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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Friday, June 24, 2005
LiteOn SOHW-1693S


1. Introduction

The 1693S is the latest drive of the 16XX series from LiteOn, and it combines the 1673S technology along with DVD-R DL media burning support. At first look, this release seems similar in many ways to its previous, the 1673S, but as we will see later on, its not the -DL media format that makes the difference. An overall improvement has been made to this latest drives mechanism.

The max supported speed for both +R and -R media, is 16X while, the drive can burn -RW and +RW media, at 6X and 8X respectively.

- Features

- 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-R DL Writing 4X
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), 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 and VSO inspector:

The drive also uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. As with all LiteOn drives, this one can also be set to Region free through the use of several utilities.

Below is some additional information from KProbe regarding LiteON drives:

- Retail package

The retail package remains the same as all previous releases, except for one extra item this time, the extra bezel included. LiteOn provides the user with one extra black bezel and a fill out form which is to be sent to LiteOn as a feedback on the new bezel. Everything else stays the same with the Authoring and DVD playback software as well as Nero OEM suite for your recording needs. No blank media present.

-The Drive

The external look of the drive is the same as the previous releases, with the DVD+R and DVD+R DL logos and activity led which turns green upon disc insertion. All these of course also apply to the black bezel.

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

We opened the drive case to take a closer look at the inner workings of the drive. Opening the case, voids the drives warranty, so we strongly advise against it. By clicking on the image below you can see a larger, more detailed picture...

click to enlarge

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP, recognized as "LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1693S ". The drive came to our labs with the latest firmware release, KS04, as it is reported by Nero properties in the image below.

For the needs of this review, we will be comparing the drives capabilities alongside the NEC ND-3530A and the BenQ 1640 drives, both 16X/16X drives and with overall, similar specs.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.70
  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
Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

Much like the 1673S, the LiteOn 1693S can support up to 48X reading speed for CD media and 32X for USRW media. Below are the transfer rate graphs for the reviewed drive and the comparison drives.

All drives reported similar speeds more or less. Only with RW media the LiteOn drive gets left behind due to the higher supported reading speed of 40X for both the NEC and BenQ drives.

- DVD Format

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 toward the inner part of the disc.

While in the first case the LiteOn stands up to its name as the "fast reader" with DVD-ROM media, in the latter two cases, the LiteOn drive did not manage to achieve great speeds, reaching its limit at 8X speed.

Once again the drive did not manage to compete with the other two drives, coming last in the readings with all four DVD formats.

LiteOn, gave a nice average ripping speed, coming second to the BenQ drive, while the NEC drive did not manage to achieve such high ripping speeds.

- 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: 1114385
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 53206 Avg:-73.4 dB(A) Max: -21.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 3569 Avg: 1.0 Samples Max: 11 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 76.6 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy 99.7 %

According to the above graph and our experience, the overall performance with this test disc is quite good. The total error count is average while there were no skipped samples. The Total Test Result score is quite good and indicates a drive capable of good error correction.

- 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 response of drive with this test disc was much better 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-1693S 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-1693S 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 SOHW-1693S managed to read this defective disc, producing an almost perfect graph, passing smoothly over the defective area and finishing the test without any errors or drops in speed, even towards the completion of the test where the speed reached 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.

In this case we have a good graph, with the exception of the drop in speed at the start of the fingerprints area. There were also a few problems over the last part of the fingerprints area but nothing major. Other than that, the test ended successfully without errors.

- 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.

Great performance here, as the graph shows. Without any errors, the drive managed to successfully read all the defective areas on both layers.

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.

Again a very good graph indicating very good error correction capacities for the LiteOn 1693S drive. Again we have the slight drops in speed in both layers, just at the start of the fingerprints area.

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!

With a slight drop in speed just before and just after the layer change, the SOHW-1693S managed to read almost perfectly this test disc.

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 performance.

- Conclusion

All the above tests, indicate a good error correction mechanism for the DVD error correction capabilities of the drive. Now let's move on to the protected games ripping and the rest of the review...


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 the duration and transfer rate of the protected media, given below.

Game Title Protection Scheme Duration Reading speed
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme" Lybcrypt 3:03 min 491 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 2383/sec

The drive was the fastest and by a big margin among the drives in this comparison with the SafeDisc protected game. With SecuROM, there's not a lot between the drives but with the PSX protection, the LiteOn drive was very slow

- Writing Tests

The LiteON SOHW-1693S 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 1693s No Yes


6. DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD

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

Both the LiteOn and BenQ drives were the fastest with similar speeds.

-Advanced DAE Quality

The LiteOn 1693S and BenQ DW1640 again had very similar results with an average speed of just over 33X and a quality score of 100.

- Reading 90/ 99mins AudioCDs

The drive could not recognize the inserted 90min audio disc.

click to enlarge!

In this case, the drive managed to successfully read the 99min audio CD but it generated some drops in speed after the start and especially near the end 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-1693S 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:

LiteON SOHW-1693S 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 comparison successful for all tracks

The LiteOn SOHW-1693S 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-716A (firmware v1.05).

LiteON SOHW-1693S CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
Reading performed without any errors, writing produces few C2 spikes

The C1/C2 error graphs report a very good quality burn.

We then tried to extract all the wav files with the Plextor PX-716A and PlexTools DAE with Error Correction 5th Level enabled:

No errors were reported after extracting all files.


8. CD Recording Tests
The LiteOn 1693S supports 48X CD-R and 24X US-RW recording speeds. The drive supports the following speeds for CD media recording, illustrated in the screenshot below:

According to Nero CDSpeed, 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 with Nero Burning Rom, recording the data on several 700MB discs. The LiteON SOHW-1693S needed only 2:46 minutes to complete this task at the maximum 48X writing speed.

In the following graph, we can see the recording times the LiteOn 1693S produced with various CD-R media inserted.

The LiteON SOHW-1693S 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 16.02X and reaches a maximum of 24.04X having an average speed of 22.49X.


9. C1 / C2 Error Measurements

We measured the C1 / C2 error rate on the recorded discs which were 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-716A (firmware v1.07).

- Summary

Plextools C1\C2 scan, reported good quality burns with almost all media except Intenso which reported C2 errors as well as CU and Waitec which reported a few C2 spikes. This may seem overall like an error free burn, but we'll hold off judgment until we have a better look at what Clover Systems has to say in the following page.

- Appendix

Media Label ID Code Manufacturer Name Lead Out TIme
BenQ 80min 52X 97m22s67f Daxon Technology 79:59.74
Intenso 80min 52X 97m32s19f Prodisc 79:59:71
Verbatim 80min 52X 97m34s23f Verbatim 79:59.73
Ridisc 80min 52X 97m15s17f Ritek Co. 79:59:70
Waitec 80min 52X 97m15s17f Multi Media Masters & Machinery SA 79:59:74

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

As we can see from the above graphs and as the table above reports, none of the inserted media achieved a "pass" grade, meaning none of the media produced a totally error free quality burn according to the criteria set on our Clover Systems CDX test bed.

- Appendix

Media Label ID Code Manufacturer Name Lead Out TIme
BenQ 80min 52X 97m22s67f Daxon Technology 79:59.74
Intenso 80min 52X 97m32s19f Prodisc 79:59:71
Verbatim 80min 52X 97m34s23f Verbatim 79:59.73
Ridisc 80min 52X 97m15s17f Ritek Co. 79:59:70
Waitec 80min 52X 97m15s17f Multi Media Masters & Machinery SA 79:59:74

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 speed as given by Nero:

By using Nero CD-DVD Speed with DVD-R and DVD+R media, we are able to see the writing strategy of the drive for both formats at 16X burning speed.

click to enlarge!

The drive completed successful DVD+R writing at 16X in 6:29mins. The test started at 6.68X, reached a maximum writing speed of 15.99X and reported an average speed of 11.95X.

The drive completed successful DVD-R writing at 16X in 5:40mins. The test started at 6.67X, reached a maximum writing speed of 15.98X and reported an average speed of 11.96X.

- Burning Tests

The maximum supported speed for -R media is 16X with the 1693S. Best burn came with Maxell media at 5:58mins.

Best performance in this case was with Ricoh media with a complete burn in 5:51 mins.

- Comparison with other drives

All drives with both +R and -R reported the similar speeds.

Again, all 3 drives reported more or less similar speeds, with the NEC drive being slightly slower with the -RW format and slightly faster with the +RW.

- DVD Overburning Test

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

- DVD+MRW Tests

The drive does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


12. Support Media list for fw KS04

You can see a comprehensive list of the media supported by this burner, in the following tables (the tables apply for firmware version FwKS04).

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 ]
Dvsn-160 -00 [ 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
ENGAGE 01 -52 [ 4x ]
FORNEX001 -50 [ 2x ]
FORNEX101 -52 [ 4x ]
FUJIFILM03 -52 [ 4x, 6x, 8x ]
FUJIFILM04 -00 [ 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
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, 16x ]
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, 16x ]
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, 16x ]
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, 16x ]
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, 16x ]
ISSM -001-00 [ 6x, 8x ]
LD -001-00 [ 2.4x ]
LD -A02-00 [ 4x ]
LD -S03-00 [ 6x, 8x ]
LD -S04-00 [ 6x, 8x, 12x ]
LGEP16 -001-00 [ 6x, 8x, 12x, 16x ]
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 ]
NAN YA -FLX-00 [ 6x, 8x, 12x ]
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, 16x ]
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, 12x, 16x ]
RICOHJPN-R00-00 [ 2.4x ]
RICOHJPN-R00-00 [ 4x ]
RICOHJPN-R00-01 [ 2.4x ]
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 ]
CMC MAG -W03-00 [ 6x, 8x ]
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 ]
SONY -S21-00 [ 6x, 8x ]

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:

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.

16X DVD+R Writing Speed

.

- Summary

According to the graphs from CD-Speed and Plextools for the 16X +R inserted media, burned with the 1693S, the burning quality is good in most cases.


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:

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.

16X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

The writing quality with DVD-R media is very dependent on the media itself. There are cases with good writing quality, while there are others with bad.


15. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

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-716A 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.

6X, 8X ±RW Writing Speed

- Summary

Good burning quality with RW media, which however could be better.


16. 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.

Three out of four measured media managed to pass this quality test with Good condition reported.


17. 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, latest available version at the time of the review. After choosing the "GLADIATOR.ISO" image we selected the LiteON SOHW-1693S recorder.

The writing process was finished after 22:43minutes. The average speed was 3.91X as reported by CopyToDVD software.

The writing process was finished after 22:43minutes. The average speed was 3.91X.

The writing process was finished after 22:45 minutes. The average speed was 3.90X.

The writing process was finished after 22:30minutes. The average speed was 3.89X.

The writing process was finished after 23:21minutes. The average speed was 3.72X. The -R DL media support feature is the drive's main addition to the previous LiteOn releases. In the following page we will take a closer look at the quality of the specific burn, as well as all the other DL media burned.

For comparison reasons, we post DL burning times for other writers, with the same disc content and same recording software:
Drive Time needed
Pioneer DVR-109 16:29
NEC ND-3530A 17:48
LiteOn 1693S 22:30
Sony DRU-800A 22:48
NEC ND-3500A 22:52
ASUS DRW-1604P (4X) 23:10
Pioneer DVR-108A (4X) 23:10

Apart from the Pioneer and the NEC drives, the LiteOn 1693S reported the fastest time in DL burning.


18. DVD+R DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

In order to test the LiteON SOHW-1693S DL's writing quality, we used the LiteOn SOHD-167T and the Plextor PX-716A drives.

click to enlarge!

CD speed produced a smooth line graph when reading CMC +R DL media, indicating a good quality burn.

Indeed, the above Plextools scan, confirms the good quality scan the CD-Speed gave us when using CMC DL media.

It seems that the 4X burning speed did not cause any disturbances to the writing quality, as the above output indicates.

Plextools reports quite a lot of POE here, while the PI stays within accepted levels.

Same, smooth graph in this case too.

And again, low PI values, while some PO nearing 400.

Nothing to speak of other than a nice, clean graph.

Some heavy PI activity but well within limits and low PO levels as well.

And to conclude the scans, the -R DL burned media scans offer similar performance as for +R media. What we can conclude from the above scans, is that LiteOn has improved its DL writing quality.


19. SOHW-1693S vs. SA300 - Page 1
For checking exactly what the SOHW-1693S reports, we used three different media, burned with other burners. 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 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SOHW-1693S drive. Using other drives, even another SOHW-1693S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

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


20. SOHW-1693S vs. SA300 - Page 2

For checking exactly what the SOHW-1693S reports, we used three different media, burned with other burners. 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 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SOHW-1693S drive. Using other drives, even another SOHW-1693S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

In this case, there's a big difference in both trends and levels.


21. SOHW-1693S vs. SA300 - Page 3

For checking exactly what the SOHW-1693S reports, we used three different media, burned with other burners. 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 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SOHW-1693S drive. Using other drives, even another SOHW-1693S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

Similar trend lines although there is a difference in the PI levels, but levels are very low in any case.


22. SOHW-1693S vs. SA300 - Page 4

For checking exactly what the SOHW-1693S reports, we used three different media, burned with other burners. 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 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SOHW-1693S drive. Using other drives, even another SOHW-1693S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

And lastly, PI levels and trend are very different, but PIF is better where levels are low.


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

In order to achieve a booktype setting change, we used the well known LiteOn users booktype utility, BookType 1.3.5 Version. We used a blank DVD+RW media and managed to change its booktype to DVD-ROM as seen in the following screenshots.

Prior to the change...

And with the booktype changed successfully.

In order to change the media to DVD-ROM booktype, we must write the information on the media prior to burning, with the "Write now!" function, otherwise it will not be recognized as such by any drive.


24. Conclusion

With the SOHW-1693S, the latest release on the DVD-RW market, LiteOn at last enters the -R DL arena, offering up to 4X -R and +R DL burning support. It does more than that though. To please the LiteOn end users and fans, the drive's writing quality has somewhat improved from previous releases, offering good quality writings as we've seen in these review pages.

As a LiteOn drive, it still retains its fast CD reading and SL Pressed DVD speeds, being one of the fastest drives, though with DL media, it's not that fast, supporting up to 8X reading speed. CD error correction will satisfy end users as well as the DVD error correction mechanism, which managed to read smoothly all our defective test media. DAE quality tests reported good results, though the 90mins ripping could not be completed since the drive failed to identify the inserted media. As for protected games, the drive hasn't improved its ripping mechanism, managing to make working backups of SafeDisc protected games up to v.2.8. In the protected media field again, the drive managed to successfully rip all protected audio media and produce a flawless CDS200 protected audio backup.

Even though the Plextools C1/C2 scans did not report any serious errors in most cases for CD media burned, the final "judge", the Clover Systems CDX Compact Disc Analyzer, did not grade any of the inserted media as a "Pass", which indicates poor CD burning quality. However, the drive's capabilities using DVD±R 16X media, as mentioned earlier has improved, and this is confirmed by the CDSpeed and Plextools Scans we've presented in the previous pages.

Using DVD±RW media, the 1693S was good. The reported writing quality from our tests is much better than the previous LiteOn burners. There were cases however which still need improvement, but these were few. With DL media, things were even better.

The LiteOn SOHW-1693S has plenty of features. It supports booktype change with all plus discs, while it can also be used for checking the writing quality of media. Moreover, the drive can be set to region free. With the appropriate utility you can read the firmware's supported media list and also adjust the writing speed for media.

The price at the time of this review for the retail package of the LiteOn SOHW-1693S burner was close to US$48 at newegg.com. A very low price.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like to be fixed

 

Retail Package
Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
Writing
Features


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