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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Pioneer DVR-111


1. Introduction

We had originally received the DVR-111DBK and DVR-111 burners from Pioneer, both with 1.06 firmware installed. Since then, we released the review for the DVR-111DBK a couple of days ago. We then decided to wait a little longer, before beginning tests on the DVR-111, for the release of the new firmware, v1.19.

So, lets see what changes have been made on the new firmware v1.19 according to Pioneer:

Firmware changes
1. Supports New 8x DVD-R Media
( 8x writing:TMI )
2. Supports New 16x DVD-R Media
( 16x writing:KingDisc, Postech, BeAll, CMC,Prodisc,Daxon,Ritek,Optodisc,Gigastorage,
Princo,MBI )
( 12x writing:Must Tech, Umedisc )
3. Supports New 4x DVD-R DL Media
( 4x writing:Ritek )
4. Supports New 8x +R Media
( 8x writing:CMC/DAXON/INFOMEDIA )
5. Supports New 16x +R Media
( 16x writing:Philips)
( 12x writing:Interaxia,Postech,E-TOP, Umedisc, Wealth Fair, DST, MJC, CMC )
6. Supports New 8x +RW Media
( 8x writing:Philips, CMC )
( 3.3x writing:Infomedia, MBI, Prodisc )
7. DVD-R DL Writability has improved.
8. DVD-R DL Readability has improved.
9. DVD-RW Readability has improved.
10. DVD+R DL Writability has improved.
11. DVD+RW Readability has improved.
12. DVD-RAM Writability has improved.
13. DVD-RAM Readability has improved.
14. CD-RW Writability has improved.

- Features

The DVR-111 offers writing support for Dual Layer media at the speed of 8X, along with 16X writing for DVD-R/+R, 5X writing for DVD-RAM, 6X writing for DVD-RW and 8X writing for +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-RAM 5x, 3x, 2x
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, VSO Inspector and DVDInfoPro:

- Nero InfoTool

- DVD InfoPro

- VSO Inspector

- The Drive

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

The front design, is nothing special, just a beige colored panel with a DVD MULTI RECORDER logo in the middle, which means the drive is able to write DVD-RAM discs.

- 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-111, we find the NEC chipset, which was also used in the DVR-111DBK.

- Installation

The drive was connected to our test PC and was identified as "PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-111" under WinXP. The drive came with firmware version 1.06 and we upgraded it the newer v1.19.

Throughout this review, we will see how the Pioneer DVR-111 performed against two other latest release drives, the Sony DW-G120A and the BenQ1655.


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, comparing it to the other two drives.

Only the BenQ drive supports 48X CD reading speed, while the Pioneer and Sony are only 40X CD readers.

With USRW media, the maximum supported speed is 32X for the Pioneer and Sony drives. But once again, the BenQ drive supports a higher reading speed.

- AudioCD

In AudioCD extraction, the Pioneer and Sony only support 40X DAE speed while BenQ supports 48X. All drives produced a perfect DAE quality score.


- 90mins Audio disc

- 99mins Audio disc

The Pioneer DVR-111, cannot 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.

16X reading speed on DVD Single Layer media was achieved by all the tested drives. Any speed differences between them is 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.
This time, the Pioneer DVR-111 produced the highest reading speed.

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 again, the DVR-111 drive was faster.

The supported reading speeds for DVD±R/RW media are very important since these are the most common formats. The Pioneer and Sony drives only support 12X reading for DVD±R while the Pioneer is a low speed reader with DVD±RW media, at only 8X. The Sony and BenQ drives, support higher speeds for DVD±RW media.

Fast ripping speed was reported by the DVR-111 drive, while the BenQ also seems to be quite fast. The Sony however, had average speed performance in this test.

- DVD-RAM

The drive can 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: 1068752
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 53596 Avg: -73.6 dB(A) Max: -34.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 3411 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 satisfactory results in this test. The total error count is about average, while the Maximum Error loudness is close to being within 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: 763
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 48 Avg: -65.5 dB(A) Max: -58.2 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 1 Avg: 1.0 Samples Max: 1 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 91.9 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

This is a much easier test disk than the previous one and most of the latest generation drives pass this test with a perfect score. Not so the Pioneer drive though. The total test result score of 91.9 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-111 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 1/5

The DVR-111 reached the fifth level and produced audible clicks. This is better than average performance.

- Summary

Overall, the drive has a very good CD error correction mechanism.


4. DVD Error Correction

In the following tests, we examined 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 drive managed to complete this error correction test without any problems and the reading speed, reached the maximum 16X at the end of the disc.

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 behavior to the previous test disc, with the drive again reaching its maximum reading speed of 16X.

- 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 in this case either. Note also that the reading speed in this case goes up to 12X, which is the maximum supported speed for the 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 again, high 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 the reading of this test media, with speed drops at the end of the first layer and continued with low reading speed during the second layer.

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.

This time, the reading was perfect without any speed drops. 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.


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
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-111 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-111 could not rip the Sony's 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-111 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 PSX and SecuROM protected media, the DVR-111 drive performed quite well, achieving good ripping times. But, as it happened with the Pioneer DVR-111DBK and SafeDisc protection, the drive failed do the job.

- Writing Tests

The Pioneer DVR-111 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 30.61X.

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

The Pioneer DVR-111 as well as the Sony, support only 40X writing speed for the CD-R media. Despite this, the Sony was even faster that the BenQ, which supports 48X burning speed.

- Other features

The drive supports CD Overburning, only up to 90mins. 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 24.40X.


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 the reader.

- BenQ 80min 52X @ 32X

- Maxell 80min 48X @ 32X

- Memorex 80min 52X @ 40X

- Philips 80min 52X @ 32X

- Taiyo Yuden 80min 48X @ 40X

- Summary

According to the above scans produced with Plextools Q-check, the reported C1 levels were within limits low for all media. C2 and CU levels were also within limits, except for Maxell media, which appears to be a write-off. Memorex and Philips offer the best quality, although overall, the quality could have been a little better.


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 facts 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.

- BenQ 80min 52X @ 32X

- Maxell 80min 48X @ 32X

- Memorex 80min 52X @ 40X

- Philips 80min 52X @ 32X

- Taiyo Yuden 80min 48X @ 40X

- Summary

According to the CDX Clover Systems Quality Check measurements, none off the above CD media, burned with the Pioneer DVR-111, managed to meet the quality criteria and pass the test. Unlike the results reported when using Plextools Professional Q-Check, CDX did not award a pass grade to any of the 5 burned media.

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

- DVD-R media @ 16X CAV

- Burning Tests

DVD-R media

It appears that the new firmware has expanded the 16X compatibility list for DVD-R media, and all 16X certified DVDs were burned at that speed.The burning times were just above 6 mins for most of the media, while there were also three 8X media which were over-sped and burned at 12X. One however, Datawrite Titanium, took more time than an 8X burn.

DVD+R media

With DVD+R media, the compatibility list has not been changed in comparison with the previous firmware release, and only BenQ has been added for 16X burning, which with the old firmware was recognized as 12X media. Other than that, the burning times are acceptable and only Taiyo Yuden was over-sped from 8X to 12X.

- Comparison with other drives

The lower the better...

- DVD Overburning Tests

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

- DVD-RAM

The DVR-111DBK, supported DVD-RAM reading only. The DVR-111 however, also supports DVD-RAM writing, at 5X speed.

As Maxell states: "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, we produced the following graph:

The drive started writing at 4.93X using CLV strategy, and reached 4.99X max writing speed, reporting an average burning speed of 4.96X. The task was completed in 11:06mins.

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

The writing procedure ended after 29:34mins. Normally, the time needed would be much less were it not for the "Write and Verify" feature used when writing DVD-RAM media.


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

- BenQ 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Verbatim 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Maxell 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Summary

Excellent quality was reported with DVD+R media at 16X, as we had already seen with the DVR-111DBK and fw1.06 drive. Smooth speed graphs from CDSpeed and levels well within limits from Plextools. Verbatim media was near perfect reporting zero POE and extremely low PIE values and count. However, we should not forget that DVD+R 16X burning was limited to these few discs, and no other media 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

- ProdiscR04 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- ProdiscR05 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Optodisc 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Ricoh 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Datawrite Titanium 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Datawrite Classic 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- RiDisc 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Taiyo Yuden 8X DVD+R @ 12X

- Summary

All these 16X certified media were burned at 12X and fortunately enough, the burning quality was good, with smooth speed graphs and low levels with almost all tested media. The exception is Traxdata, which produced fluctuations in speed at the end with CDSpeed and high POE levels.


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 DVD+R Writing Speed

- Ricoh 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Datawrite Titanium 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Optodisc 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Maxell 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Bulkpaq 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- RiDisc 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Datasafe 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Summary

Once again, low error levels for most of the media and smooth speed graphs. Both Datasafe and Ridisc media produced POE levels above the limit and with relatively high counts, but their speed graphs were smooth.


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

- Moser Baer 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- MKM 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Ricoh 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Maxell 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Datawrite Titanium 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- RiDisc 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Datawrite Classic 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Datasafe 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- ProdiscF02 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- ProdiscS05 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Optodisc 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- BenQ 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Summary

Writing quality with DVD-R 16X media is not as good as what we saw with DVD+R media. One of the tested media could not be read by the LiteOn drive, whereas RiDisc, Optodisc and BenQ media were the only media that produced smooth speed graphs and low error rates. Overall, most of the media had low error values but unsteady speed graphs. We should also mention that we retested the unreadable Ricoh disc with a second LiteOn drive, but 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

- Memorex 8X DVD-R @ 12X

- Taiyo Yuden 8X DVD-R @ 12X

- Datawrite Titanium 8X DVD-R @ 12X

- Summary

At 12X burning, the drive performed quite well. Datawrite Titanium media reported rather high error rates and fluctuations in the speed graph.


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 drop. 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

- Traxdata 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Optodisc 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Datawrite Yellow 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- ProdiscF01 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- RiDisc 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Datawrite 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Datasafe 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Maxell 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Summary

Average to good quality was reported with 8X DVD-R media. Most of the media however, reported high POE levels, above the limits. Best results came with Prodisc, Traxdata and RiDisc media.


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, the quality ranged from good with Traxdata and MKM 6X, to mediocre with MKM and Ricoh at 8X. At 8X, the CDSpeed graphs are not so smooth and there is a very high PIE count and level. At 6X, the performance is quite respectable.


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 while you can save the error graph at the end of the test. 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 bytes are 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 safest results.

- Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Maxell 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- ProdiscS05 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Datawrite Classic 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Maxell 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Ricoh 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Moser Baer 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Summary

According to the Almedio AEC-1000 error checker, the drive offers good writing quality. All the tested media, reported good quality and none of the errors that we saw from Plextools were evident here.


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

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

The new firmware did not fix the issue we encountered in our previous review of the DVR-111DBK. Ricoh+R DL 8X media is still recognized as 2.4X media and MKM+R 8X (MKM 003) once again as 2X.


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 8X @ 8X

- MKM DVD-R DL 4X @ 8X

- Summary

CD-DVD Speed produced relatively smooth speed graphs, with a minor drop in speed occurring at the layer change. Plextools shows both DL media as producing good quality. It seems that the new firmware has fixed the burning quality with MKM-R DL 4X media (the Pioneer DVR-111DBK had produced high POE errors with this disc).


20. DVR-111 vs SA300 - Page 1

For checking exactly what the Pioneer DVR-111 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 the 8X reading speed.

Please note, that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested DVR-111 drive. Using other drives, even another DVR-111, can produce totally different results. Beware!

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

From the above graphs, we can see that the PI Sum8 graph is almost the same as the original CATS scan, while for PIF, if we ignore the momentary glitch, they are similar.


21. DVR-111 vs SA300 - Page 2

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

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

The graphs produced by the Pioneer drive are very close to the original CATS scans.


22. DVR-111 vs SA300 - Page 3

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

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

Here too, there's enough similarity. The trend is certainly similar, the levels are a little different.


23. DVR-111 vs SA300 - Page 4

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

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

Completely different scans for both PI and PIF measurements using DVD+R DL media.


24. Booktype Setting

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

Well, as it happened with the Pioneer DVR-111DBK fw.1.06, so too here, the booktype cannot be changed, even with the new firmware and is by default set to DVD-ROM, but only for DVD+R DL media.


25. Conclusion

The Pioneer DVR-111 series returns with a better firmware. This newest firmware revision adds new media while improving the writing and reading performance of the drive. But there is still room for improvement. For example, writing quality with +RW media or DVD-R 16X quality could be improved, while also the 16X compatibility list for DVD+R could and should be expanded.

The DVR-111 drive is a good, typical reader with CD media. It can read up to 40X speed all CD-R discs and up to 32X CD-RW media. DVD reading speeds are satisfactory, with the drive being able to read up to 16X pressed SL media and 12X pressed DL media. DVD-RAM is also supported and the drive can read and write DVD-RAM media at a max speed of 5X. In DVD ripping, the DVR-111 did not disappoint us, achieving an excellent speed, being among the fastest on the market.

Protected discs are definitely a problem for the drive, as it also happened with the DVR-111DBK. It did not manage to rip Sony's Key2Audio protected media, although the other two audio protected titles were ripped successfully. Protected games were not successfully ripped, with the drive showing poor capabilities since it was unable to backup even old Safedisc v2 protected discs.

The CD error correction mechanism of the drive is good, where with the CD-Check Audio Test, the DVR-111 read the fourth track without any errors and produced only two audible clicks in the fifth track. In DVD error correction , the drive did not report any errors while reading all our test media at maximum speed, with the only exception of the ABEX TDV-541 test disc, where reading speed fluctuated at the end of the first layer and remained slow during the second layer.

Moving on to burning quality and CD quality in particular, the drive did not manage to produce good quality CD burns, even at low speeds (32X), and according to CDX Clover Systems, none of the five burned media produced a "GOOD" condition.

DVD burning quality has not changed that much from the previous firmware. Even though it has expanded the 16X DVD-R compatibility list, the quality, according to CD-DVD Speed and Plextools at that speed was good to average. DVD+R media at 16X was in an excellent condition, although only three media were burned at that speed. As for unreadable or high error rate media, produced by our LiteOn or Plextor used during the tests, we re-checked them with the Almedio AEC-1000 error checker and none of these errors were reproduced.

DVD±RW quality has not been changed with +RW media producing high error levels and counts. However, DL quality has been fixed and the MKM-R DL 4X, which had high error rates with the DVR-111DBK and fw1.06, now has more satisfactory levels. Unfortunately, 8X DL compatibility has not been fixed yet. We inserted a Ricoh+R DL 8X disc and it was recognized as 2.4X, while MKM-R 8X was recognized as 2X.

Something else that hasn't changed from the Pioneer DVR-111DBK fw.1.06, is the booktype, which by default is set to DVD-ROM and only for DVD+R DL media.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like To be fixed

 

Reading
Error Correction
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