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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Philips DVDR1648P


1. Introduction

After the release of the DVDR1640P burner, Philips moves forward to a higher Double Layer writing speed. The new DVDR1648P offers 8X DVD+R DL writing speed. In addition, the drive will burn DVD-R DL media at 4X. The most important feature of this drive is the SolidBurn Technology, which determines the optimal writing strategy on DVD media, which is comparable to if not the same as, the one we met with the BenQ DW1640 drive.

What is Solidburn?
Philips introduces SolidBurn, a new self-learning feature that will ensure optimal writing conditions for any recordable DVD+R or DVD-R media. This advanced writer feature executes a series of tests on an ‘unknown’ DVD media to determine the optimal writing strategy. Without SolidBurn, new DVD media and media that are not in the drive's media list, are written using a less optimal standard write strategy. This could result in lower recording speeds than specified or lower quality recordings, jeopardizing disc playability or lifetime.

How does it work?
Before the disc is burned, the drive writes two very short tracks, one in the LeadIn and one in the LeadOut area of the disc. Then the drive measures the jitter on both areas and decides if this jitter value is OK or not. If not, the drive will choose another writing strategy and redo the test until the Jitter is acceptable. After this, the drive writes your data on the disc, with the best possible writing strategy, which was found by SolidBurn.

Why SolidBurn?
Every disc sold has unique parameters. Mostly, these parameters are almost identical, but sometimes, there are better or less than good or even bad discs. Normal drives will always use the same writing strategy, no matter if the disc inserted is a good or not so good one. SolidBurn will adapt its writing strategy for each disc. Normal drives that encounter a disc they do not know, will use a default writing strategy, which is mostly not the best one. To guarantee better performance on unknown discs, regular firmware upgrades are required. SolidBurn makes no difference between known and unknown discs and will always choose the best writing strategy for each disc.

Solidburn shows the lowest jitter measured (lower is better):

Using SolidBurn also gives the highest possible writing speeds, resulting in the lowest average
recording times:

 

Seamless Link was initially introduced by Acer CM (now BenQ). This technology allows a CD-RW/DVD+RW drive to automatically monitor the recording status to prevent buffer under run from occurring.

Seamless Link allows the CD-RW drive to store the RecEnd address, the point in the data to which the recording mechanism has progressed and pause the recording before a buffer under run occurs. When the buffer is again full, a Seamless Link-enabled drive locates the RecEnd address and resumes the recording process. The gap between the stop and restart point is closed, while managing the recording process precisely and transparently-eliminating under run errors while maintaining recording accuracy.

Dynamic Calibration

To ensure optimal writing quality over the entire disc at higher writing speeds, Philips has introduced the Walking OPC algorithm. WOPC directly measures and optimizes the actual writing quality during the writing process.

At certain intervals, the writing process will be briefly interrupted, the writing quality directly evaluated and the writing power adjusted accordingly, if required. The Philips DVD+R/RW writers use a more dynamic implementation based on the position on the disc and temperature inside the drive. The graph below shows the writing graph of the drive on a Philips 16X and an 8X DVD+R disc.

In addition, Philips Dynamic Calibration includes a tilt calibration feature. The best reading and writing quality can be obtained if the angle between the disc and the laser beam is 90 degrees. However, if the disc is warped, the laser beam will no longer be correctly positioned which will cause a distortion of the laser spot resulting in decreased writing quality if it is not corrected.

The tilt calibration will reposition the Optical Pickup Unit (OPU) to maintain a 90-degree angle between the laser beam and the disc surface at all times ensuring an optimal spot shape, even on warped discs. The frequency of the tilt calibration depends only on the position on the disc according to a non-linear function. Near the end of the disc, the risk of warping is higher so the frequency of the tilt calibration will increase accordingly. As with WOPC, the writing process will be briefly interrupted, the tilt measured and the OPU repositioned if required.

Walking OPC and Tilt Calibration together form the Dynamic Calibration. Although they act independently of each other, some effort is taken to synchronize the Tilt Calibrations with the disc position dependent component of Walking OPC.

Air Flow Cooling System (AFCS), similar to that on the BenQ DW1640, is also a feature of the Philips DVDR1648P. AFCS helps air circulation inside the drive and speeds up heat dissipation through the drive's steel housing. The same applies for Anti-Dust Cooling System (ADCS). With an integrated heat chimney design, ADCS redirects the heat flow out of the drive, while still providing protection from dust.

AFCS ADCS

- Specifications

Interface:
E-IDE/ATAPI (Ultra DMA Mode 2)
Writing Speed:

DVD+R: 16X, DVD-R: 16X, DVD+RW: 8X, DVD-RW: 6X, DVD+R DL: 8X, DVD-R DL: 4X

CD-R: 48X, CD-RW: 32X
Read Speed:

DVD+R/-R/+RW/-RW: 10X max

DVD-ROM: 16X, CD-R/RW: 48X
Random Access:
DVD: <150msec, CD: <100msec
Buffer Size:
2MB

Supported Disc Formats:

8cm discs, CD-Audio, CD-Bridge, Stereo out (2 cinch), CD-I, CD-Recordable, CD-Rewritable, CD-ROM, CD-Text, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-ROM, DVD/R, DVD/RW, Photo CD
Supported Writing Types:
 
Disc at once (DAO), Fixed packet, Multi session (MS), Over-burn writing, Packet writing, Raw mode burning, Session at once (SAO), Track at once (TAO), Variable packet
Recording format : UDF and ISO 9660
Connectivity
Other connections :  12 V DC in, Analogue audio left / right out 2x, Master / slave select jumper, IDE interface connector
System Requirements :
Hard disc space :  500MB
PC OS :  Windows 98 SE, 2000, ME, XP
Processor :  Pentium III 500MHz or faster
RAM memory :  128 MB
Dimensions :
20x15x4 cm (WxDxH) inch
Weight : 0.95 kg
Technical specifications :
Humidity :  5 - 90 %RH (no condensation)
Operating temperature range :  5 - 50 °C
Safety standards :  EN60950, EN60825,UL1950
EMC standards :  EN55022, EMS55024,FCC Part 15

- Specifications

The drive does not support Mount Rainier and it uses the well known RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro::

The drive's front panel is similar to all previous Philips DVD burners. The only difference is the activity led which is now much smaller than in previous models. The activity led lights up green when a disc is present and blinks green when reading, accessing or burning.

On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

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

The heart of the drive is the new Nexperia PNX7860E chipset from Philips, the same one we saw in the BenQ DW1640.

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP was recognized as "PHILIPS DVDRW1648P1". The drive arrived with firmware revision P2.2, which we used for our tests.

Below is a screenshot of Nero Burning Rom's specs for the drive.

In this review, we will be comparing the drive with the Pioneer DVR-110 and NEC ND-3540A.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v4.04
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool
  5. PlexTools v2.25
  6. DVDInfoPro v4.30
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.17S

2. Reading Tests

- CD Format

The Philips drive supports up to 48X reading speed for CD media, and 40X for rewritable.

The Philips DVDR1648P has very good reading speeds, confirmed by CDSpeed and it seems to be the fastest among the three drives.

- DVD Format

The speed reported by all three burners showed no significant differences between the drives with the Philips DVDR1648P reporting the highest speeds.

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, progressing towards the outer range for each layer. Not a lot between the drives but this time, the Pioneer drive has the highest reading speeds.

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 on the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks towards the inner part of the disc. As with the PTP DL disc, the Pioneer drive is slightly faster than the Philips and NEC drives.

In this reading test, the NEC drive proves fastest, especially with -/+R media. The Philips DVDR1648P offers consistent reading speeds with all four media.

Although the Pioneer drive reported the highest ripping speed, Philips is also very fast with DVD-Video DL discs while the NEC drive offered average performance.

-Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total Num: 837969
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 46634 Avg: -74.0 dB(A) Max: -22.6 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 2727 Avg: 1.4 Samples Max: 537 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 76.7 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

Good performance from the Philips DVDR1648P burner. The total error count is rather low while most importantly, no samples were skipped. From the graph we can see that the drive has a good CD error correction mechanism, with the error loudness level being lower than -34.0 dB(A) except for a couple of spikes which hit a maximum of -22.6 dB(A).

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 0 Avg: -174.0 dB(A) Max: -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 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 ABEX TCD-726 test disc is always easier to read and the Philips DVDR1648P had no problems at all reading it successfully, without a single error reported. No skipped samples and no error muting samples indicate excellent performance. This makes the burner a very good reader for defective CD media, in terms of speed and readability.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

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

Error Level 1 2 3 4 5
Philips DVDR1648P 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 4/5

This disc is a very good test to determine a drive's CD error correction. The fifth track is almost impossible to read with the majority of drives while most fail even when reading the fourth track. In our case, the Philips drive impressed us, reading all tracks and reporting a single audible click over the fifth track and this, in just one out of the five repetitions.

- Summary

The overall performance of the burner with defective and problematic CD media is very good. One of the best drives in this series of tests in comparison to the latest drives, and not only.


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the Philips DVDR1648P burner 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 a 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

Very good performance. Some minor speed deviations at the end of the disc can be considered as unimportant, and they no way present any problems for the drive. No errors were reported, even at the maximum reading speed of 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 some speed fluctuations at the end of the disc while reading speed approaches 16X. No problems however.

- 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.

Artificial scratches were simply invisible for the BenQ DW1640. The reading speed reported by CDVD Benchmark utility was the same as with error-free Double Layer media. Once again, excellent performance.

Perfect, smooth reading graph. Excellent DVD error correction at 12X with our DL test disc.

ABEX TDR-845

The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc of a capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes defective areas and fingerprints.

The dimensions of the defective areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micro meters.

Flawless reading. No errors or speed drops of any kind over the defective areas.

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.

This disc was not a problem for the Philips drive. Excellent DVD error correction capabilities.

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 has also 65 - 75 micro meter fingerprints.

As smooth a reading graph as you can get, indicating once again strong DVD error correction.

- Summary

The Philips drive is definitely a very good DVD reader. Most common scratches are not a problem for the drive while even the larger defects could not shake its solid performance. There's nothing more you can expect from a drive.


5. Protected Disc Tests

- Reading Tests

To create the image of the various protected titles to the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, according to the protection type of the inserted discs. Below you can see the duration of each process as well as the transfer rate in each case.
Game Title Protection Scheme Duration Reading speed
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme" Lybcrypt 00:50 min 1807 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07 SafeDisc v.2.60.052 1:33:44 min 104 sectors/sec
VRally II SecuROM v.2 2:26 min 2355 sectors/sec

The Philips drive will rip fast any PSX game and even faster, any SecuROM protected disc. With Safedisc protection however, the reported reading speed was rather slow and the whole process lasted 1:33:44 mins.

- Writing Tests

The Philips DVDR1648P supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 5 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions having the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles onto the hard disk, we burned them (maximum speed) with Alcohol 120% v1.9.2.1705. Two different discs were created for each title; one with the "Rectify Sub-Channel Data" enabled and one more with the function disabled.

The drive is capable of creating working backups only up to SD v2.8, which is typical performance with most drives. Moreover, all discs we burned produced the following message with the DVDR1648P. With other, different drives, there was no problem.


6. DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR Audio CD results

The Philips DVDRW1648P supports up to 48X CAV DAE speed, which is the fastest available speed on the market today. The following results were reported when using Exact Audio Copy software.

As seen in the graph above, the superiority of the Philips drive is significant. Note that the Pioneer and NEC drives support up to 40x CAV DAE.

The Philips drive does not report C2 errors, according to EAC.

- Advanced DAE Quality

Once again the Philips drive reached a maximum of 48X DAE speed, and as was expected, its average reported speed was higher than the Pioneer and NEC drives. Not only is it fast, but the drive also managed to obtain a perfect quality score of 100.

The drive can read Leadin data, CD Text and Subchannel Data, but it cannot read Leadout data.

- Ripping 90mins Audio CDs

As with most of the latest drives, the Philips failed to read/rip our 90min test disc, despite all its efforts and even reducing speed.

- Ripping 99mins Audio CDs

Our 99min test disc was not a problem for the Philips DVDR1648P drive.


7. Audio Protections Tests
For the test procedure we used three audio discs with different audio copy protections. The ripping process on all protected Audio discs was carried out with Exact Audio Copy v0.9 beta5. The tested protected Audio discs were:
Audio Discs Protection
Celine Dion - New Day Has Come Sony's Key2Audio
Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island Cactus Data Shield 200
Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a

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

The Philips DVDR1648 recorder recognized up to the 12th Audio track of the CDS200 disc,

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

The test results are shown in the following table:

Philips 1648 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

With the Key2Audio discs and CDS200, EAC did not report any timing problems and at the same time, Read&Test CRC check comparison was the same for corresponding tracks.

- Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a (Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter)

This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't contain any artificial errors during the ripping process. Most problems occur when trying to write the ripped wav files, since the produced CD-R disc contains C2 and CU errors! This "problem" is rumored to be connected with specific chipset weaknesses.We ripped the disc contents with EAC and burned the wav file produced from the Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a disc with the latest Nero version as AudioCD+CD-Text. The burned media was checked for C1/C2 errors and for BETA/Jitter errors with PlexTools software using Plextor PX-716A.

 

Philips 1648 CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
Reading performed without any errors.

- C1C2 Error rate from PleXWriter PX-716A (8X CLV reading speed)

- BETA/Jitter Error rate from PleXWriter PX-716A

The C1/C2 error graphs show that the Philips 1648 drive managed to produce a 100% error free disc.

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

No errors were reported after extracting all files. The drive can backup the disc 100% accurately.


8. CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Format

The drive supports 8X, 16X, 24X, 32X, 40X and 48X (CAV) writing speeds.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive managed to burn a full 700MB CD at 48X in 2:51min. The reported average speed was 36.31X while the process started at 21.29X and finished at 47.98X.

- CD-R Recording Times

We created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and recorded it on a 700MB disc. The writing performance varies according to the inserted media. Below is a chart depicting all recording times with various media.

Most media were recorded at 48x, but there were some exceptions, like the RiDisc and Intenso media that were recorded at 40X. Best performance came with Verbatim 52x media.

The Philips DVDRW1648P proved to be faster (48X recording) than the NEC ND-3540A while the Pioneer drive was slowest, having a maximum writing speed of 40X.

- Other features

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

- CD-RW Format

The Philips burner supports 4x, 10x, 16x, 24x and 32x rewriting speeds, with Ultra Speed Rewritable Media (US-RW).

Below you can see the Nero CD Speed writing simulation test with blank 32x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals. The recording task started at 21.32X and finished at 32.63X having an average speed of 30.49X. The task lasted 3:00min.

- CD-RW Mount Rainier

The Philips drive does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


9. C1/C2 Errors Measurements

We measured the C1 / C2 error rate on the recorded discs we burned at the various supported writing speeds. The software we used is the latest PleXTools Professional and in particular the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-716A.

- BenQ 80min 52X @ 48X

- Intenso 80min 52X @ 40X

- MMore 80min 52X @ 48X

- SKC 80min 52X @ 48X

- Traxdata 80min 40X @ 48X

- TY 80min 48X @ 48X

Brand ID Code Manufacturer Name Lead Out TIme Burned Speed
MMore 80min 52X 97m17s 06f Moser Baer India Ltd 79m59s74f 48X
Intenso 80min 52X 97m32s19f Prodisc Technology Inc. 79m59s72f 40X
SKC 80min 52X 97m26s 26f SKC Co Ltd 79m59s73f 48X
Taiyo Yuden 80min 48X 97m24s01f Taiyo Yuden Company Limited 79m59s72f 48X
TraxData 80min 40X 97m15s17f Ritek Co. 79m59s70f 48X
BenQ 52X 97m22s67f Daxon 79m59s74f 48X

- Summary

All burned CDs reported good quality as can be seen in the above graph. With the exception of the Intenso disc, where some C2 errors were reported, we can safely say that the Philips 1648 is a quality CD burner. For further investigation of the CD burning quality of this drive, we will put the burned media under the scope using the CDX quality checker.


10. Writing Quality - 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 @ 48X

- Intenso 80min 52X @ 40X

- MMore 80min 52X @ 48X

- SKC 80min 52X @ 48X

- Traxdata 80min 40X @ 48X

- TY 80min 48X @ 48X

The following table gives us a detailed summary of the scanned media...

- Summary

Most of the media reported good quality although the grade indication (pass/fail) from Clover System failed all but one. As we have mentioned on previous occasions, this is a very strict test and not many burner/media combinations pass.


11. DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The Philips DVDR1648P supports up to 16X burning speed with both +R and -R DVD media formats. For our tests Philips provided us with a Nero version which was modified for the specific drive, the 6.6.0.17b, in order to be compatible with Philips' SolidBurn Technology. The same package also included CDSpeed v.4.06.

By using Nero CD-DVD Speed with DVD-R and DVD+R media, we are able to see the 16X CAV recording technology in action for -R and +R media. You can clearly see that WOPC is activated.

This is what we got when we ran the simulation test in Nero CDSpeed.

However, this seems not to be correct, so we decided to use the Create Data Disc function of CDSpeed. This is what we got:

- Burning Tests

SolidBurn

The drive's most important feature, which differentiates it from the competition, is its support of the SolidBurn Technology.

Let's start with the Overspeed function. Enabling the Overspeed function will automatically enable the SolidBurn feature for both "known" and unknown" media. The known media are those that have been included in the drive's memory, which would mean that the drive already knows the optimum writing strategy for the specific disc. Unknown media are those discs that are burned by the drive for the first time. Our first attempt to burn our media was done with following selection:

Despite the Overspeed function, none of the discs were burned at a higher speed than that at which they are certified.

For the tests, we tried to burn more than 50 different DVD media. Among them, we deduced that the drive had problems with the discs indicated in red in the following tables. the Philips DVDR1648P gave an error message during the lead in area on those discs:

Despite the recording error, the discs were not burned, so that they could be used again. The rest of the media were successfully burned with the Overspeed/SolidBurn functions enabled, as you can see in the tables.

The next step was to disable the "Overspeed burning" feature and enable the SolidBurn feature. However, nothing changed and the drive failed at the lead in again with specific media (in red).

Finally, we tried with SolidBurn disabled. To be honest, we didn't notice any great difference. After several attempts of starting/closing Nero and enabling/disabling SolidBurn, we managed to burn the discs. This behavior however, leaves us with some questions about the compatibility of the Nero software with SolidBurn, or even the implementation of the function on the drive itself.

Since the QSuite from BenQ is compatible with the Philips DVDR1648P drive, we decided to try it in combination with a previous Nero version, 6.6.0.16, which was not compatible with SolidBurn. Still the same behavior. Especially in the case of Ridisc 8X DVD-R (MCC02RG20), we never managed to make a burn.

For our tests, we used several DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW for different manufacturers. The media ID, recording speed and writing time needed for each disc can be found in the following tables.

We burned the RW media with SolidBurn enabled and disabled. For Ricoh media, the time needed with SolidBurn enabled was 8:44 min. With the feature disabled, the recording time was 8:26 min. For the Mitsubishi Chemicals disc, the times were 8:44 min and 7:41 min respectively

Once again we tried with RW media with the SolidBurn feature enabled and disabled. With the Traxdata disc, the Philips drive needed 10:18 min with SolidBurn enabled while 10:04 min with the feature disabled. The respective times for the Mitsubishi Chemicals disc were10:14 min and 10:09 min.

The reported times are quite good from the Philips DVDR1648P.

SolidBurn Example

The reported writing time needed for the Philips drive to burn a Mitsubishi Chemicals 16X DVD+R, according to the table above (6:23 min), uncovers a recording speed lower than 16X. For this reason, we used the CDSpeed "Create Data Disc" test, in order to find out what actually happened.

Although the drive recognized the disc as a 16X and Nero reported a successful burning at 16X, the actual writing strategy was set for 12X.

Once again, with the contribution from QSuite, we found that the drive had stored the specific writing strategy for this medium in its memory. After cleaning the drive's EEPROM, the disc was burned at 16X.

- Comparison with other drives

Good writing times from the Philips DVDR1648P, which required the lowest time to burn a DVD+R disc, in comparison to the Pioneer and NEC burners.

- DVD Overburning Tests

According to CDSpeed, the drive supports overburning for both DVD+R and DVD-R formats.

Although according to CDSpeed the drive is capable of DVD overburning, we tried to burn a 4530MB compilation with Nero Burning Rom and a DVD+R disc from Taiyo Yuden but it failed.

- DVD+MRW Tests

The Philips DVDR1648P does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


12. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

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

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

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

16X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

Smooth graphs from CD/DVD Speed and no PI errors higher than 100. Nothing but very good performance. It seems that the Philips DVDR1648P can burn 16X DVD-R media at high quality.


13. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

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

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

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

8X DVD-R Writing Speed

LiteOn 167T with CDSpeed couldn't initialize the disc

- Summary

Almost all discs reported excellent writing quality. Prodisc media reported slightly increased PIE errors but they were within the acceptable levels, lower than 280, while the CDSpeed reading graph was good. In the case of the 3A disc, the quality is only average but this is a single occasion.


14. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

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

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

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

16X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

As we can see, there is a large compatibility list for 16X DVD+R media with the Philips DVDR1648P. The reported quality, according to our tests above, is very good. Error levels in Plextools are extremely low while the reading graphs with CDSpeed, smooth in most cases. With a couple of media, the CDSpeed readings are not 100% smooth but this is not something that can tarnish the overall quality.


15. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

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

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

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

8X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

Very good writing quality at 8X with DVD+R media. Almost all media reported extremely low error levels while the CDSpeed reading graphs were smooth. This performance makes the Philips DVDR1648P one of the top recorders on the market.


16. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

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

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

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

DVD+RW and DVD-RW Media

Plextools couldn't access disc.

Plextools couldn't access disc.

- Summary

According to our scans, we can safely say that the drive has great writing quality, even with RW media. The only average to good results were with Ricoh's media but this doesn't change overall performance. Notice that although we used all media with SolidBurn enabled and disabled, there are no actual differences, apart from the fact that the two DVD-RW media with SolidBurn disabled, failed to initialize with the Plextor drive. However, according to CDSpeed, their writing quality seems to be great.


17. Writing Quality - 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 it 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.

- Summary

In all cases, the writing quality is rather good, with low PI error levels, except for those with Mitsubishi Chemicals media where the PI error exceeded the limit of 280. Notice at this point that the SolidBurn feature did not affect the writing quality, which was almost the same in both cases, i.e. with the feature enabled and disabled.


18. DVD+R DL - Page 1

- Writing Tests

We burned some DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL discs with data content. For this task we used "Create Data Disc" from Nero CDSpeed in order to fully burn the discs.

Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD+R DL 8X

The specific DL disc from Mitsubishi Chemicals is certified for 8X burning, one of the few if not the only one. Since it is new, most burners don't support it at 8X, while the Philips seems to. However, the recording speed was reduced over the second layer from 8X down to 4X. This is the reason for the reported 22:06 min total time needed.

Traxdata DVD+R DL 2.4X

Since our first burned disc was not readable with CDSpeed and Plextools, we repeated the recording with a second disc. Unfortunately, it seems that the drive does not like the specific media. During the burning process, we got the following message.

Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD-R DL 4X

No problems with the specific media from Mitsubishi Chemicals. The reported recording time at 4X was 29:25 min.

We also tried the new DVD-R DL 4X disc from Traxdata, but it seems that the Philips drive is not compatible with the specific media, at least with the current firmware revision.

We hope the next firmware for the Philips DVDR1648P drive will solve any issues we have encountered with Traxdata media.


19. DVD+R DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

In order to measure the DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL writing quality of the Philips DVDR1648P burner, we used the LiteOn SOHD-167T and the Plextor PX-716A drives.

As long as the DL media is compatible with the Philips DVDR1648P, the writing quality is rather good. The above scans confirm this.


20. Philips DVDR1648P vs SA300 - Page 1

For checking exactly what the Philips DVDR1648P reports, we used four 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 Philips DVDR1648P drive. Using other drives, even another Philips DVDR1648P, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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


Click on the image for details

As you can easily see in the graphs above, the error line trend follows the same pattern as the CATS system's scans, but error values are different. Scanning is supposed to be at 4X but the actual speed was only 0.5X~1X.


21. Philips DVDR1648P vs SA300 - Page 2

For checking exactly what the Philips DVDR1648P 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 Philips DVDR1648P drive. Using other drives, even another Philips DVDR1648P, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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


Click on the image for details

The error line trend follows a completely different pattern to the CATS scans. Once again, the actual speed was rather low, 0.5X~1X.


22. Philips DVDR1648P vs SA300 - Page 3

For checking exactly what the Philips DVDR1648P, 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 Philips DVDR1648P drive. Using other drives, even another Philips DVDR1648P, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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


Click on the image for details

Similar scans from the Philips burner and the CATS system. Slow reading though.


23. Philips DVDR1648P vs SA300 - Page 4

For checking exactly what the Philips DVDR1648P, 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 Philips DVDR1648P drive. Using other drives, even another Philips DVDR1648P, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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


Click on the image for details

Similar results for the Philips and the AudioDev SA300. Notice that the drive is supposed to scan at 4X, but actually the reading speed was again 0.5X~1X. In our opinion, it is not worth scanning at such a low speed. It simply takes too long.


24. Booktype Setting

As expected, like any other Philips drive, the DVDR1648P is capable of changing the default booktype setting for both Single Layer and Double Layer media. Using the DVD-ROM booktype setting greatly increases compatibility with other players and drives. The booktype is set by default to DVD-ROM for all plus media formats.

The booktype can be changed easily. Nero CDSpeed can help you with this.

You can also use the BenQ QSuite or DVDinfoPro utilities in order to change the booktype for the DVDR1648P burner.

In Nero, you can set the drive to burn all plus format media as DVD-ROM booktype, from the recorder's properties. This option is also set by default.


25. Conclusion

Philips is one of the greatest manufacturers in the optical storage industry. So we expected this drive to be a certain success, and so it is. Beginning from CD/DVD reading performance, the Philips DVDR1648P appears to be one of the fastest drives on the market. The CD reading speed of 48X was not only confirmed but the drive also reached 50X. With DVD, the 12X supported reading speed for all DVD±R/RW media is rather good, and makes the drive faster than many other popular drives. When it comes to DVD-Video ripping, you'll find that you won't need an extra DVD-ROM reader since the Philips is certainly faster than any other.

You might think that sometimes it is much safer to read at a lower speed. While this might be correct in most cases, it is highly dependent on the drive's error correction ability. The DVDR1648P, as our tests showed, has a very strong CD and DVD error correction mechanism, so there will be no problem even at high reading speeds.

The Philips drive managed to obtain a perfect score of 100 in the CDSpeed DAE quality test, while its reading performance with AudioCDs is rather good. Note that the 48X CAV DAE speed supported by the Philips drive, which is the fastest available speed on the market today, is something that not many drives support. Our 99min Audio test disc was not a problem for the DVDR1648P but on the other hand, the 90min was. The drive failed to finish the test.

Protection schemes, especially for AudioCDs, are not a problem for the Philips drive which will play/rip any Key2Audio or CDS200 protected AudioCD. But when it comes to game protections, the scene changes. The drive reported average performance, managing to create working backups of Safedisc protection only up to version 2.8. So, if you are planning to get a drive to backup your protected games, we recommend you try a CD burner instead.

The Philips burner supports 48X CD writing speed, which is high, but too fast for quality results. So, it is better, if you want to make high quality CD backups, to use quality media and choose a speed lower than 48X. Our quality scans reported that the DVDR1648P is a good CD burner but at 48X, a little improvement won't go astray :-)

The supported recording speeds for the DVD formats are the highest available on the market. 16X for DVD±R/R, 8X for DVD+RW, 6X for DVD-RW, 8X for DVD+R DL and 4X DVD-R DL. According to our tests the drive has a large 16X media compatibility list, while it managed to overburn with both DVD+R and DVD-R media under CDSpeed but not with Nero Burning Rom, so there are some questions about this. The reported overall quality of the Philips was very good with rather low PIE error levels and smooth reading graphs in CDSpeed. With some specific media, the quality was not excellent, but better than average while this is also something which can be improved with a future firmware revision.

SolidBurn technology is claimed to guarantee high quality burns but there are some questions about whether the feature actually works or not. Enabling the SolidBurn feature did not make any difference in our tests. The possible reasons for this behavior are either the poor implementation of the SolidBurn in the Nero Beta software, or the premature version of the SolidBurn technology itself.

We expect Philips to further improve the SolidBurn feature. In addition, it would be reasonable to include a SolidBurn test function that would just test the media without actually recording data on it. This could allow users to decide whether they should use the function according to their media.

Booktype setting is something that Philips has supported from the outset. With the contribution of several utilities, such as DVDinfoPro or CDSpeed, you'll be able to change the booktype on all plus format media. With CDSpeed or DVDinfoPro, you can also measure writing quality on media, something we don't recommend however since the actual speed, as it was reported in our tests, was lower than 1X, unless you are extremely patient :-)

So, if you need a good drive in all tasks, we believe the the DVDR1648P to be one of your options...

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