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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Thursday, June 29, 2006
NEC ND-4571A


1. Introduction

Today we will be reviewing one of the latest releases in the DVD RW market, which bears the name of NEC. In a nutshell, the NEC ND 4571A as it is labeled, supports all the well known formats including DVD-RAM media which is capable of using for both reading and writing purposes, at the speed of 5X. As expected, the rest of the media are managed by the device as most up to date drives do, with a 16X/16X on +R and -R media repsectively while the RW writing speed is at 8X and 6X for DVD±R media. DL speed is at 8X for both formats.

In addition to the above, the ND 4571A supports Labelflash, enabling the user to customize the appearance of his burned media without the need of custome printable labels and such. Note here that labelflash requires enabled media to operate while the software itself is not included in the OEM version of the drive and has to be downloaded seperately.

- Features

- Labelflash? technology, for creative disc labelling

- General Labelflash specs

- Laser wave length 655nm
- NA 0.65
- Picture-burning time 5min (Fast mode) - 20min (High Quality mode)

General Specifications of Labelflash Disc

- Depth of the picture-burning layer 0.6mm from the disc surface
- Dye for the picture-burning layer Organic Dye
- Picture-burning area (radius) 25mm - 58mm

- Specifications

Model NEC ND 4571A
  DVD CD
Transfer Rate Read   16X CAV (max.22000kBytes/s) 48X CAV (max. 7200 kBytes/s)
Transfer Rate Write -R 16X CAV (max.22000kBytes/s) 48X CAV (max. 7200 kBytes/s)
-R DL 8X ZCLV (max. 11000 kByte/s) ./.
-RW 6X ZCVL (max 8200 kByte/s) 32X ZCLV (max. 4800 kBytes/s)
-RAM 5X ZCLV (max 6900 kBytes/s) ./.
+R 16X CAV (max.22000kBytes/s) ./.
+R DL 8X ZCLV (max. 11000 kByte/s) ./.
+RW 8X ZCLV (max. 11000 kByte/s) ./.
Access Time 160ms 140ms
Mechanism motorized Tray Load mechanism for horizontal and vertical usage
Interface IDE/ATAPI
Burst Transfer Rate PIO mode 4 / Ultra DMA 33
Cache Memory 2 MByte
Audio digital-out and line-out at the back (MPC compatible)
Media/Modes Supported DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD DL, DVD+RW, DVD-Video, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-Audiom CD Extra, CD Text, CD-I Ready, CD-Bridge, Photo-CD, VideoCD, Hybrid CD, Labelflash
Writing methods DAO (disc at once), SAO (session at once), TAO (track at once) with zero gap, variable or fixed packet, multisession
Compatibility MPC Level 3, MultiRead, PC2001
Weight 0.72 kg
Dimensions 148mm X 42mm X 175mm

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

- Retail package

Like the previous releases, the retail package includes:

- the white blazed NEC ND-4571A internal tray load mechanism burner
- an E-IDE (ATAPI) cable
- an Audio cable
- mounting screws
- a CD-ROM that includes documentation for the drive as well as a bundled version of Nero Express 6, Nero Vision Express 3, Nero Showtime 2.

Also, included in the retail package is the Labelflash software which enables the user to use this feature.

-The Drive

The front view of the drive is the same as always, with the logos to the far right and a led indicator and eject button... The drive comes in two colors, black and biege...

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

We opened the drives case to take a closer look at the inner part of the drive. Upon opening the case, the drives warranty is rendered void, so we strongly advice against it. By clicking on the below image one can see a larger, more detailed version of this picture...

click to enlarge

- Installation

The drive was installed under WindowsXP, and was recognized as "NEC DVD RW ND 4571A ". The drive came with the default firmware (1-01) installed. All reading and burning tests were made with the latest firmware installed.

For the needs of comparison in this review, we will be posting the results of the ND 4571A along with the results of the BenQ 1655 and Plextor 760A drives. Now let us move on to the next page and the reading capabilities of the drive, regaring CD and DVD media, as well as Video ripping capabilities.


2. CD - DVD Reading

- CD Format

The max supported reading speed for Pressed CD media with the 4571 is 48X while with CD-RW media is set at 40X. what follows is a graphic representation of the reading speed of the review drive and two comparison drives regarding these media. The tests were made with the CD-Speed utility and a two media, once pressed, one RW.

Not much to say, as all three drives achieve maximum readig speed with both formats. the speed differeces are marginal.

- AudioCD

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

DAE speed is a bit slower with the 4571 always in comparison to the other two drives. As reported by Nero CDSpeed advanced DAE quality, the quality score is a perfect 100 while the average speed goes all the way up to 29.14X. Note here that the test could not be completed, so we failed to verify the Leadin and Leadout as well as the cdtext reading capabilities of the drive...

- 90mins Audio disc

- 99mins Audio disc

Unfortunatelly the drive cannot read either the 90 or the 99mins audio discs.

- DVD Format

We repeated the reading tests, this time using a collection of pressed SL and DL DVD media to test the drives reading capabilities with DVD media and we posted the results in the form of the graphs below.

All three drives support up to 16X reading speed with Pressed SL media, hence the speed differences can be considered as 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. Max supported speed with the review drive is 12X as well as with the other two comparison drives.

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. Same results in this case too, due to the 12X max reading speed with all three drives.

The NEC and BENQ drives managed to read the write once media (both formats) with a max speed of 16X, while the Plextor got all the way up to 12X. With Re-Writable media, the drive managed to achieve a max reading speed of 12X with 9.78X average speed in both cases.

The NEC 4571A proved to be quite a ripper with 13.130 Kb/s, outmatching the Plextor and BenQ drives.

Overall good reading capabilities with all inserted test media.

- Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction Tests
In the following tests, we check the drive's behavior when it comes to reading scratched / defective discs. The test discs we use are the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 2199738
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 91135
Avg: -73.1 dB(A)
Max: -18.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 6458
Avg: 1.1 Samples
Max: 40 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
75.5 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
99.9 %

A normal performance was reported while testing the drive with the 721 test media. The error total, Muting Samples and Skiped samples report an average performance.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 87750
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 46930
Avg: -85.8- dB(A)
Max: -48.3 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 685
Avg:1.0 Samples
Max: 2 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
78.2 points (of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
100 %

Not used to these kind of results, as most of the market drives tend to achieve a total 100% while reading the 726 test media. In this case the 78.2 points indicate a good but not best CD error correction mechanism.

- 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
NEC ND 4571A
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

Average performance reported, with the drive managing to reach the third error level flawlessly, as from the fourth and up, audible clicks were present, thus the drive could not reproduce the test media.


4. DVD Error Correction

In the following tests, we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the NEC ND 4571A 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 its reading speed, managing to achieve a flawless reading, with minor drops of speed while reading over the defective area and during the end of the reading.

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.

Same perforamcen with this media, were the drive managed to read all the way to the end , with minor drops of speed near the completion.

- 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.

Max reading speed achieved was 12X with this artificially defective media, were both layers were read flawlessly.

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.

Same performance here. The NEC 4571A is defenitely a good reading device, with very good error correction capabilities.

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB. The disc is based on the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

click to enlarge!

With the 541 test media inserted, the drive droped its speed during the layer change, and moved on with the reading all the way to its end at its normal speed. Max speed was 12X as with all DL media.

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.

/DVD/545.png" target="_blank">click to enlarge!

Excellent performance here with the drive managing to complete the reading without a single drop of speed.

- Conclusion

Summing up, the NEC 4571A is a very good reader, with good error correction mechanism and a fast one. All sinlge layer artificially defective media were read at 16X while DL media were read at 12X, the speeds that the drive supports for these kind of media.


5. Audio - Data Protection Tests
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:

Key2Audio
CDS200
NEC ND 4571A
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

All two protected Audio media were ripped succesfully and reproduced succesfully.

- 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.

CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
NEC ND 4571A
Reading performed without any errors.

- Game Protections

To create the image of the various protected titles in 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 review drive, reported very good ripping speeds with the PSX and Securom media. Unfortunatelly the Safedisc media was ripped extremely slow and the backup created was disfunctional.

- Writing Tests

The NEC ND 4571A 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 Burning Tests
The NEC ND 4571A supports up to 48X CAV max speed for CD media, while offers up to 32X ZCLV for CD-RW media.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive confirmed the maximum 48X speed. The test started at 21.49X and finished at 48.04X, having an average speed of 36.41X. Click on the image below for an enlarged view.

click to enlarge!

For the burning tests, we created an 80min data compilation through Nero Burning Rom, recording the data on several 700MB discs. The drive needed only 3:01 minutes to complete this task at the maximum 48X writing speed.

In the following graph we can see the recording times the NEC ND 4571A reported with various CD-R media inserted.

The NEC ND 4571A supports 32X 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 32X US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

click to enlarge!

The drive starts the writing task at 20.11X and reaches a maximum of 32.05X having an average speed of 29.59X

- Overburning Test

The drive does not support this feature.


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, two out of four burned media were found to be of very good quality, while the other two burns reported some C2 errors, indicating potential errors in the immediate future.


8. CD Writing Quality - Clover Systems
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

According to the above tables and the overall result table, the only media that managed to achieve the pass grade was the TY media. Note here that the CDX is set to a level of quality that only allows the best of the burned media to achieve a "Pass" grade, so this can be described as an extreme outcome. In reality all media will be readable to some level, while the TY will be the only perfect media to be read by eny device and will last longer.


9. DVD Writing Times

- Writing Performance

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

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

click to enlarge!

The drive completed successful DVD writing at 16X in 6.06mins. The test started at 6.68X, reached a maximum writing speed of 15.97X and reported an average speed of 11.74X.

The drive completed successful DVD writing at 16X in 5:37mins. The test started at 6.69X, reached a maximum writing speed of 16.05X and reported an average speed of 11.96X.

- Burning Tests

We burned a variety of DVD-R media of 16X and 8X enabled. Almost all media were burned at their named speeds, with the exception of the TY 8X -R media burned at 12X. Bust burn (time related) came with the Moser Baer media burned at 6:15mins.

Once again all media burned at their named speeds while we had some overspeeds at 8X effective media. Notice the TY 8X which was actually burned at 16X speed with a time of 6:12 and good results which also happens to be the best burn (time related).

- DVD Overburning Test

Unfortunately, the drive does not support DVD overburning for both -R and +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 manufacturers specs, the drive can read and write DVD-RAM media, with the max 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, we got the following graph:

The test started at 4.97X burning speed and was completed 5.01X reporting an average speed of 4.86X. It took only 11:32mins to complete a full DVD-RAM writing, while with the Nero and a blank DVD-RAM, the reported time was roughly 30mins, as the drive uses the "Write and Verify" when burning DVD-RAM media.

- DVD+MRW Tests

The drive does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


10. 16x DVD+R Writing Quality Tests

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 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

- Datawrite Classic 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Datawrite Titanium 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Maxell 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Optodisc 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Plextor 16X DVD+R @ 16X

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

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

- Ricoh 16X DVD+R @ 16X

.

- Ridisc 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Traxdata 16X DVD+R @ 12X

- Verbatim 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Summary

Even though not all burns proved to be of good quality, overall have an image of a good burning device, depending on the inserted media. Hence the best burn here is with the Verbatim and Plextor(TY) media, according to both Plextools Proffesional and Nero CD DVD Speed Q-Check utilities. Moving on to 8X +R media...


11. 8x DVD+R Writing Quality Tests

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 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 @ 12X

- Bulkpaq 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Datasafe 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Datawrite Titanium 8X DVD+R @ 12X

- Maxell 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Optodisc 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- Ridisc 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- TY 8X DVD+R @ 16X

- Summary

At lower burning speeds and 8X in specific the drive managed to create some good media, while at this speed we also had some overspeed burns, such as with the Datawrite burned at 12X and the TY media burned at 16X, both reporting good quality burns, according to the CDSpeed and PlexPro utilities.


12. 16x DVD-R Writing Quality Tests

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 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

- Datasafe 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Datawrite Classic 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Datawrite Titanium 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Maxell 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Moser Baer 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Optodisc 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Prodisc F02 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Prodisc S05 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Ricoh 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Ridic 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Vernatim 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Summary

Unfortunatelly things are getting a bit messy while using 16X -R effective media. Even though all media were burned at their named speeds, the Q-Check utilities do not manage to aggree on any of the above burns. Never the less, an imporvement regarding burning quality with 16X-R media would be welcome.


13. 8x DVD-R Writing Quality Tests

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 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

- Bulkpaq 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Datasafe 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Datawrite Mach 4 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Datawrite Titanium 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Maxell 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Memorex 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Prodisc 8X DVD-R @ 8X

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

- Traxdata 8X DVD-R @ 8X

 

- TY 8X DVD-R @ 12X

- Summary

Average burning quality, according to the Plextools Pro quality check utility, while the CDSpeed utility reports bad quality burns...


14. DVDRW Writing Quality Tests

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

  • The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.
  • The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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

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

6X, 8X ±RW Writing Speed

- Summary

Not as good as we hoped to be. Nevertheless, the drive managed to produce some burnings, even with some high spikes reported by the Plextools Q-Check. Overall performance can be described as average.


15. DVD Writing Quality Tests - 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.

- Datawrite 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Maxell 8X DVD+R @ 8X

- MoserBaer 16X DVD-R @ 16X

- Ridisc 8X DVD-R @ 8X

- Maxell 16X DVD+R @ 16X

- Verbatim 8X DVD-R @ 8X

We tested three media of each format with the Almedio Q-Check utility of which four of them were 16X enabled and two of em 8X enabled. As we can see from the above scans, the overall quality of the burns is of good quality, most of them being the high speed ones too (16X burning speed), indicating good quality burning mechanism.


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

We burned several media with the "Create Data Disc" procedure, but unfortunately, the drive could not achieve accurate backups, reporting errors during the process. The only media that was burned and recognized was the Verbatim -R DL 8X media.

Verbatim DVD-R DL 8X @ 8X

The test started at 4.14X and writing speed maxed out at 8.28X with an average speed of 6.02X, completing the burn in 20:04mins.

An issue arrises from this test, concerning the DL burning quality. A firmware addressing this issue would be most welcomed. Also notice in the above graph the trend line. The actual 8X is achieved only during the second half of the first layer.

Unfortunatelly, the burned media could not be scanned with the quality check utilities, so a DL quality page is not included in this review. With a feature firmware release we will add some burnings to re-check the DL burnign mechanism capabilities.


17. SA300 Correlation Tests - Page 1
For checking exactly what the NEC ND 4571 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 NEC ND 4571 drive. Using other drives, even another NEC ND 4571, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

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


18. SA300 Correlation Tests - Page 2
For checking exactly what the NEC ND 4571 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 NEC ND 4571 drive. Using other drives, even another NEC ND 4571, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

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


19. SA300 Correlation Tests - Page 3
For checking exactly what the NEC ND 4571 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 NEC ND 4571 drive. Using other drives, even another NEC ND 4571, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

The trend line reported by the NEC ND 4571 follows the CATS trend line...


20. SA300 Correlation Tests - Page 4
For checking exactly what the NEC ND 4571 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 NEC ND 4571 drive. Using other drives, even another NEC ND 4571, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

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

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


21. BitSetting Tests
All up to date 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 burned a media using Nero Burning Rom while having the Booktype setting in the drives properties on Automatic. This changed the booktype setting of any inserted +R +RW +R DL media at DVD-ROM.

The MKM+RW media with the booktype changed succesfully. Not much more to say here...


22. Final Thoughts

From what we have seen from the previous pages, the NEC ND 4571A is not exactly what one could call a very good burning device. In a nutshell...

The ND 4571A is a very good reading decive, which would satisfy even the most demanding user who likes to combine good ripping speeds with good error correction, in both CDs and DVDs. Its reading speed in DVD media is quite good, with a 16X while using SL media and 12X with DL media. Even the defective media at the error correction tests were read at full speed, indicating a very good mechanism which will retain its speed, making the reading fast and reliable.

Protected media tests revealed that the drive had not problem ripping the protected audio inserted media, while with the games, the 4571A did nice work of all three inserted media, eventhough the Safedisc media could not be backed up properly. This is a feat that most drives fail to achieve, thus the 4571A is not to be considered if the target user wants a raw fast ripping device for the newest and most advanced protection scemes.

As already mentioned, the drive has a great error correction mechanism, reading over all inserted artfificially defective media, at max speed. CD error correction could've been better, as the 4571 reported average results in comparison to other market drives. Especially the 726 test media reported totaly difference results from what one would expect of a latest release drive.

Burning quality was a major issue for the review drive as while it did quite well with write once media and reported average results with the Re-Writable media, it did not achieve good results with the DL media. Overall the drive's writing performance is much dependent from the media inserted, indicating a somewhat limited media list. A firmware upgrade regarding the DL media issues would be most welcomed.

What of the "features" that most drives offer, one would wonder... In this field, the 4571A is not strong enough. The 90/99mins Audio discs cannot be read by the drive and cannot perform overburn with either CD or DVD media. Bitsetting feature is present though for all three +R media formats. An extra feature for the users who enjoy media customization is the LabelFlash feature which enables the user to label his burned media using the drive itself than some printable labels.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like to be fixed

Retail Package
Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
Writing
Features


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