
RITEK /R03/01 [6x,8x]
RITEK /R03/02 [6x,8x]
RITEK /R04/01 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
SKYMEDIA/R01/00 [2.4x]
SONY /D01/00 [4x]
SONY /D11/00 [6x,8x]
SONY /D21/00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
TDK /001/00 [4x]
TDK /002/00 [6x,8x]
TDK /003/00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]
ULTRAN /202/00 [6x,8x]
VDSPMSAB/001/01 [4x]
WINGSHIN/001/31 [6x,8x]
WINGSHIN/G04/00 [4x]
YUDEN000/T01/00 [4x]
YUDEN000/T01/01 [4x]
YUDEN000/T02/00 [6x,8x]
YUDEN000/T03/00 [6x,8x,12x,16x]

DVD-RW
DVD+RW
CMCW02 /00 [2x]
CMCW03 /00 [4x]
CMCW04 /00 [4x,6x]
DAXON_RW2X01/00 [2x]
JVC/VictorT7/00 [1x]
JVC0VictorD7/00 [4x]
JVC1Victord7/00 [4x,6x]
JVC_VictorW7/00 [2x]
MCC 00RW11N9/00 [1x]
MCC 01RW11n9/00 [2x]
MCC 01RW4X /00 [4x]
MKM 01RW6X01/00 [4x,6x]
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 [4x]
RITEKW06 /00 [4x,6x]
SONY000000U9/00 [1x]
TDK501saku]3/20 [1x]
TDK502sakuM3/00 [2x]
TDK601saku /00 [4x]
TDK701saku /00 [4x,6x]
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]
MKM /A03/00 [6x,8x]
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]
PHILIPS /RW8/00 [6x,8x]
PRODISC /W01/00 [2.4x]
PRODISC /W02/00 [4x]
PRODISC /W03/00 [6x,8x]
RICOHJPN/W01/00 [2.4x]
RICOHJPN/W11/01 [4x]
RICOHJPN/W21/01 [6x,8x]
RITEK /001/01 [2.4x]
RITEK /004/30 [4x]
RITEK /008/30 [6x,8x]
RITEK /W04/00 [4x]
SENTINEL/W01/00 [2.4x]
SENTINEL/W02/00 [4x]
SONY /S11/00 [4x]

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 drop offs. 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 is average at 16X. Although the PIE levels were low in all cases, some of the discs failed the CDSpeed reading test.


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 drop offs. 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

Not very good writing quality with the DVD-R format. High PIE and all but one CD-Speed scan produced terrible graphs, indicating low writing quality.


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 drop offs. 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

4X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

The writing quality with DVD+R media at 8X is good. In almost all cases, the error levels are low. CMC Magnetics, Datawrite and Maxell had the smoothest CDSpeed graphs.


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 drop offs. 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

4X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

The 8X speed seems to be much better with DVD-R media than at 16X. Low error levels and better CDSpeed graphs.


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 drop offs. 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, 6X, 8X ±RW Writing Speed

- Summary

As we can see, both the DVD-RW and +RW formats reported some high error values in most cases, but fortunately, the media that was burned at 6X and 8X gave pretty good results, which means that the drive supports them fully as stated in the specs and can give some nice burns.


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, the latest available version at the time of the review. After choosing the "GLADIATOR.ISO" image we selected the LiteON SOHW-1673S burner.

  • CMC Double Layer media @ 2.4X

The writing process was finished after 37:27 minutes. The average speed was 2.35X as reported by the CopyToDVD software. The recorded disc had DVD+R9 format booktype setting.

  • Philips Double Layer media @ 4X

The writing process was finished after 22:34 minutes. The average speed was 3.89X. Nice 4X supported writing speed.

  • Traxdata Double Layer media @ 2.4X

The writing process was finished after 37:27 minutes. The average speed was 2.35X.

  • Verbatim Double Layer media @ 4X

The writing process was finished after 22:36minutes. The average speed was 3.98X. Again we have a nice 4X burning speed.

For comparison reasons, we post DL burning times for other writers, with the same disc content and same recording software:
Drive
Time (mins)
LiteON SOHW-1673S
22:34
NEC ND-3520A
22:35
Freecom FX-50 22.40
Sony DRU-710A
23:04
Pioneer DVR-108

23:10

ASUS DRW-1604P (4X)
23:10
Plextor PX-716A 23:33

The LiteON was the fastest burner in the above list.


19. DVD+R DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

In order to test the LiteON SOHW-1673S DVD+R DL writing quality, we used the LiteOn SOHD-167T and the Plextor PX-712A drives.

click to enlarge!

Although the reading process completed without any errors, we can see that there was a lot of "turbulence" in the graph line in the first layer of the DL media.

Using Plextools, we can see the very high levels with the PI reaching all the way to almost a 1000 while some POE. No serious errors reported but then again, not a very inspiring performance.

Great smooth line excellent reading, even though we are looking at a 4X burned speed DL media. Excellent performance in this case.

Somewhat high PI/POE in this case, a good deal above the 280 limit for a good plex-scan. But it's fairly good overall.

Same smooth graph with the Philips media, only this time it's 2.4 burned speed, nice reading.

Though the reading may be good, with Plextools it's not the case. Extremely high PI/PO which cannot be excused since the burning speed was the usual 2.4X.

And here we have excellent reading, smooth line from the beginning of the scan till the end and the plex-scan that follows, confirms this very good writing with DL media, burned at 4X speed.

Philips and Verbatim had the best writing quality. Although the Traxdata Plextools scan reported high PIE error levels, the CDSpeed graph seems to be as smooth as it gets. Overall, the DL writing quality is good.


20. SOHW-1673S vs. SA300 - Page 1

For checking exactly what the SOHW-1673S reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 4X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SOHW-1673S drive. Using other drives, even another SOHW-1673S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

From the above graphs, we can see that the error line trend follows the same pattern as the original CATS scans.


21. SOHW-1673S vs. SA300 - Page 2

For checking exactly what the SOHW-1673S reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 4X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SOHW-1673S drive. Using other drives, even another SOHW-1673S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

In this case, the graph patterns differ from the CATS error line pattern.


22. SOHW-1673S vs. SA300 - Page 3

For checking exactly what the SOHW-1673S reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 4X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SOHW-1673S drive. Using other drives, even another SOHW-1673S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

Using MCC DVD-R media scanned at 4X, we can see an almost identical line, although slightly more increased.


23. SOHW-1673S vs. SA300 - Page 4

For checking exactly what the SOHW-1673S reports, we used three different media, burned with other recorders. The three media have been measured using the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 4X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SOHW-1673S drive. Using other drives, even another SOHW-1673S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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


24. BookType Setting

All LiteOn based drives support Booktype setting, allowing the user to maximize compatibility. Users should change to the preferred booktype setting prior to burning +R, +RW or +R9 media.

At first we used Kprobe to change the booktype setting of a DVD+R DL media. As it can be seen from the following image, we got the "F/W not support message".

Then we used the LiteOn Booktype utility version 1.35 and we got the drive to successfully change the booktype of a DVD+RW media. Note that this utility is the only one that can successfully change the booktype setting of any +R media with the 1673S.

Prior to change...

And with the booktype changed successfully.

Concluding the Bit setting section of the 1673S, note this: in order to achieve the booktype change, even with the LiteOn utility, you have to change the booktype and then burn the media, else the change won't show on any media info tool. As you can see in the above screen shot, we had to click the "Change" button and then the "Write Now!" button for the utility to write the information needed for the media to be recognized as DVD-ROM.


25. Conclusion

The LiteOn 1673S is your everyday 16X/16X burner. It's a fast CD reader, supporting up to the maximum supported 48X speed. The DVD reading speed even though is not by any means slow, is not the fastest around either.

DVD ripping is nice, though the drive is not the faster ripper, while audio extraction reported good results, successfully ripping all protected pressed audio discs. On the other hand, protected games were not a strong point of the LiteON drive managing to make working backups of SafeDisk protected games up to v.2.8. In the error correction department, the drive did quite well, managing to successfully read all tested media and producing a total of 100 points result in the DAE quality test.

Even though the drive is a fast reader, it's not a quality CD writer. Burning CD media at the maximum supported burning speed of 48X, the drive produces poor quality burns, while when the burning speed drops, the quality rises. In the quality scan pages earlier in this review, you will notice the difference between the 48X burn and the 40X burn which was the best burn the drive could give using CD media. This leads us to the obvious conclusion that if the user wants quality burns, he/she must actually burn the media at lower than max speed.

The drive can make a full burn at 16X in almost 6 mins, both with DVD+R and -R media. Though the speed is somewhat satisfactory, the quality isn't. As most LiteOn burners are lacking in this area, the 1673S is no exception. Overburning isn't included in the drives capabilities as far as DVD media goes, while the Booktype setting which was LiteOn's biggest advantage is not fully supported now and can be only be achieved through the LiteOn Booktype utility. Last but not least, the 1673S proves to be a good DL recorder, successfully burning DL media at 4X and surprisingly with good quality for such high speed, always referring to the DL speed limit, which is currently at 6X.

The price at the time of the review for the burner was at around US$60.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like to be fixed

 

Retail Package
Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
Writing
Features


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