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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
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Appeared on: Wednesday, February 01, 2006
LiteOn SHM-165P6S


1. Introduction

LiteOn bursts forth with yet another release, the SHM-165P6S Multi DVD Burner. As a Multi drive, the 165P6S can read and write almost all of the known DVD formats, including DVD-RAM. No change in the burning speeds, whatsoever, with the drive being able to burn DL media at 8X and 4X for +R DL and -R DL respectively. As for the RW speeds, the drive supports up to 8X for +RW and 6X for -RW media. Last but not least, the drive supports the standard speed of 5X for reading and writing DVD-RAM media.

Other than the above, the drive offers no new features or increased speeds in comparison to the previous releases. Having said that, let us start off this review by seeing what changes have been made to the writing quality and error correction mechanism of the drive.

- Features

No change has been made regarding the available supported features of the drive.

- Specifications

Model LiteOn SHM-165P6S
DVD Write DVD+R 16x ( 21600 KB/sec ) maximum by CAV
DVD+R9 8x ( 10800 KB/sec ) maximum by Z-CLV
DVD-R 16x ( 21600 KB/sec ) maximum by CAV
DVD-R9 4x ( 5400 KB/sec ) maximum by CLV
ReWrite DVD+RW 8x ( 10800 KB/sec ) by CLV
DVD-RW 6x ( 8100 KB/sec ) by CLV
Read 16x ( 21600 KB/sec ) maximum by CAV
Access time 160 ms
CD Write CD-R 48x ( 7200 KB/sec ) maximum by CAV
ReWrite CD-RW 24x ( 3600 KB/sec ) maximum by Z-CLV in UltraSpeed disc
Read 48x ( 7200 KB/sec ) maximum by CAV
Access time 160 ms
DVD RAM 5X PCAV
Buffer Size 2MB (Max)
Compatibility Microsoft Windows 98SE / ME / 2000 / XP
MTBF ( Life ) 70,000 POH
S/N Ration > 75 dB
Environment Operating 5C to 50C; Relative Humidity : 15% to 80%
Non-Operating -40C to 65C; Relative Humidity : 15% to 95%
Dimension 145.0 ( W ) x 41.3 ( H ) x 170.0 ( D ) mm
Weight < 0.9 Kg
Voltage Requirements +5V +/-5% and less than 100 mVp-p ripple voltage
+12V +/-5% and less than 200 mVp-p ripple voltage

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

- Retail package

Once more, the retail package remains the same as with previous releases. The package contains all the essential requirements for a fresh start, including mounting screws, audio cable, a quick installation guide to help you through the basics of installing a new device on your PC, of course the classic Nero OEM release suite for DVD authoring writing/editing to satisfy ones needs isn't missing, as well as DVD playback software (Cyberlink Power DVD 5). In addition, on top of the black front bezel, LiteOn has added one more color of choice for the end user, that of a silver bezel, covering most of the colour schemes of most users PC cases.

-The Drive

A lean design and simple in looks front bezel, with the DVD +R DL logo on the left, Multi Recorder logo at centre and Compact Disc ReWritable logo at right. There's also an activity led which changes color depending on the function of the drive.

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

We removed the drive's cover to reveal its internals. Don't do this yourself as it voids the warranty. We can now have a closer look at the drive itself, inspect the PCB to see which chipset the SHM-165P6S uses. Clicking on the image below, will open a larger, more detailed view.

click to enlarge

- Installation

The drive was installed under WindowsXP and was recognized as "LITE-ON DVDRW SHM-165P6S ". The drive came with the default firmware (MSOA) installed and was flashed with the latest available (MS0F) as soon as it was available as described below. All reading and burning tests were made with the latest firmware.

We used LightOn's automatic firmware update, as shown in the screenshots below, and with three clicks we managed to successfully update the drive's firmware.

For comparison in this review, we will be posting the results of the 165P6S along with the results of the BenQ 1655 and Plextor 755A drives. Now let's move on to the next page where we investigate the reading capabilities of the drive with CD and DVD media, as well as Video ripping capabilities.


2. Reading Tests

- CD Format

Like all recent LiteOn drives, the 165P6S supports up to 48X reading speed for CD media (pressed) and 32X for Re-writable CD media. What follows are the graphs of average, start and max reading speeds achieved by each drive with the test media.

In the case of CD media, the LiteOn and BenQ both support 48X reading speed while the Plextor, 42X. As a result, the first two were faster with the LiteOn reporting a marginally higher speed. In the case of CD-RW media, the LiteOn supports only up to 32X reading speed so it was slower than the other two drives.

- AudioCD

For these tests, we used a pressed AudioCD and the Advanced DAE CDSpeed feature.

As we can see from the Average DAE Speed and CD-Speed Advanced DAE Quality tests, all three drives performed equally well with minor differences. In the CD-Speed Advanced DAE Quality test, the LiteOn drive reported an overall quality score of 100 and an average DAE speed of 33.75X, while it supports Leadin and Leadout reading, as well as CD Text and Subchannel Data.

- 90mins Audio disc

- 99mins Audio disc

Unfortunately, the drive cannot read either of our 90 mins or 99 mins audio discs.

- DVD Format

We complete the reading tests, this time using pressed SL and DL DVD media to test the drives reading capabilities with DVD media and post the results in the following graphs.

All three drives support up to 16X reading speed with Pressed SL media, hence the speed differences between them are negligible.

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, progressing towards the outer range, for each layer. Maximum supported speed from the LiteOn drive is 8X in this case, while the other two drives support 12X.

The graph shown above indicates the reading performance of the drive with OTP dual layer media. The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer of the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks towards the inner part of the disc. Again, the LiteOn only supports 8X max and so is slower than the BenQ and Plextor drives.

With DVD±R/RW media, both the LiteOn and Plextor drives support up to 12X for all formats. Only the BenQ supports 16X for DVD±R.

Ripping speed is somewhat average from the LiteOn, and slow in comparison to the ripping capabilities of the other two drives.

Overall, good reading capabilities but without excessive reading speeds with all the tested formats. We would however like to see 16X reading capability with DVD±R media and a higher ripping speed.

- Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction

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: 670241
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 38806 Avg: -73.2 dB(A) Max:-22.6 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 2219 Avg: 1.1 Samples Max: 7 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 77.4 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy 99.6 %

Rather good performance was reported while testing the drive with the 721 test media. The total error count is very low while most of the errors (red in the graph above) are below -36.0 dB(A), with just two spikes reaching around -22.6 dB(A). No skipped samples were reported and the 77.4% total test result is good.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 0 Avg: - dB(A) Max: - 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 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy 100 %

Flawless reading with the 726 test media. 100 points for the total test result and 100% C2 accuracy.

- 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 SHM-165P6S 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5 0/5

Average performance reported, with the drive playing flawlessly up to and including the third level. From the fourth level up, audible clicks were present.


4. DVD Error Correction

In the following tests, we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the LiteOn SHM-165P6S 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.

Reaching a max reading speed of 16X, the drive did not drop reading speed at any point and managed to achieve a flawless reading session.

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.

This graph shows that no changes have been made in the error correction mechanism of the drive. The drop in speed at the start of the second defective area is the same that we witnessed with the LiteOn SHW-16H5S. None the less, the drive maxed out at 16X, successfully completing the reading.

- 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 drive managed to read both layers without any problems, although we see a small difficulty at the end of the defects on the second layer (scattered yellow dots). The max reading speed achieved was 8X.

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.

The 845 artficially defective test disc is the last and hardest test disc for the error correction mechanism of a drive, containing two layers and four defective areas, two on each layer. The drive managed to read both layers, without any errors and only a slight drop in speed during the second layer. Max reading speed was 8X.

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!

Excellent performance with the 541 test media. The drive managed to read all the way to the end, producing smooth clean reading.

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!

Same performance here as well. Once again, smooth reading all the way to the end.

- Conclusion

Summing up, we can safely say that the LiteOn 165P6S drive has a very good error correction mechanism, reading over all defects on the test discs we threw at it. At worst, there was a short-duration drop in speed which however did not affect performance.


5. Protected Discs

At this point, we will check the drive's ability to read and backup protected CDs.

- AudioCD protections

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 protected Audio discs tested, were:

Audio Discs Protection strong>
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 to readers when trying to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).

The tested tasks are:

- Recognition of the inserted disc (Yes/No).

- Ripping all wav files(with EAC's Burst Mode) to the hard disk through copy&compare function.

- Listening to the produced wav files to detect any possible click/skips.

The drive recognized up to the 12th Audio track in the CDS200 disc,

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

The test results are shown in the following table:

LiteOn SHM-165P6S 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

Both protected Audio discs were ripped and reproduced successfully.

- 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 which create problems during the ripping process. Most problems occur when trying to write the ripped wav files, since the produced CD-R disc contains C2 and CU errors! This "problem" is rumored to be connected to specific chipset weaknesses.

LiteOn SHM-165P6S CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
Reading performed without any errors.

- Games Protections

To create the image of the various protected titles on the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, in accordance with 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.

The reviewed drive reported a good ripping time with the SecuROM protected game, disc and average times with SafeDisc and PSX media.

- Writing Tests

The LiteOn SHM-165P6S supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. To check the drive's EFM correction status we used 5 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions, having the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles onto the hard disk, we burned them (at maximum speed) with Alcohol 120% v1.9.2.3105. Two different discs were recorded for each title; one with the "Rectify Sub-Channel Data" enabled and one with the function disabled.

- Quake 4 SafeDisc v4.6

- Fifa 2004 - SafeDisc v3.1x

The drive failed to create working backups of the above protected games.


6. CD Recording Tests

Like the previous LiteOn releases, the SHM-165P6S supports up to 48X writing speed for CD media, while it also supports up to 24X for CD-RW.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive confirmed the maximum 48X speed. The test started at 21.92X and finished at 49.13X, having an average speed of 37.27X. 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 drive needed only 2:41minutes to complete this task at the maximum 48X writing speed.

In the following graph we can see the recording times the LiteOn 1635S reported with various CD-R media inserted.

The LiteON SHM-165P6S 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 15.98X and reaches a maximum of 23.97X having an average speed of 22.46X.

- Overburning Test

The drive supports overburning up to 99mins.


7. CD Writing Quality - Plextools

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 v2.25, and more specifically the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-716A (firmware v1.09).

- Summary

According to the above Plextools scans, the drive produced several good quality burns, where with the first two discs we had no C2 errors reported and with the next two, only a small amount of C2. With Verbatim media, the amount of C2 errors were higher in comparison but still, quite acceptable.


8. CD Writing Quality - Clover System
Untitled Document

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 one can see from the above results table and from the graphs for each of the the tested media using the CDX Clover Systems Q-ckeck utility, no media was able to meet the standards of this test system and all media were awarded with a "Fail" which may give the impression of bad performance. However, with most media no or very low E22 and E32 error counts were reported, which is good. This is after all, a very strict test system.


9. DVD Recording Tests

Writing Performance

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

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

- 16X DVD+R Single Layer writing

The drive completed successful DVD writing at 16X in 5:32mins. The test started at 6.68X, reached a maximum writing speed of 15.98X and reported an average speed of 11.94X.

- 16X DVD-R Single Layer writing

The drive completed successful DVD writing at 16X in 6:09mins. The test started at 6.68X, reached a maximum writing speed of 15.96X and reported an average speed of 11.93X.

- Burning Tests

We burned a variety of DVD-R 16X and 8X enabled media. Almost all media were burned at their designated speed, with the exception of BenQ and Prodisc (S05) 16X media, burned at 12X. Bust burn (time-wise) was with Verbatim, Optodisc and Philips media, all burned in 5:58mins.

In this case, there were some media burned at speed lower than their designated. Philips, Prodisc (R04) and Traxdata media were burned at 8X and 12X respectively instead of 16X. Best burn came with the BenQ, CMC, and Prodisc (R05) media, all burned at 16X in 5:57mins.

- Comparison with other drives

With a slight difference in the time needed for a full burn in both cases, the LiteOn drive proved to be the fastest of the three drives.

With Rewritable media, the reviewed drive was slowest but with a negligible difference.

- DVD Overburning Test

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

- DVD-RAM

Now we will see how the drive performs when a DVD-RAM media is inserted. According to the manufacturer's specs, the drive can read and write DVD-RAM media, at the maximum speed of 5X.

As Maxell stated: "DVD-RAM is an advanced recording media format that offers a range of digital data applications. Its phase-change recording material allows discs to be re-recordable and erasable, and a superior defect management system ensures accurate recording and playback. DVD-RAM allows instant, random access to any location on the disc for fast and easy data reading and writing. Because DVD-RAM supports fast formatting and no finalizing, it is an extremely easy-to-use media. And with DVD-RAM, changes can be made directly on the disc without the need to transfer data to a hard drive first, speeding up the editing tasks..."

- Burning Tests

Using NeroCDSpeed produced the following graph:

The test started at 3.00X burning speed and reached 5.00X, reporting an average speed of 4.63X. It took only 12:30mins to write a full DVD-RAM, while with Nero and a blank DVD-RAM, the reported time was 30:53mins, as the drive uses the "Write and Verify" feature when burning DVD-RAM media.

Using the latest Nero version, we burned our usual Single Layer DVD compellation.


10. DVD Writing Quality - 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

- BenQ 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- CMC 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- MKM 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Optodisc 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Philips 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Prodisc(R05) 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Prodisc(R04) 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Ricoh 16X DVD+R @ 16X

.

- Ridisc 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Plextor (TY) 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Summary

Both Plextools and CD-Speed quality check utilities reported mixed results on the burned quality of the +R 16X media used with the SHM-165P6S drive. Most of the tested media reported low PI values (with the exception of Optodisc and CMC media) while the PO values in the majority of the scans are close to or overshoot the acceptable limit. So, the burned quality according to the tests can be described as good, and in some case very good, like the Plextor media (TY), MKM, Ricoh and Prodisc (R05).


11. DVD Writing Quality - 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.

8X DVD+R Writing Speed

- BenQ 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Maxell 8X DVD+R @ 8X

-Optodisc 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Ricoh 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- TY 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Summary

CD Speed seems to have no problem reading the inserted media, Plextools reported high error rates, with the exception of TY media which reported a very good quality burn.


12. DVD Writing Quality - 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 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

- BenQ 16X DVD-R @ 12X

- Optodisc 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Philips 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Prodisc(F02) 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Prodisc(S05) 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Traxdata 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Verbatim 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Summary

Unfortunately, things haven't improved with DVD-R 16X media. While CD Speed seems to have no problem reading the inserted media, most Plextools graphs are more or less within acceptable limits, especially with the PO error values. Nevertheless, good burns are still there, with Verbatim -R media being one of them.


13. DVD Writing Quality - 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 overspeed the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

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

8X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Datawrite 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Prodisc(F01) 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Ridisc(Red) 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Traxdata 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- TY 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Summary

Similar performance to 8X +R media. Smooth CD-DVD Speed reading graphs but average to good burning quality, according to the Plextools quality check utility.


14. DVD Writing Quality - 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 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

Not the best of graphs from either CD speed or Plextools utilities. Average burning quality with RW media.


15. DVD Writing Quality - Almedio

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.

- Philips 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Prodisc F02 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Traxdata 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Verbatim 16X DVD-R @ 16X

Three out of four media tested, were found to be of good quality. Unfortunately, +R 16X burned media could not be measured, due to a failure with the ALMEDIO test drive to recognize them. For verification, these media were re-measured and were found to be performing as intended.


16. Supported Media List

With the aid of the LiteOn Flash Utility (LtnFlash 1.2.4) and Media Code Speed Edit, we were able to retrieve the drive's supported media list. Even though we were successful, the media list contains only entries for the -R media format in all its forms (RW,R9) but it does not contain the +R media formats list.


17. DVDR DL - Page 1

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.

Traxdata DVD+R DL 8X @ 8X

The drive started burning the media at 3.81X and maxed out at 7.91X with an average of 6.72X using CLV writing strategy. The burn ended after 18:01mins.

Verbatim DVD+R DL 8X @ 8X

Using Z-CLV writing strategy, the burn started at 3.81X reaching a max speed of 7.91, reporting an average speed of 6.74X. The writing ended at 17:43mins.

Verbatim DVD-R DL 4X @ 4X

The test started at 3.81X and writing speed maxed out at 3.94X with an average speed of 3.81X, completing the burn in 28:49mins.


18. DVDR DL - Page 2

In order to test the LiteOn SHM-165P6S DL writing quality, we used the LiteOn SOHD-167T and the Plextor PX-716A drives, to scan the burned media.

Traxdata DVD+R DL 8X @ 8X

Unfortunately, the Traxdata DL media did not prove to be good quality, as the drive failed to scan into the second layer, reporting an error message. Note that writing with the specific media was carried out twice, just to confirm the inability of the drive to produce a good burn with the specific DL disc.

Verbatim DVD+R DL 8X @ 8X

The reported quality is average, due to the High PI values in the second layer, and the not so smooth CD-Speed graph.

Verbatim DVD-R DL 4X @ 4X

Mostly average burning quality, even at the 4X burning speed, with PO values going all the way up to 400.


19. 165P6S vs SA300 - Page 1

For checking exactly what the SHM-165P6S 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 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SHM-165P6S drive. Using other drives, even another SHM-165P6S, 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 follows the same pattern as the original CATS scans.


20. 165P6S vs SA300 - Page 2

For checking exactly what the SHM-165P6S 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 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SHM-165P6S drive. Using other drives, even another SHM-165P6S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

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


21. 165P6S vs SA300 - Page 3

For checking exactly what the SHM-165P6S 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 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SHM-165P6S drive. Using other drives, even another SHM-165P6S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

The trend line reported by the 1635S follows that of the CATS system.


22. 165P6S vs SA300 - Page 4

For checking exactly what the SHM-165P6S 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 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested LiteON SHM-165P6S drive. Using other drives, even another SHM-165P6S, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

And lastly, a somewhat similar trend line to the original CATS.


23. Firmware Hacks

Since the drive is a LiteOn, the RPC region control can be easily disabled and the drive made region free.

With the appropriate utility, we can read the supported media list from the drive's firmware as well as define the recording speed of the media.


24. Booktype Support

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 to LiteOn users booktype utility, BookType Version 1.3.5. We used a blank DVD+RW media and managed to change its booktype to DVD-ROM as seen in the following screens.

Prior to 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 it with the "Write now!" function, else it will not be recognized as such by any drive.


25. Conclusion

The SHM-165P6S is a Super Multi release which can read and write most of the known media formats, including DVD-RAM media at a speed up to 5X (both reading and writing). The drive reported good reading for DVD±R/RW media at 12X, however competing drives have already reached 16X for the DVD±R formats. Throughout these pages, we've put the drive to the test, to check its reading/writing capabilities with various formats. And now, we can sum up and give you an overall image of the drive's capabilities as well as any shortfalls.

The 48X reading speed available with CD media, as well as its reading capabilities in comparison to the other drives, makes the SHM-165P6S a good reader, not the fastest out there, but still a fast one with good CD error correction. Unfortunately, the drive cannot read 90/99mins audio media, but can overburn CD media, up to 99mins. DVD reading speeds were good, but we would like to see faster speeds with DVD±R while a higher ripping speed with DVD-Video CSS would be welcomed. DVD error correction was also very good.

How well did the SHM-165P6S do when ripping protected media? Well, from what we've seen from the tests we've put it through, the drive could rip and successfully produce backups of all three audio protected discs, while with protected games, its performance was average and as with most recent drives, it could not create working backups of the latest Safedisc protected games.

CD writing quality, as was confirmed by most of our tests is good, although with the strict Clover System test bed, tended towards average. Even in this case, no E22 and E32 errors were reported while we shouldn't forget that the writing speed was at 48X, which is usually too high to expect good quality burns.

With DVD media, the overall writing quality is good. In most cases the error rates in Plextools are within the acceptable levels while almost all discs produced a smooth graph in Nero CD-DVD Speed. However, increased error counts in some cases could indicate short life span for some burns, so there is still room for improvement here in a future firmware release. With DVDRW media, the results indicated average quality while a further improvement is required with DVDR DL discs.

Although the drive cannot overburn DVD media, it has plenty of other features. Bitsetting is supported through the Booktype tool LiteOn provides from its web site and the procedure is very easy as described in the previous pages. Region Free Utilities are also available, as with most LiteOn devices. Last but not least, the user can check the drive's media list through the use of some utilities which are well known to LiteOn and DVD-Rec enthusiasts in general. Note also, that the drive can be used to measure the writing quality of discs.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like to be fixed

 

Retail Package
Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
Writing
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