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Appeared on: Sunday, July 01, 2007
LG HL-DT-ST GSA-H62N


1. Introduction

18X DVD writing speed, DVD RAM support and SATA interface are just a few of the features of this Super Multi DVD Burner from LG, that looks like it has the makings of a very high quality and reliable device. It offers maximum writing speeds of 18X for SL DVD±R, 10X for DL DVD±R, and 12X for DVD-RAM.

Let's start by taking a look at the specs.

Specifications

  • Maximum Write Speeds
DVD-R
18x (CAV)
DVD-R (DL)
10x (ZCLV)
DVD-RW
6x (CLV)
DVD-RAM
6x-12x (PCAV)
DVD+R
18x (CAV)
DVD+R (DL)
10x (ZCLV)
DVD+RW
8x (ZCLV)
(High Speed DVD+RW: 6x(CLV), 8x(ZCLV)
CD-R
48x (CAV)
CD-RW
32x (ZCLV)
  • Maximum Read Speeds
DVD-R/RW/ROM(SL/DL) 16x/13x/16x/12x max.
DVD-R DL 12x max.
DVD-RAM (Ver. 1.0/2.2) 6x max. (SL/DL). CASV
DVD-Video (CSS Compliant Disc) 4.8x max. (SL/DL). CASV
DVD+R/+RW 16x/13x max. CAV
DVD+R DL 12x max. CAV
CD-R/RW/ROM 48x/40x/48x max. CAV
CD-DA (DAE) 40x max. CAV
80mm CD 10x max.

Contents

The drive comes with the black bezel fitted, but there is also an ivory bezel included in the retail box. Also included is a Quick Setup Guide, 4 mounting screws, SATA Cables (both data and power), and the LG DVD Writer Solution CD with:

Host interface: T13 ATA/ATAPI-7, MMC-5, INF-8090i v7)

External dimensions(WxHxD): 146x41.3x165 mm (W/O Bezel)

We take a look at the look at the drive's internal circuitry with the pictures below. The drive is based on the RENESAS R8J32022HFPV Chipset. Do not attempt to open the case, as this will void the warranty.

Installation

The LG DVD-RAM drive was recognised under Windows XP as "LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H62N CL00".


2. CD - DVD Reading

For our CD transfer rate tests, we used the Nero CD-Speed utility and a set of Pressed CDs. The drive can read CD-R and CD-ROM media at a maximum speed of 48X. For reference, we present a comparison of the LG DVD-RAM GSA-H62N drive with the Samsung SH-S182D, Plextor PX-760A and NEC ND 4571A drives.

Pressed CD

US RW CD

The following CD Speed graph shows the reading performance with US-RW media. The drive has a maximum reading speed of 40X with this format. For all the CDSpeed graphs, you can click on the image to see the full CDspeed snapshot.

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- AudioCD

In the CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 28.91X with a quality score of 100.

A typical DAE task with an 80min non-protected Audio CD produced 28.5X average ripping speed.

- 90/99 mins Audio disc

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It seemed a little puzzling that both discs read all the way to the end, only to fail during the DAE quality test or seek tests for the 90 and 99 minute CDs respectively, so we tried playing both discs with Windows Media Player. With the 90 minute CD, playback became difficult after the 80th minute, and eventually degraded to just noise. The 99 minute CD played through to the end without problems.

This doesn't mean that 99 minute CDs will definitely play, just that they may play. The difficulty could be when jumping from one track to another (similar to doing a seek test) as opposed to just playing the disc from start to end.

- 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 at a maximum speed of 16X with single layer and at 12X with dual layer media.

DVD-ROM SL media -

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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.

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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.

Press for Larger Picture

- DVD-R /-RW

The drive offers maximum readings speeds of 16X with DVD-R and 13X with DVD-RW media.

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- DVD+R /+RW

The drive offers maximum readings speeds of 16X with DVD+R and 13X with DVD+RW media.

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This is fast and very good reading from the LG GSA H62N drive with all formats.

- DVD+R DL

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-DVD-R DL

-DVD-RAM

-5X

-12X

A few glitches with both the 5X and 12X media but it read both discs at their maximum speeds.

- DVD Ripping speed

Average - 4,881 KB/S (3.5x)
Maximum - 6,759 KB/s (4.9x)

With a maximum of only 4.8X for both SL and DL CSS DVD Video, it was the slowest of the four drives.


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: 2467012
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 123801 Avg: -76.1 dB(A) Max: -17.6 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 8615 Avg: 2.3 Samples Max: 591 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 2 Avg: 6.0 Samples Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result 69.1 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

This isn't the best error correction mechanism and the final score of 69.1 out of 100 is less that average performance. The total error count of 2,467,012 is on the high side and we see that errors span the entire duration of the disc. The total Loudness Error level is also high, especially the maximum level at -17.6 dB(A). The real test though is the number of skipped samples which in this case was 2.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total Num: 9289
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 3355 Avg: -87.1 dB(A) Max: -49.5 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 75 Avg: 1.1 Samples Max: 2 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 83.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The LG DVD-RAM GSA-H62N drive does not appear to be a very good choice with defective CDs. The error loudness level is high with this test disc, as it was with the previous. While a score of 83.0 out of 100 may sound good, most drives manage scores in the 90s and the best drives manage a perfect score with this test disc

- 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
HP dvd1035i
5/5
4/5
1/5
0/5
0/5

The drive achieved flawless reading with the first track only. Playing the second and third tracks produced numerous clicks on our speakers, while playback of the fourth and fifth tracks was pretty noisy.

- Summary

Concluding, the LG DVD-RAM drive is not very good at handling defective CDs.


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 use 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.

No read errors and no speed fluctuations from the LG drive. Very good 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.

Again, no speed problems or read errors.

- 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.

Flawless reading with defective dual layer 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.

No problems with the ABEX TDR-845 test disc. The drive continues its good performance!

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.

A slight speed stutter near the end of the first layer, but again, very good reading.

ABEX TDV-545

The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc with a capacity of 8.5GB.

The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the data surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It also has 65 - 75 micrometer fingerprints.

Another flawless effort.

- Summary

The DVD error correction mechanism of LG's GSA-H62N drive can be described as near perfect! There were no reading problems with any of the scratches and defects on the ABEX test discs.


5. CMC Magnetics CDR

For this test, each CD-R disc is burned to its maximum capacity and at its maximum speed. Then, the same disc is read with the CDSpeed software, and the disc is scanned for digital errors (BLER, C1 and C2) with our system provided by Clover Systems. To simplify the presentation, we present the BLER, E31 and E32 error rates for each disc, which unveil the most serious errors on each disc.

Disc Info

CDspeed provides information about the inserted media as well as the maximum supported burning speed. For more details, you can click on the images.

Writing strategy - 48X (36.71X Average)
Writing time - 2:42 min

Reading strategy - 48X CAV (37.03X Average)


Writing Quality - Clover Systems

This isn't bad, despite the FAILED rating from the Clover Systems tests. These test are very strict making it difficult for most discs to get a PASS rating. What is important here is that the E32 counts are all zero.

- About Clover Systems

The Clover Systems CDX Compact Disc Analyzer is a 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 speed of 4X.

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.


6. MoserBaer CDR

Disc Info

CDspeed provides information about the inserted media as well as the maximum supported burning speed. For more details, you can click on the images.

Writing strategy - 48X CAV (36.63X Average)
Writing time - 2:38 min

Reading strategy - 48X (36.94X Average)


Writing Quality - Clover Systems

Excellent results with this disc from Moser Baer.


7. Ritek CDR

Disc Info

CDspeed provides information about the inserted media as well as the maximum supported burning speed. For more details, you can click on the images.

Writing strategy - 48X CAV (36.42X Average)
Writing time - 2:39 min

Reading strategy - 48X (36.75X Average)


Writing Quality - Clover Systems

Again, although the disc did not receive a PASS rating, it isn't all that bad.


8. Verbatim CDR

Disc Info

CDspeed provides information about the inserted media as well as the maximum supported burning speed. For more details, you can click on the images.

Writing strategy - 48X CAV (36.46X Average)
Writing time - 2:43 min

Reading strategy - 48X (36.86X Average)


Writing Quality - Clover Systems

Ditto here too. So far, the writing quality has been quite good with all the brands.


9. CMC Magnetics CDRW

Disc Info

CDspeed provides information about the inserted media as well as the maximum supported burning speed. For more details, you can click on the images.

Writing strategy - 10X CLV (10.11X Average)
Writing time - 8:25 min

Reading strategy - 40X (31.25X Average)


Writing Quality - Clover Systems

This time, the quality isn't so good and we find E32 errors present. Despite this, CD-DVD Speed still manages to read the disc without problems.


10. Verbatim CDRW

Disc Info

CDspeed provides information about the inserted media as well as the maximum supported burning speed. For more details, you can click on the images.

Writing strategy - 32X Z-CLV (28.97X Average)
Writing time - 3:10 min

Reading strategy - 40X (31.14X Average)


Writing Quality - Clover Systems


11. DaTARIUS DVD Analyzer R 2x

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 structure (DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10, DVD-14, DVD-18) and written DVD recordable, at 1X and 2X speed. 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 device's features include:

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

In the following pages, we present the writing quality measurements of various DVD recordable and rewritable media, burned with the LiteOn LH-2B1S.


12. CMC MAG AE1

Media Info -

Writing - 8X (7.88X average) in 7:48 mins

Reading 16X (12.30X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

The DaTARIUS Analyser has recorded PISum8 and more importantly POF (uncorrectable) errors. The POF errors are very closely related to PIF, which however was well within limits.


13. DAXON008S

Media Info -

Writing - 8X (7.88X average) in 7:46 mins

Reading 16X (12.32X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Very nice at 8X.


14. CMC MAG AM3

Media Info -

Writing - 16X (12.69X average) in 5:30 mins

Reading 16X (12.31X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Jitter is really the only worry with this disc, otherwise a very good burn at 16X.


15. ProdiscF02

Media Info -

Writing - 16X (12.67X average) in 5:18 mins

Reading 16X (12.31X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

This wasn't so good. The combination of Jitter and POF errors doesn't make for good quality although CD-DVD Speed had no problems reading the disc.


16. TTH02

Media Info -

Writing - 18X (13.14X average) in 5:08 mins

Reading 16X (12.14X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Again Jitter and POF don't make for a good combination, especailly at 18X writing speed.


17. MCC 03RG20

Media Info -

Writing - 18X (13.68X average) in 4:55 mins

Reading 16X (12.33X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Again we see Jitter out of limits, but this time no POF errors, only PISum8.


18. TYG03

Media Info -

Writing - 18X (13.66X average) in 4:55 mins

Reading 16X (12.32X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

And again we see the same pattern with Jitter out of limits and POF errors.


19. MKM 01RW6X01

Media Info -

Writing - 6X (6.01X average) in 10:02 mins

Reading - 12X (10.00X average)

Writing Quality - Almedio AEC-1000

Very nice DVD-RW writing quality.


20. MKM 03 RD30

Media Info -

Writing - 10X (9.00X average) in 14:16 mins

Reading 12 (9.26X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

-Layer 0

-Layer 1

Apart from the jitter, this is quite good writing with DL media. Surprisingly, the second layer has better quality than the first.


21. CMC MAG E01

Media Info -

Writing - 8X (7.88X average) in 7:53 mins

Reading 16X (12.33X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

This is probably the worst burn so far. There's too many POF errors and there were a number of sections where the DaTARIUS Analyser could not read the disc. Despite this, CD-DVD Speed produced a very clean and smooth reading graph.


22. RITEK R03 002

Media Info -

Writing - 8X (7.88X average) in 7:55 mins

Reading 16X (12.35X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Extremely high PISum8 so it's not surprising to see POF errors present as well. After the burning quality we've seen so far from this drive, this is below par.


23. OPTODISC R16

Media Info -

Writing - 16X (12.68X average) in 5:24 mins

Reading 16X (12.33X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

This is more like it. Very good quality and at 16X.


24. CMC MAG M01

Media Info -

Writing - 16X (12.68X average) in 5:26 mins

Reading 16X (12.33X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Another reasonable burn at 16X although PISum8 has exceeded the limits and unfortunately there are POF errors.


25. RICOHJPN R03

Media Info -

Writing - 16X (12.68X average) in 5:24 mins

Reading 16X (12.34X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

One of the best burns and amazingly at 16X.


26. MCC 004 000

Media Info -

Writing - 18X (13.64X average) in 5:07 mins

Reading 16X (12.33X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

Some POF errors and very high PISum8 towards the end, but then, this is burning at 18X.


27. YUDEN000 T03

Media Info -

Writing - 18X (13.63X average) in 5:06 mins

Reading 16X (12.32X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

This is as close to a perfect burn as we've seen from any drive, let alone at 18X burning speed


28. MKM A03

Media Info -

Writing - 8X (7.88X average) in 7:56 mins

Reading - 12X (10.02X average)

Writing Quality - Almedio AEC-1000

Good writing quality with DVD+RW media. Very clean CD-DVD Speed graphs and everything well within specs from the Almedio AEC-1000.


29. MKM 003 000

Media Info -

Writing - 10X (8.99X average) in 14:33 mins

Reading 12X (7.65X Average)

DaTARIUS Scans -

-Layer 0

-Layer 1

It is unfortunate that there are POF errors at the start of the second layer of what was otherwise a very good burn with the Verbatim DVD+R DL disc.


30. Media List

In the following table we have listed together the findings of the DVD quality measurements for this drive. Each disc was measured under the same conditions with the DaTARIUS Analyser. On the left side of the table you will find the discs that did not return uncorrectable digital errors, while on the right side are the rest of the discs. For detailed measurement data, visit the corresponding pages.

Media type
Digital errors within limits
Digital errors exceed limits
DVD-R   CMC MAG.AE1 burned at 8X
DAXON 008S burned at 8X  
CMC MAG.AM3 burned at 16X  
  Prodisc F02 burned at 16X
  TTH02 burned at 18X
  MCC 03RG20 burned at 18X
  TYG03 burned at 18X
DVD+R   CMC MAG E01 000 (00h) burned at 8X
  Ritek R03 002 (02h) burned at 8X
  CMC MAG M01 000 (00h) burned at 16X
  RICOHJPN R03 004 (04h) burned at 16X
  Optodisc R16 000 (00h) burned at 16X
  MCC 004 000 (00h) burned at 18X
YUDEN000 T03 000 (00h) burned at 18X  
DVD-R DL MKM 03RD 30 burned at 10X  
DVD+R DL   MKM 003 000 (00h) burned at 10X
DVD-RW MKM 01RW6X01 burned at 6X  
DVD+RW MKM A03 000 (00h) burned at 8X  

- Burning times

Here we have gathered the results of the burning tests for DVD media. The numbers in "bold" indicate the best recording time for each format.

For more information about the test done with each disc, you can visit the corresponding pages of this review.

DVD-R BURNING RESULTS
  Media Manufacturer Manufacturer ID Average Burning Speed Burning Time (mins:secs)
LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H62N CL00 drive CMC DVD-R 4.7GB 8X CMC MAG.AE1 7.88 7:48
DAXON DVD-R 4.7GB 8X DAXON 008S 7.88 7:46
CMC DVD-R 4.7GB 8X CMC MAG.AM3 12.69 5:30
unknown DVD-R 4.7GB 8X Prodisc F02 12.67 5:18
unknown DVD-R 4.7GB 8X TTH02 13.14 5:08
Verbatim DVD-R 4.7GB 8X MCC 03RG20 13.68 4:55
Taiyo Yuden DVD-R 4.7GB 8X TYG03 13.66 4:55

DVD-R DL BURNING RESULTS
  Media Manufacturer Manufacturer ID Average Burning Speed Burning Time (mins:secs)
LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H62N CL00 drive Verbatim DVD-R DL 8.5GB MKM 03RD30 9.00 14:16

DVD-RW BURNING RESULTS
  Media Manufacturer Manufacturer ID Average Burning Speed Burning Time (mins:secs)
LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H62N CL00 drive Verbatim DVD-RW 4.7GB 6X MKM 01RW6X01 6.01 10:02
DVD+R BURNING RESULTS
 
Media Manufacturer
Manufacturer ID Average Burning Speed Burning Time (mins:secs)
LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H62N CL00 drive CMC DVD+R 4.7GB 8X
CMC MAG E01 000 (00h)
7.88 7:53
RITEK DVD+R 4.7GB 8X
Ritek R03 002 (02h)
7.88 7:55
CMC DVD+R 4.7GB 8X
CMC MAG M01 000 (00h)
12.68 5:26
RICOH DVD+R 4.7GB 8X
RICOHJPN R03 004 (04h)
12.68 5:24
Optodisc DVD+R 4.7GB 8X
Optodisc R16 000 (00h)
12.68 5:24
Verbatim DVD+R 4.7GB 8X
MCC 004 000 (00h)
13.64 5:07
Taiyo Yuden DVD+R 4.7GB 8X
YUDEN000 T03 000 (00h)
13.63 5:06

DVD+R DL BURNING RESULTS
  Media Manufacturer Manufacturer ID Average Burning Speed Burning Time (mins:secs)
LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H62N CL00 drive Verbatim DVD+R DL 8.5GB 4X MKM 003 000 (00h) 8.99 14:43

DVD+RW BURNING RESULTS
  Media Manufacturer Manufacturer ID Average Burning Speed Burning Time (mins:secs)
LG HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H62N CL00 drive Verbatim DVD+RW 4.7GB 8X MKM A03 000 (00h) 7.88 7:56

- Booktype Settings

The LG BD-RE drive supports the Booktype feature as seen in the snapsot above.

- DVD Overburning

The LG BD-RE drive does not support overburning with DVD recordable media, according to Nero CDSpeed Application.


31. Conclusion

LG proves itself to be one of the leading manufacturers in the optical storage market and has a real winner in the GSA-H62N. This optical storage drive produced some of the best burns of any drive, and what makes it all the more remarkable is that many were at 16X and 18X burning speeds.

Starting at the top, the drive is not the best CD reader when it comes to defective media, and this is probably its only weak point. It did quite poorly in all three checks that we performed with our defective CD media test discs. DVD error correction was much better though, in fact it did quite well with all the DVD test discs.

As a CD-R burner, it proved quite good and although only one (Moser Baer) out of the four CDs we burned passed the Clover Systems test, the other discs were not far off. Most important here is the fact that all of the discs had zero E32 count.

But the real success of this drive is its DVD writing quality. I have always been wary of 18X writing speed, in fact I very rarely use 16X. I want to be fairly certain that any discs I burn, will be readable in a year's time and not suffer data loss because of the slightest scratch. Well this drive produced burning quality at 16X and 18X, difficult to find from most other drives even at 8X. There wasn't a single failure in reading any of the burnt discs with CD-DVD Speed and our DaTARIUS Analyser produced some of the best graphs of any drive. There were of course discs with poor quality, but in the main writing quality was very good. The only thing to keep an eye on is the Jitter which was consistently above limits and this may be causing many of the POF errors that we saw. I don't know if this is something that LG can fix or at least reduce in a future firmware release, or if it's a problem in the mechanics of the drive.

At just above US$30 (newegg, pricegrabber), it is very reasonably priced, especially when we consider that it supports DVD-RAM and above all, the good writing quality. My only warning is, it probably won't read those old defective CDs, so it would be a good idea to have a good CD reader along side as well. It does much better with DVDs though.

Finally, booktype support and the useful software bundle that accompany this drive, make the LG HL-DT-ST GSA-H62N, very good value for money.

Pros

Cons



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