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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Pioneer DVR-111DBK


1. Introduction

Today we are going to review the latest released drive from Pioneer, the DVR-111DBK. The drive offers all the required features, such as 8X DL burning, as well as 5X DVD-RAM reading. Pioneer has released overall, five DVR-111 models, two Multi Recorders and three Dual. These are the DVR-111DBK (Dual), the DVR-111DSV (Dual), the DVR-111D (Dual) ,the DVR-111 (Multi Recorder) and the DVR-111BK (Multi Recorder).

Name Type Color
DVR-111 Multi Recorder (with DVD-RAM write) Beige front bezel
DVR-111BK Multi Recorder (with DVD-RAM write) Black front bezel
DVR-111D Dual format (without DVD-RAM write) Beige front bezel
DVR-111DBK Dual format (without DVD-RAM write) Black front bezel
DVR-111DSV Dual format (without DVD-RAM write) Silver front bezel

- Features

The DVR-111DBK offers writing support for Dual & Double Layer media at 8X speed, along with 16X writing for DVD-R/+R, 6X writing for DVD-RW and 8X writing for DVD+RW.

- Specifications

Write Support
DVD DVD-R (Ver 2.0 & 2.1 for General disc only), DVD-R DL (Dual Layer, Ver 3.0), DVD-RW (Ver 1.0, 1.1 & 1.2) , +R (Ver 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 & 1.3), +R DL (Double Layer Ver 1.0 & 1.1), +RW (Ver 1.1, 1.2 & 1.3), +RW High Speed (Ver 1.0).
CD CD-R (Type 74, 650MB & Type 80, 700MB), CD-RW (including HS, US, US+)
Read Support
DVD

DVD-ROM (Single & Dual Layer, Single & Dual Sided)
DVD-RAM (Ver 2.0, 2.1 & 2.2, non-cartridge version)
DVD-R, DVD-R DL (Dual Layer), DVD-RW
+R, +R DL (Double Layer), +RW

CD

CD-ROM Mode 1, CD-ROM XA Mode 2 (Form 1, Form 2)
CD-Text, Photo-CD (Single & Multiple Session), CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD-Text, Video CD, CD-R, CD-RW (including HS, US, US+)

Write Speed
DVD-R 16x, 12x, 8x, 6x, 4x, 2x, 1x
DVD-RW 6x, 4x, 2x, 1x
DVD-R DL 8x, 6x, 4x, 2x
DVD+R 16x, 12x, 8x, 6x, 4x. 2.4x
DVD+RW 8x, 6x, 4x, 2.4x
DVD+R DL 8x, 6x, 4x, 2.4x
8cm DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW with Adapter 2x, 1x
CD-R 40x, 32x, 24x, 16x, 10x, 4x
CD-RW 32x, 24x, 20x, 16x, 10x, 4x
Read Speed
DVD-ROM (single) Max 16x CAV
DVD-ROM (dual) Max 12x CAV
DVD-R, DVD+R Max 12x CAV
DVD-RW,DVD+RW Max 8x CAV
DVD+DL MAX 12x CAV
DVD-RAM Max 5x CLV
DVD-Video (Single Layer) 5x CAV
DVD-Video (Dual Layer) 5x CAV
CD-ROM, CD-R Max 40x CAV
CD-RW Max 32x CAV
Video CD 9.3x CAV
Access Time DVD-ROM 130 msec
Access Time DVD-RAM 210 msec
Access Time CD 120 msec
Installation
Mounting Orientation Horizontal and Vertical (+/- 5 degrees)

*80mm discs cannot be used when the drive is vertically mounted. The case remains even when an adapter is used.
IDE Interface

PIO Mode 4, Multi Word DMA Mode 2, Ultra DMA Mode 2, Ultra DMA Mode 4 (Ultra-DMA66)

* It is required to use a cable corresponding to U-ATA66 (80-wire conductor cable)

Data Buffer (size) 2 MB
Dimensions (W x H x D) 148 x 42.3 x 180 mm

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

- Nero InfoTool

- DVD InfoPro

- The Drive

We received a bulk version of the DVR-111DBK, without any bundled software.

The front design of the drive is just like the previous Pioneer DVR-110D that we had tested a couple of months back, with the only difference that this one is black. So, there is nothing more to comment on with regards to the look since it is a typical Pioneer drive.

- Front panel view

- Rear panel view

- Top view

- Inside view

We do not recommend removing the drive's cover, since this will void the manufacturer's warranty. You can take a look inside the drive with the pictures below. Click on the image below for a larger and more detailed photograph.

Inside the DVR-111DBK, we found a NEC chipset, which was also used in the previous DVR-110D. The new chip, however, is the next version of the D63645GM (DVR-110D), the D63645AGM.

- Installation

The device was connected to our test PC and was identified as the "PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-111D" under WinXP. The drive came with firmware version 1.06 installed, which at the time of the review was the latest available.

Throughout this review, we will see how the Pioneer DVR-111DBK performed against two other latest releases, the Plextor PX-760A and the LiteON SHM-165P65.


2. Reading Tests

- CD Format

For our CD transfer rate tests, we used the Nero CD-Speed utility and a set of Pressed CDs. Let's take a look at how the drive performed and in comparison with the other two drives.

Both the Plextor and LiteOn support 48X CD reading speed. The Pioneer however supports only 40X, so it is not the fastest CD reader on the market.

With USRW media, the max supported speed is 32X for the Pioneer and LiteOn drives, while the Plextor supports up to 40X.

- AudioCD

In the case of AudioCD extraction, the Pioneer and Plextor support 40X DAE speed, while the LiteON supports 48X. All drives produced a perfect DAE quality score.


- 90mins Audio disc

- 99mins Audio disc

The Pioneer DVR-111DBK can not read 90 or 99 min audio discs.

- DVD Format

Now let's have a look at how the drive performs with DVD media. This time, a set of DVD media was used, both SL and DL.

All three drives support up to 16X reading speed with DVD Single Layer media. The LiteOn was the fastest although speed differences between the three drives 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 its outer range.
Here, the LiteOn drive reported lowest reading speed with DL media. The other two drives reached 12X maximum.

The above graph shows 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.
Once more, the DVR-111DBK drive was the fastest reader with DL media.

The supported reading speeds for DVD±R/RW media are very important since these are the most common formats. The Pioneer drive supports up to 12X for DVD±R and 8X for DVD±RW. So it was expected that it would be the slowest when reading DVD±RW media.

Quite fast ripping speed from the Pioneer while only average from the LiteOn.

- DVD-RAM

The drive can read read DVD-RAM at 5X CLV. For our test, we used a 5X DVD-RAM disc from Maxell, burned with the LG GSA-4120B. The disc was read without any problems.

-Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs

CD Pressed / US-RW / AudioCD

DVD Pressed SL / DVD Pressed PTP DL / DVD Pressed OTP DL / DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD+R / DVD+RW / DVD+RAM


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: 1086353
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 54567 Avg: -73.6 dB(A) Max: -34.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 3479 Avg: 1.1 Samples Max: 40 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 76.6 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

Pioneer produced very good results in this test. The total errors count is average, while the Maximum Error loudness is close to the acceptable limits. There were no skipped samples reported and the overall test score of 76.6 points out of 100 is very good.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total Num: 180
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 12 Avg: -70.3 dB(A) Max: -66.8 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 93.3 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

This is a much easier test disk than the previous one and most of the latest model drives pass this test with a perfect score. The total test result score of 93.3 out of 100 is still good though.

- 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 (e.g. 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
Pioneer DVR-111DBK 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 1/5

The DVR-111DBK reached the fifth level and produced only two audible clicks. This is good performance.

- Summary

Overall, the drive has a good CD error correction.


4. DVD Error Correction

In the following tests, we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the 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 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.

The Pioneer drive managed to complete this error correction test without any problems being reported. Speed reached the maximum 16X at the end of reading. Over the last part of the defective area, the speed dropped momentarily.

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.

Similar error-free behaviour to the previous test disc, with the drive reaching its maximum reading speed of 16X but again, a slight hiccup over the last portion of the defective area.

- 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.

No errors here as well. Note also that the reading speed in this case goes up, above 12X, which is the maximum speed for DL media.

ABEX TDR-845

The 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 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 micrometers.

Once more, maximum reading speed was achieved and the test finished successfully.
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 upon 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.

The drive managed to complete its reading of this test media, but with a severe cost in speed. A major drop in reading speed occurred after the layer change and in general, the drive did not do a good job reading this 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.

Excellent reading from the DVR-111DBK drive. The dots and fingerprints were not a problem for the drive's error correction mechanism.

- Summary

Overall good error correction mechanism, capable of reading over most defective areas, even though some drops in speed may occur from time to time.


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 protection schemes. 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
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:

Pioneer DVR-111DBK Key2Audio CDS200
The drive could not rip the specific media. Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks

The Pioneer DVR-111DBK could not rip the Key2Audio protected CD.

- 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.

Pioneer DVR-111DBK 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.

With the PSX and SecuROM protected media, the DVR-111DBK drive performed quite well, achieving good ripping times compared to the Plextor and LiteOn drives. Unfortunately, the SafeDisc protected title could not be ripped by the Pioneer, where the time required was over two hours with only 2% completed.

- Writing Tests

The Pioneer DVR-111DBK 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

- CD-R Format

The drive supports 8X, 16X, 24X, 32X and 40X writing speeds.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the reported average speed when recording at 40X is 30.51X.

- 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 media used. Below is a chart showing all recording times with various media.

The Pioneer DVR-111DBK supports only 40X writing speed for the CD-R media, so it was expected to produce longer burning times than the other two drives, which support 48X.

- Other features

The drive supports CD Overburning only up to 95mins. Note, that this test is carried out with a 99min disc. No such overburning is possible on an 80min CD, while not many drives can write to 99min discs.

- CD-RW Format

The drive supports both the HS-RW and US-RW formats. With RW media, 4x CLV, 10x CLV, 16x CLV, 20x ZCLV, 24x Z CLV and 32x ZCLV writing speeds are available.

The drive, when recording at 32X, reported an average writing speed of 24.33X.


7. CD Writing Quality - Plextools

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 Plextor PX-716A was used as the reader.

- SKC 80min 52X @ 40X

- Moser Baer 80min 52X @ 40X

- Maxell 80min 48X @ 32X

- BenQ 80min 52X @ 32X

- Traxdata 80min 52X @ 32X

- Summary

According to the above scans produced with Plextools Q-check, the reported C1 levels were low but extremely high C2 values were reported in the case of Traxdata media, while SKC seems to offer the best quality. Overall, the quality is very good.


8. CD Writing Quality - Clover System

The Clover System 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 speeds. 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. When put together, all these factors provide a thorough analysis of disc quality. The Clover System 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 a 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.

- SKC 80min 52X @ 40X

- Moser Baer 80min 52X @ 40X

- Maxell 80min 48X @ 32X

- BenQ 80min 52X @ 32X

- Traxdata 80min 52X @ 32X

- Summary

The burning quality of the drive which we saw in the previous page with Plextools, is to large degree confirmed here. All the tested media, according to Clover Systems, failed, while only SKC CD-R media got an A grading. It should be remembered that the Clover Systems CDX test criteria are very strict and in general, very few drive/disc combinations manage a PASS rating.


9. DVD Writing Tests

Writing Performance

Now we will check the burning performance with DVD media. Below, the available writing speeds, as reported by Nero Burning Rom.

- DVD+R media @ 16X CAV

- We faced some problems with the Create Data Disc function. After some initial burns using Nero Burning Rom and CDSpeed, we were unable to burn any more media with the drive. Hence, we are unable to provide any screenshots of the writing strategies. We are not sure if this is a firmware problem or what seems more likely, a faulty drive. Pioneer will in the meantime, be shipping another unit to us, so that we can complete our tests.

*Updated

Fortunately, we were able to complete the transfer rate test and have posted the DVD-R writing strategy below.

- DVD-R media @ 16X CAV

- Burning Tests

DVD-R media

Only 5 out of 11 media were burned at their 16X certified speeds, while all the other 16X media were burned at 12X. Also, three 8X media were over-sped and burned at 12X. Times were very respectable, considering the drive took just over 6 minutes for a 16X burn. The exception here, is the Datasafe 16X media, which took more or less the same time as a 12X burning. Overall, low 16X compatibility, a new firmware can fix this easily.

DVD+R media

Once again, bad 16X compatibility and this time, only 3 out of 12 media were burned at 16X. Taiyo Yuden 8X media was burned at 12X but then we had BenQ 8X media burned at only 4X. Nevertheless, the recording times are not too bad with 6:42 minutes for 16X and a little over 8 minutes for 8X.

- Comparison with other drives

The lower the better. A bit of a mixed bag from the Pioneer drive, with good times for the minus formats but a little slower in the plus.

- DVD Overburning Tests

Using Nero CD-DVD Speed, we tested to see if the drive can overburn using DVD+R and DVD-R media. Unfortunately, the drive does not support overburning.


10. DVD Writing Quality - Page 1

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we used two readers equipped 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 drops. 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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

16X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Plextor 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Verbatim 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Maxell 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Summary

Excellent quality! Smooth speed graphs from CDSpeed and levels below the limits from Plextools . However, we shouldn't forget that DVD+R 16X burning was limited to these few discs and no other media that we tested could be burned at this speed.


11. DVD Writing Quality - Page 2

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we used two readers equipped 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 drops. 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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

12X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Datawrite Titanium 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- RiDisc 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Ricoh 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Philips 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- BenQ 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- ProdiscR04 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- ProdiscR05 16X DVD+R @ 12X

-Datawrite Classic 16X DVD+R @ 12X

-Taiyo Yuden 8X DVD+R @ 12X

- Summary

Since all these 16X certified media were burned at 12X, the least we could expect is good burning quality, and fortunately enough, this was the case with smooth speed graphs and low error levels for almost all tested media. The only exception was Traxdata media.


12. DVD Writing Quality - Page 3

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers equipped 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 drops. 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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

8X,4X DVD+R Writing Speed

- RiDisc 8X DVD+R @ 8X

 

- Datawrite Titanium 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Bulkpaq 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Datasafe 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- CMC 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- BenQ 8X DVD+R @ 4X

- Datawrite 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Opto 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Maxell 8X DVD+R @ 8X

 

- Summary

Low error levels for most of the media and mostly smooth speed graphs. With Datawrite media, although it reported high error levels and count, it produced a smooth speed graph. It was the worst of a good bunch.


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:

- 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 drops. 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

- RiDisc 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Datawrite Classic 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- MKM 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Datasafe 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Datawrite Titanium 16X DVD-R @ 16X

 

- Summary

Writing quality with DVD-R 16X media is not as good as we've seen with the plus media. Two of the tested media could 't be read by the LiteOn drive, however they had low error levels. Datasafe media was the only media that produced a smooth speed graph but it had a rather high error levels and count. We should also mention that we retested all unreadable media with a second LiteOn drive, but unfortunately the results were the same.


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:

- 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 drops. 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.

12X DVD-R Writing Speed

- BenQ 16X DVD-R @ 12X

- ProdiscS05 16X DVD-R @ 12X

- ProdiscF02 16X DVD-R @ 12X

- Philips 16X DVD-R @ 12X

- Maxell 16X DVD-R @ 12X

- Ricoh 16X DVD-R @ 12X

- CMC 8X DVD-R @ 12X

- Datawrite Titanium 8X DVD-R @ 12X

- Datawrite 8X DVD-R @ 12X

 

- Summary

Here, with 12X burning speed, the drive showed average quality. Smooth speed graphs in the main but some high error levels as well as counts in some cases. Some of the 16X certified media did not differ from 8X certified media burned at 12X and should have produced better results.


15. DVD Writing Quality - Page 6

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

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-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 drops. 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

- Opto 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- ProdiscF01 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Datawrite Yellow 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Datasafe 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Traxdata 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- RiDisc 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Maxell 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Bulkpaq 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Summary

Average quality was reported with 8X media. Some of the media had high error levels and not so smooth speed graphs. Best results came with Prodisc media. Once again, we tested any unreadable media with a second LiteOn but the results were the same.


16. DVD Writing Quality - Page 7

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

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-712A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing drops. 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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

DVD+RW and DVD-RW Media

- MKM 8X DVD+RW @ 8X

- Ricoh 8X DVD+RW @ 8X

- MKM 6X DVD-RW @ 6X

- Traxdata 6X DVD-RW @ 6X

 

- Summary

With -RW media, we saw good quality with low error levels. +RW media produced extremely high PI counts and levels but PO levels were well within limits. All CDSpeed graphs were in the main smooth, falling off towards the end in all cases.


17. 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 with DVD-Video/ROM and finalized DVD+R/-R media.

There are three measurement modes:

- Fine Mode: checks a series of eight consecutive ECC blocks,

- Rough Mode: checks eight consecutive ECC blocks every 100h ECC blocks

- Quick Mode: checks three specified areas

The checking status is shown graphically in real time. The reported errors are the PI and the UncPO. The PI counts the number of rows corrected by the PI error correction in each group of eight consecutive ECC blocks. The UncPO 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 produces the most reliable results.

 

- Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- ProdiscR04 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- ProdiscS05 16X DVD-R @ 12X

- Datawrite Classic 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- MKM 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Philips 16X DVD-R @ 12X

- Maxell 8X DVD-R @ 8X

 

- Summary

According to Almedio AEC-1000 error checker, the drive offers good writing quality. The media we chose to measure are those which either failed in CDSpeed or had high error levels with Plextools. All the tested media reported good quality, with the only exception of Traxdata 16X DVD+R.


18. DVDR 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 burn the entire disc.

Mitsubishi Chemicals 8X DVD+R DL @ 8X P-CAV

- As we've previously mentioned, we had some problems with the Create Data Disc function. After some initial burns using Nero Burning Rom and CDSpeed, we were unable to burn any more media with the drive. Hence, we are unable to provide any screenshots of the writing strategies. We are not sure if the is a firmware problem or what seems more likely, a faulty drive. Pioneer will in the meantime, be shipping another unit to us, so that we can complete our tests.

We did however, manage to capture the transfer rate test for MKM-R DL 4X media that was burned at 8X, and is posted below.

Mitsubishi Chemicals 4X DVD-R DL @ 8X Z-CLV

We also inserted two other DL media in order to check the supported burning speeds. The Ricoh+R DL 8X was recognized as 2.4X media and MKM+R 8X (MKM 003) as 2X. It seems that the drive offers a limited selection for DL at high burning speeds.

*Update

Mitsubishi Chemicals 2.4X DVD+R DL @ 8X

For this task we had to use the 2.4X DVD+R DL from Mitsubishi Chemicals with code ID MKM 001.


19. DVDR DL - Page 2
- Writing Quality

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media, we used two readers equipped 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 drops. 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 not be taken as the absolute criterion of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

- MKM DVD+R DL 2.4X @ 8X

- MKM DVD-R DL 4X @ 8X

- Summary

CD-Speed produced relatively smooth speed graphs, with a drop in speed occurring at the layer change. Plextools showed that MKM +R DL 8X media offers good quality and MKM-R DL 4X produced high POE levels but no POF. Both media were burned at 8X don't forget.


20. SA300 vs DVR-111DBK - Page 1

For checking exactly what the Pioneer DVR-111DBK 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 DVR-111DBK drive. Using other drives, even another DVR-111DBK, can produce totally different results. Beware!

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

From the above graphs, we can see that the scans from the Pioneer and CATS are extremely similar. This is as close as any drive has come to matching the CATS scans.


21. SA300 vs DVR-111DBK - Page 2

For checking exactly what the Pioneer DVR-111DBK 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 DVR-111DBK drive. Using other drives, even another DVR-111DBK, can produce totally different results. Beware!

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

This time there is very little resemblance between the graph produced by the Pioneer drive and that of CATS.


22. SA300 vs DVR-111DBK - Page 3

For checking exactly what the Pioneer DVR-111DBK 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 DVR-111DBK drive. Using other drives, even another DVR-111DBK, can produce totally different results. Beware!

#3rd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

Once again, different values and dissimilar trend lines.


23. SA300 vs DVR-111DBK - Page 4

For checking exactly what the Pioneer DVR-111DBK 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 DVR-111DBK drive. Using other drives, even another DVR-111DBK, can produce totally different results. Beware!

#4th Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

The PI Sum 8 graphs are very different. The PIF graphs, except for the spike in the Pioneer's scan, can be considered as similar.


24. Booktype Setting

The booktype setting is a feature widely supported by almost all recent drives, as it enables the change of the booktype for specific media (DVD+R,+RW,+RDL to DVD-ROM), to achieve maximum compatibility with stand alone players (mostly outdated ones). This can be achieved prior to burning the inserted media or during the burn process (at the beginning with Nero or another burning software).

The booktype cannot be changed. However, by default, it is set to DVD-ROM only for DVD+R DL media.


25. Conclusion

The Pioneer DVR-111DBK is the latest drive to be released after the DVR-110 series. Unfortunately, the supported 16X media list for the DVR-111 series is limited and most of the 16X media is recognized as 12X. A new firmware revision may expand the 16X support list.

The DVR-111DBK is not the fastest drive on the market when it comes to CD reading, supporting up to 40X. As a DVD reader, the drive supports 16X for SL and 12X for DL, something that you can find in any other drive currently on the market. However, you may not find many drives out there, that are able to read DVD-RAM media, which the Pioneer DVR-111DBK supports at the 5X reading speed.

The drive cannot read 90/99 min Audio CDs, but when it came to our DAE quality test, it received a perfect score. Interesting to note, is that despite the fact that the drive uses the NEC chipset, it performed very well in that test, in contrast to NEC drives which usually have problems.

DVD ripping is a strong point of the drive, being the fastest in comparison with the other two latest drives (PX-760A, SHM-165P65) in this department.

Protection schemes are a problem however, the drive failing to bypass even Safedisc v2, which is found on older games. It also failed to rip our key2audio protected disc. So this drive is not the ideal choice for backing up protected discs.

In CD error correction, the drive gave better than average performance, and could have been ranked as very good if not for the less than perfect score with the ABEX TCD-726 test disc. In the CD-Check Audio Test, the DVR-111DBK read up to the fourth track without errors and produced only two audible clicks in the fifth track. Very few drives are capable of playing the fifth track.

The drive also has a good DVD error correction mechanism, reading all our test discs without reporting any errors, despite some speed drops in some cases.

As a CD-R burner, the DVR-111DBK is slow, due to its 40X burning speed. The quality that we saw at that speed and even at lower speeds (32X), could and should be better, since none of the tested media managed to pass the Clover System check.

The strong point of the DVR-111DBK is its writing quality with DVD-/+R media. Most of the tested discs produced excellent quality (low error levels, smooth speed graphs), although most of the 16X certified media was burned at lower speeds. On the other hand, we saw that some of the 8X media was oversped and burned at 12X with good quality. As for any unreadable media or media with high error levels from our LiteOn or Plextor drive tests, these were re-checked with the Almedio AEC-1000 error checker and only Traxdata DVD+R 16X showed up as bad quality.

With DL media, the drive supports 8X for both formats and the best quality was achieved with MKM DVD+R DL 8X. Also, we should mention that Ricoh+R DL 8X media was recognized as 2.4X, while MKM-R 8X at 2X. A new firmware release should fix this by including higher supported burning speeds.

Unfortunately, the drive does not support the booktype change for plus media. However, by default, it sets the DVD+R DL media to DVD-ROM, so you can hopefully achieve the best possible compatibility with any outdated stand alone players. ;-)

One final point, is that we had a problem with the drive which is most probably due to a faulty unit. After burning an initial batch of media, we were unable to perform any more burns and hence were unable to provide any writing strategy graphs. Pioneer will be shipping another unit off to our labs. We should then be able to complete our tests, the results of which will be updated in a follow-up review.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like To be fixed

 

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Error Correction
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