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Appeared on: Wednesday, February 07, 2007
LG GBW-H10N


1. Introduction

Today we will be taking a look at the GBW-H10N from LG, a Super Multi Blu-ray Disc Burner that provides 4X burning speed with SL Blu-ray media. While it cannot write Blu-ray DL, it can read BD-ROM DL media at 4X. It further supports 4.8X reading speed for BD-ROM and BD-R SL media, 16X reading with DVD-ROM SL and 8X with DVD-ROM DL media, 10X with DVD±R media and 5X with DVD-RAM media. With DVD burning, it supports up to 12X maximum with DVD±R media, 4X with DVD±R DL and 5X with DVD-RAM.

- Drive Features and Specifications

 

- Nero Info Tool

- DVD Info Pro

General drive information, including firmware version...

And the drive's media support features...

- Retail Package

The Retail package includes:

PoweDVD Producer and Power DVD must be updated over the internet in order to handle BD authoring and playback.

- Front panel view

- Rear panel view

- Label

We removed the cover to take a closer look inside the drive. Removing the cover voids the warranty, so we strongly advise against it. Click on the image below for a larger, more detailed view of the drive's circuitry.

The drive uses the Renesas R8J32700FPV chipset.

- Installation

The drive was installed under WindowsXP and was recognized as "HL-DT-ST BD-RE GBW-H10N". The drive came with firmware revision GL02 installed.


2. CD - DVD Reading

- CD Format

For our CD transfer rate tests, we used the Nero CD-Speed utility and a set of Pressed CDs. The drive can read CD_ROM media at a maximum speed of 40X.

Pressed CD -

US RW CD -

The following CD Speed graph shows the failure of the drive to read our US-RW media.

- AudioCD

In the CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 29X with a quality score of 100.


- 90mins Audio disc

- 99mins Audio disc

The drive read both our 90 and 99 minute CD media.

- DVD Format

Now let's have a look at how the drive performs with DVD media. This time, a set of SL and DL DVD media was used. The drive is capable of reading DVD-ROM SL media at a maximum speed of 16X and 8X for DL media.

DVD Pressed SL media -

16X reading speed was achieved with DVD-ROM Single Layer media.

PTP DVD-ROM -

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.

OTP DVD-ROM -

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 and progresses towards the inner part of the disc.

8X reading speed with both PTP and OTP dual layer media .

- DVD Ripping speed:

Average - 6.127 kB/s (4.4x)
Maximum - 8.625 kB/s (6.2x)

- DVD-RAM

The drive can read read and write DVD-RAM media at 2X, 3X and 5X. 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.


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: 2387905
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 116353 Avg: -75.5 dB(A) Max:-35.8 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 7190 Avg: 1.2 Samples Max: 582 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 75.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The total error count is a little above average but the the maximum error loudness is very low and no samples were skipped. The Total Test Result score of 75.0 is quite good.

- ABEX TCD-726

LG_GBW-H10N-ABEX 726 Test disc

Errors total Num: 157605
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 18914 Avg: -82.8 dB(A) Max: -46.1 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 651 Avg: 1.0 Samples Max: 3 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 79.2 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy 100.0 %

It is unusual to see a drive register so many errors with this test disc. The Total Test Result score of 79.2 is a little disappointing.

- 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
LG_GBW-H10N
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5
0/5

With this test disc, the drive managed only the first 2 of 5 tracks which is a little below average.

- Summary

Overall, the drive is not very good with faulty CD media. Apart from the TCD 721-R disc, its performance was below average.


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.

A very messy reading graph and the drive also produced errors, although not where we would expect over the defects area, but at the very start. There was also a drop in reading speed from just over 14X to around 10X after the defects are.

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.

Again not the best graph but this time no errors were produced.

- 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.

This is certainly an improvement and the drive reached 8X reading speed.

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.

Not a bad effort. Very similar to the reading response with the previous dual layer test disc.
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, without any speed drops or problems.

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.

Again, nice reading.

- Summary

The drive seems to do quite well with dual layer media but seemed to have problems with our single layer test media.


5. Test Media List
BD-R MEDIA RESULTS
Media Speed Manufacturer ID Burned Speed Burning Time (mins:secs) Reading Speed
2X TDKBLDRBA-(000) 4X 22:35 4X
2X VERBATIMa-(000) 1.32X 68:26 4X

BD-RE MEDIA RESULTS
Media Speed Manufacturer ID Burned Speed Burning Time (mins:secs) Reading Speed
2X TDKBLDWBA (000) 2X 45:10 2X
2X VERBATIM0 (000) 2X

45:01

2X


BD-R DL MEDIA RESULTS
Media Speed Manufacturer ID Burned Speed Burning Time (mins:secs) Reading Speed
- - Does not write BD-R DL media -

DVD+R MEDIA RESULTS
Media Speed Manufacturer ID Burned Speed Burning Time (mins:secs) Reading Speed
4X BeALL 000 P40 4X 14:30 10X
8X BeALL 000 P80 8X

7:33

10X
8X CMCMAG E01 (000) 8X 7:33 10X
8X MAXELL 003 12X

5:30

10X
4X OPTODISC OR4 (000) 4X

14:26

10X
12X PRODISC R04 12X 5:30 10X
12X PRODISC R05 12X 5:30 10X
12X YUDEN000 T02 12X 6:08 10X
12X YUDEN000 T03 12X 5:30 10X

DVD+R DL MEDIA RESULTS
Media Speed Manufacturer ID Burned Speed Burning Time (mins:secs) Reading Speed
4X MKM 003 000 (00) 4X 27:23 8X

DVD+RW MEDIA RESULTS
Media Speed Manufacturer ID Burned Speed Burning Time (mins:secs) Reading Speed
8X MKM A03 000 (00) 8X 7:58 10X

DVD-R MEDIA RESULTS
Media Speed Manufacturer ID Burned Speed Burning Time (mins:secs) Reading Speed
8X CMC MAG AE1 8X 7:54 10X
12X CMCMAGAM3 12X 5:45 10X
12X Daxon016S 12X 5:45 10X
8X InfodiscR20 8X 7:53 10X
8X ProdiscF01 8X 7:53 10X
12X ProdiscF02 12X 5:45 10X
12X RITEKF1 12X 5:44 10X
8X RITEK G05 8X 7:53 10X
12X TYG02 8X 7:55 10X

DVD-R DL MEDIA RESULTS
Media Speed Manufacturer ID Burned Speed Burning Time (mins:secs) Reading Speed
8X MKM 03RD 30 4X 27:23 8X

DVD-RW MEDIA RESULTS
Media Speed Manufacturer ID Burned Speed Burning Time (mins:secs) Reading Speed
6X MKM 01RW6X01 6X 10:04 10X

DVD-RAM MEDIA RESULTS
Media Speed Manufacturer ID Burned Speed Burning Time (mins:secs) Reading Speed
5X MXL 16 5X (effectively 2.14X) 26:17 5X

6. CD Media Writing Tests

- CD-Media

The drive supports 8X (CLV) writing speed which was confirmed with Nero CDSpeed.

- Other features

The drive does not support CD Overburning. This test is carried out with a 99min disc.

- CD-RW Format

The drive, while it recognised our Verbtim US-RW disc, could not write to it.

With RW media, the drive can write at 4x, 8x and 10x CLV.


7. The Clover System CDX Compact Disc Analyzer

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.


8. Daxon 48X CD-R

- Writing

- Reading

- Clover Systems Test


9. Plasmon 48X CD-R

- Writing

- Reading

- Clover Systems Test

According to the CDX Clover Systems Quality Check measurements, Creation media narrowly missed getting an A grading, thanks to a 10Pk E12 of 62.5 (over the limit).


10. Taiyo Yuden 48X CD-R

- Writing

- Reading

- Clover Systems Test

According to the CDX Clover Systems Quality Check measurements, Taiyo Yuden Professional media passed the test with a Grade A rating.

11. TDKBLDRBA-(000) BD-R

Media Info -

Package

Writing @ 4X in 22:35 mins

- Reading @ 4X


12. VERBATIMa-(000) BD-R

Media Info -

Package

Writing @ 1.32X in 68:26 mins

- Reading @ 4X

 


13. TDKBLDWBA (000) BD-RE

Media Info -

Package

Writing @ 2 X in 45:10 mins

Reading - 2X

 


14. VERBATIM0 (000) BD-RE

Media Info -

Package

Writing - 2X in 45:01 mins

Reading @ 2X


15. TDK BLDRFA (000) BD-R DL

Media Info - DL Media

Package

Writing - Does not write BD-R DL media

Reading - 2X

 


16. The DaTARIUS DVD Analyzer R 2x

The DaTARIUS DVD Analyzer R 2x is one of the cornerstones in DVD quality control equipment, and is truly unique in the industry. It allows checking of replicated DVDs with single and dual layer structures (DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10, DVD-14, DVD-18) and written DVD recordables, at 1X and 2X speeds. It is based on the Pulstec Reference Pickup and Drive, developed in close co-operation with Pulstec and according to the standards of the DVD Forum.

In short, the system's features include:

An explanation of the various parameters the DaTARIUS DVD Analyzer R 2x offers is available here. On the same page, you can read further details about error signals and a brief analysis of the possible meaning of the parameters in the overall quality of a burn.

On the following pages, we present the writing quality measurements of various DVD recordable and rewritable media, burned with the reviewed drive.


17. BeALL 000 P40 DVD+R

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 4X in 14:30 mins

Click For larger Image

Reading - 10X

Click For larger Image

DaTARIUS Scans -

Click For Larger Image


18. BeALL 000 P80 DVD+R

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 8X in 9:06

Click For larger Image

Reading - 8X in 9:38

Click For larger Image

DaTARIUS Scans -

Click For Larger Image


19. CMC MAG E01 (000) DVD+R

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 8X in 7:33

Click For larger Image

Reading - 10X

Click For larger Image

DaTARIUS Scans -

Click For Larger Image


20. MAXELL 003 DVD+R

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 12X in 5:30

Click For larger Image

Reading - 10X

Click For larger Image

DaTARIUS Scans -

Click For Larger Image


21. OPTODISC OR4 (000) DVD+R

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 4X in 14:26

Click For larger Image

Reading - 10X

Click For larger Image

DaTARIUS Scans -

Click For Larger Image


22. PRODISC R04 DVD+R

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 12X in 5:30

Click For larger Image

Reading - 10X

Click For larger Image

DaTARIUS Scans -

Click For Larger Image


23. PRODISC R05 DVD+R

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 12X in 5:30

Click For larger Image

Reading - 10X

Click For larger Image

DaTARIUS Scans -

Click For Larger Image


24. YUDEN000 T02 DVD+R

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 12X in 6:08

Click For larger Image

Reading - 10X

Click For larger Image

DaTARIUS Scans -

Click For Larger Image


25. YUDEN000 T03 DVD+R

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 12X in 5:30

Click For larger Image

Reading - 10X

Click For larger Image

DaTARIUS Scans -

Click For Larger Image


26. MKM 003 000 (00) DVD+R DL

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 4X in 27:23

Click For larger Image

Reading - 8X

Click For larger Image

DaTARIUS Scans -

Layer 0

Click For Larger Image

Layer 1

Click For Larger Image


27. MKM A03 000 (00) DVD+RW

Media Info -

Click For larger Image

Writing - 8X in 7:58 min

Reading - 10X

Click For larger Image

Writing Quality - Almedio AEC-1000

About Almedio AEC-1000

The AEC-1000 consists of a DVD Drive and the "ALChecker" error measurement application which can check the written data quality. The application is capable of 1X CLV measurement as well as 4X CLV on DVD-Video/ROM and finalized DVD+R/-R media.

There are three measurement modes:

The checking status is shown graphically in real time while you can save the error graph at the end of the test. The reported errors are the PI and the UncPO. In the case of PI, it counts the number of rows corrected by the PI error correction in each group of eight consecutive ECC blocks. In the case of UncPO, it counts the number of ECC blocks in which more than one byte is uncorrectable in eight consecutive ECC blocks. For our quality scans, we set 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.

 


28. CMC MAG AE1 DVD-R

Media Info -

Writing - 4X in 14:14

Reading - 10X

DaTARIUS Scans -

 


29. CMC MAG AM3 DVD-R

Media Info -

Writing - 12X in 5:45

Reading - 10X

DaTARIUS Scans -

 


30. Daxon016S DVD-R

Media Info -

Writing - 12X in 5:45

Reading - 10X

DaTARIUS Scans -

 


31. InfodiscR20 DVD-R

Media Info -

Writing - 8X in 7:53

Reading - 10X

DaTARIUS Scans -

 


32. ProdiscF01 DVD-R

Media Info -

Writing - 8X in 7:53

Reading - 10X

DaTARIUS Scans -

 


33. ProdiscF02 DVD-R

Media Info -

Writing - 12X in 5:45

Reading - 10X

DaTARIUS Scans -

 


34. RITEK F1 DVD-R

Media Info -

Writing - 12X in 5:44

Reading - 10X

DaTARIUS Scans -

 


35. RITEK G05 DVD-R

Media Info -

Writing - 8X in 7:53

Reading - 10X

DaTARIUS Scans -

 


36. TYG02 DVD-R

Media Info -

Writing - 8X in 7:55

Reading - 10X

DaTARIUS Scans -

 


37. MKM 03 RD30 DVD-R DL

Media Info -

Writing - 4X in 27:23

Reading - 8X

DaTARIUS Scans -

Layer 0

Layer 1


38. MKM 01RW6X01 DVD-RW

Media Info -

Writing - 6X in 10:04 min

Reading - 10X

Writing Quality - Almedio AEC-1000

 

 


39. MXL 16 DVD-RAM

Media Info -

Writing - 5X in 29:35

Reading - 8X

 


40. Booktype

The LG GBW-H10N supports booktype setting for DVD+R and DVD+RW media only.


41. Conclusion

LG had already developed a good reputation for itself with its DVD burners. They were reliable and provided good quality burns. It now continues this tradition with its new Blu-ray burner, the GBW-H10N.

The GBW-H10N offers some of the fastest reading and writing speeds for all the media formats, currently provided by a Blu-ray drive. It's only short fall is that it doesn't write Dual Layer Blu-ray discs.

As a reader, it proved to be very good with Blu-ray media. In contrast, there were some problems with the ABEX Single Layer DVD defects discs although it performed much better with the Dual Layer discs. But it was quite disappointing in our CD Error Correction tests and appears to be a less than average reader with problem CDs.

As a burner, it successfully burned our BD-R and BD-RE media. It provided very nice burns with TDK Blu-ray media (TDKBLDRBA-(000) BD-R) with burning and reading speeds of 4X. With Verbatim BD-R media (Verbatima (000)) however, although it successfully burned and read the disc, it could only manage a burning speed of 1.32X, requiring 68 minutes to complete. We imagine that this is something to be addressed in a future firmware release. With CD media, Taiyo Yuden Professional media was awarded an A Grading by the Clover Systems Test System.

With DVD media, while most discs produced good results, there was especially good quality with MAXELL 003, OPTODISC OR4, PRODISC R04, YUDEN000 T02 and YUDEN000 T03 for DVD+R, and CMC MAG AE1, DAXON016S, INFODISC-R20, ProdsicF01, RITEKF1 and RITEKG05 for DVD-R. Furthermore, MAXELL 003 (000) media was burned at 12X although the media is rated at 8X.

Good quality writing was also present with RW media. The drive also writes and reads DVD-RAM at a maximum speed of 5X.

Unfortunately, we were unable to test the drive as a Blu-Ray movie player, since as yet, no releases have been forthcoming in the European region. But the drive is only one link in the chain of devices required to play a HD title. As is widely discussed over the internet, in order to play HD content titles, a compatible HDCP monitor or HDMI TV set is required as well as an appropriate graphics card (HDCP) and the latest Nvidia or ATI drivers.

Generally, this proved a very good drive with the only dark cloud being CD error correction and to a lesser extent, DVD error correction, and the inability to burn Dual Layer Blue-ray media. At a price of around €650 - €700, it is still an expensive option for most pockets, but for those who can afford it, it is a good choice if you don't need to burn Dual Layer Blu-ray media.

 



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