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Appeared on: Friday, November 23, 2007
ASUS BC1205PT


1. Introduction

ASUS brings High Definition technology to the masses by offering a cheaper drive that has reading capabilities for Blu-ray, DVD and CD media. The new ASUS BC1205PT enters the market in direct competition with the Pioneer BDC-202 drive, which shares the same specifications, and possibly the LiteOn DH-4O1S - a BD-ROM drive.

The ASUS BC-1205PT is a BD-ROM/DVD±R/RW/CD-RW drive capable of reading data from and writing data to DVD+R/RW/DVD-R/RW/ DVD-RAM formats.

Performance:

  • Read Speed
    • DVD-ROM Read: 12x, Max
    • DVD-RAM Read: 5x, Max
    • CD-ROM Read: 32x, Max
    • BD-ROM/R/RE Read: 5x, Max
  • Write Speed
    • DVD+R Write: 12x
    • DVD+RW Write: 6x
    • DVD+R DL Write: 4x
    • DVD-R Write: 12x
    • DVD-RW Write: 6x
    • DVD-R DL Write: 4x
    • DVD-RAM Write: 5x
    • CD-R Write: 32x
    • CD-RW Write: 24x
  • Access Time:
    • BD: 250ms
    • DVD: 150ms
    • CD: 150ms

Supported Formats (write):

-CD

  • CD-DA
  • CD-ROM XA (m1, m2f1/m2f2)
  • CD-R
  • CD-RW
  • Bootable CD
  • Photo CD (single & multi-session)
  • Video CD
  • CD-Extra
  • CD-Text

-DVD

  • DVD+R DL 8.5GB
  • DVD+R 4.7GB
  • DVD+RW 4.7GB
  • DVD-R DL: 8.5GB
  • DVD-R 4.7GB (closed session)
  • DVD-RW 4.7GB (closed session)
  • DVD-RAM
  • DVD-Video

System Requirements:

  • CPU: Intel Pentium 4 541 3.2 GHz or above / AMD Athlon 64X2 3800+2.0 GHz or above
  • Memory: Recommended above 512 MB RAM
  • VGA: nVidia GeForce 7600 GT or above ATI X1600 series or above
  • VGA Memory: Recommended above 256MB

Physical Characteristics:

  • Dimensions (W x H x D) : 148 x 42.3 x 185 mm (w/o bezel)
  • Weight: 980g

Interface: SATA

Buffer Size: 4MB

Firmware Update: Flash memory upgradable


Writing Mode:

-CD

  • Disc-At-Once
  • Incremental Recording
  • Restricted Overwriting
  • Sequential Recording
  • Random Recording

-DVD

  • Track-at-Once
  • Disc-at-Once
  • Session-at-Once
  • Packet Recording (fixed & variable)

The ASUS BC1205PT drive comes with the CyberLink BD Solution software package and also includes the following applications:

The heart of the drive is the RENESAS R8J32500FPV chip, also found on the Pioneer BDR-202 drive, which we recently reviewed here on cdrinfo.com.

- DVD Info pro

- Nero Info Tool


2. CD - DVD Reading

For our CD transfer rate tests, we used the Nero CD-Speed utility and a set of data and audio CD-R/RW/ROM media. The drive can read CD media at a maximum speed of 32X.

For each CDSpeed graph, you can click on the image to see the complete screenshot, including full measurements.

In the comparison charts, you can also see the results we had from the Pioneer BDR-202 and LG GGW H10N drives.

CD-ROM

US RW

The following CD Speed graph shows the reading performance with US-RW media. Reading reached a maximum of 24x, as per the specifications.

AudioCD

In the CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 23,17X with a quality score of 100.

90/99 mins Audio disc

90 min Audio

99min Audio

DVD Format

Now let's take a look at how the drive performs with DVD media. This time, a set of SL and DL DVD media were used. The drive is capable of reading at 12X maximum speed for single layer DVD ROM and at 8X for dual layer DVD ROM media.

DVD-ROM SL

DVD-ROM DL

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.

DVD-R

DVD-RW

DVD+R

DVD+RW

 

DVD+R DL

DVD-R DL

DVD RAM (5x)

DVD RAM (12x)

Despite the fact that the ASUS BC 1205PT drive does not support the 12X DVD-RAM speed, we gave the specific media (Maxell) a shot by performing a benchmark reading session with the Nero CD-DVD speed utility. The result was a failure. The reading procedure barely achieved 2X reading speed, and finished with the "NO ADDITIONAL SENSE INFORMATION" error message. This is normal behaviour however, since 12X media is not compatible with 5X drives.

DVD Rip

Average Read Rate: 5,283 KB/s (3,8X)

Maximum Read Rate: 7,238 KB/s (5,2X)

BD-ROM (movie)

BD-R (25GB)

BD-RE (25GB)

BD-R DL

The ASUS drive was incapable of even recognising the 50GB capacity, BD-R DL media.

- Summary of reading tests

All of the reading graphs were as smooth as they can possibly get. The drive failed to completely read the 90min and 99min audio CDs though. The 12X DVD RAM media was read at a very low reading speed and eventually failed, while the Dual Layered Blu-ray disc was not recognised.


3. CD Error Correction

In the following tests, we check the drive's behavior and error correction capabilities when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

 

Errors total
Num : 1862340
Errors (Loudness)
103664
-75.9 dB(A)
Max :-18.1 dB(A)
Error Muting
Num : 5603
Avg : 1.2 Samples
Max : 582 Samples
Skips
Num : 0
Avg : 0.0 Samples
Max : 0 Samples
Total Test Result
75.3 points (of 100.0 maximum)

An average score here. There were no skipped samples, but the Error Loudness level is high at -18.1 dB(A). The total error count is also quite high and there were also quite a few muted samples. The ASUS drive seems to have pretty good error handling capabilities.

- ABEX TCD-726R

Errors total
Num : 6516
Errors (Loudness)
Num : 3736
Avg : -88.0 dB(A)
Max : -55.5 dB(A)
Error Muting
Num : 41
Avg : 1.0 Samples
Max : 1 Samples
Skips
Num : 0
Avg : 0.0 Samples
Max : 0 Samples
Total Test Result
83.6 points (of 100.0 maximum)

This is also an average performance. Some errors were reported but no skipped samples.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is another 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
ASUS BC 1205PT
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

The drive managed to correctly play the first three tracks. Problems occurred with the fourth and fifth tracks. Average behavior here as well.

Overall, the drive exhibited satisfactory performance with our defective test CDs.


4. DVD Error Correction

In the following tests, we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the drive (error correction) 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.

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.

 

 

- 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.

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.

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.

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.

The defects on all of the ABEX test media were easily overcome by the drive, producing very smooth reading graphs. Generally, excellent error correction with DVD media.


5. Ritek CDR

For this test (and for all ensuing tests with CD-R media), the CD-R disc was burned to its maximum capacity and at its maximum speed. Then, the same disc is read with the CDSpeed software, and the disc was 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

- Writing - 24x (20.70x average) in 04:43min

- Reading - 34x (25.49x average)

 

- Writing Quality - Clover Systems

No uncorrectable errors. The E12 flag exceeded its limits but no need for worries here.

- 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

- Writing - 24x (19.91x average) in 05:00min

- Reading - 34x (25.41x average)

 

- Writing Quality - Clover Systems

 


The E31 flag is over the limit. However, no E32 (uncorrectable) errors were reported. An average burn here.


7. Verbatim CDRW

-Disc Info

- Writing - 24x (21.97x average) in 04:06min

- Reading - 24x (19.14x average)

- Writing Quality - Clover Systems

Absolutely flawless! The perfect writing session!


8. 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.


9. CMC MAG AE1

-Disc Info

- Writing - 8x (7.67x average) in 08:08min

 

 

- Reading - 12x (9.46x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans

Large amount of digital errors a little after the speed jumps to 8X.


10. OPTODISC R016

-Disc Info

- Writing - 8x (5.78x average) in 12:02min

 

The writing speed did not reach its maximum with this Optodisc DVD-R media. At the half-way point, the speed drops from 8X to 4X instead of speeding up to 12X.

- Reading - 12x (9.47x average)

- DaTARIUS Scans

 

Relatively low final writing speed of 4X but ends up with a pretty positive feedback from the Datarius scanning engine. No digital errors at all here. Good writing.


11. Prodisc S05

-Disc Info

- Writing - 12x (9.48x average) in 07:05min

 

 

This time, the ASUS drive reaches the 12X writing speed.

- Reading - 12x (9.47x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans

PISum8 is close to the limits and there are also a few POF's near the end of the scanning session.


12. TTH02

-Disc Info

- Writing - 8x (5.78x average) in 12:05min

 

Writing session again fails to reach 12X speed. Let's have a look at its writing quality.

- Reading - 12x (9.48x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans

 

One single POF. Not that bad, but it could be better especially at such a slow writing speed.


13. TYG02

-Disc Info

- Writing - 8x (7.68x average) in 08:10min

 

Low writing speed that should produce a low amount of digital errors. Let's see.

- Reading - 12x (9.48x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans

 

 

Voila! That's pretty close to the "flawless writing".


14. MKM 01RW6X01

-Disc Info

- Writing - 6x (6.02x average) in 10:16min

 

- Reading - 8x (6.31x average)

 

Disc Quality - ALChecker

Way over the limit maximum PI level and one single UncPO error mar an otherwise good writing.


15. MKM 03RD30

-Disc Info

- Writing - 4x (2.97x average) in 42:01min

 

- Reading - 8x (6.33x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans

-Layer 0

-Layer 1

Both layers produced the best possible results. That's what we call flawless. However, notice that the second layer of the specific disc was burnt at 2x.


16. MCC 004 (000)

-Disc Info

- Writing - 12x (9.49x average) in 07:20min

 

- Reading - 12x (9.49x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans

 

Very good writing quality with Verbatim's MCC 004 000 (00h) disc. Things are looking better as we progress, looking over more discs.


17. OPTODISC OR8

-Disc Info

- Writing - 8x (7.67x average) in 08:18min

 

- Reading - 12x (9.20x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans


 

Despite the fact that the writing speed was only 8X, there is still a bad result for the maximum PISum8 and POF errors, that show up at the very beginning of this scanning session. The drive also had a hard time reading the first sectors on the disc, as we can see in the CDSpeed reading graph.


18. PRODISC R04

-Disc Info

- Writing - 12x (9.46x average) in 07:19min

 

- Reading - 12x (9.48x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans


 

A good performance. The PISum8 flag is near to the limits but there is no need for worries since there are no POF of PIF errors.


19. RICOHJPN R01

-Disc Info

- Writing - 4x (3.99x average) in 14:46min

 

- Reading - 12x (9.48x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans

 

Why would a low writing speed session like that (only 4X), return such a negative feedback? Large amount of POF errors and lots of PISum8 too. It's the very beginning of the scanning session again that created the problem.


20. YUDEN000 T02

-Disc Info

- Writing - 8x (7.64x average) in 08:17min

 

- Reading - 12x (9.46x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans

A single POF uncorrectable error mars a relatively good result here.


21. MKM A03

-Disc Info

- Writing - 6x (6.02x average) in 10:21min

 

- Reading - 8x (6.33x average)

 

Disc Quality - ALChecker

Flawless writing from the ASUS BC 1205PT drive here. No uncorrectable errors at all.


22. MKM 003

-Disc Info

- Writing - 4x (3.96x average) in 27:16min

 

- Reading - 8x (6.33x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans

- Layer 0


- Layer 1

For some reason, the signal limits are not shown on this scan. The all green result is not the real picture, but there are no digital errors (or serious errors at all) on either of this specific disc's layers. Another result that approaches a perfect disc.


23. RITEK D01

-Disc Info

- Writing - 2.4x (2.37x average) in 45:04min

 

- Reading - 8x (6.34x average)

 

- DaTARIUS Scans

- Layer 0

No POF or PIF errors on this layer. Signal limits do not show up again, but this layer's results are all "green".

- Layer 1

A single digital error and PISum8 is a little over the limit. One of the better failures of the ASUS drive.


24. M01J5006

-Disc Info

- Writing - 5x (4.98x average) in 11:11min

 

- Reading - 5x (4.92x average)

 

The ASUS BD 1205PT drive does not support writing to 12X DVD-RAM disc (Maxell) so we performed a writing test only on 5X DVD-RAM media.


25. Media List - Booktype - DVD Overburning

In the following table, we have gathered the findings of the DVD quality measurement tests. Note that each disc was measured under the same conditions with the DaTARIUS equipment. On the left side of the table, you can find the discs that did not produce 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
OPTODISC R016 burned at 8X CMC MAG.AE1 burned at 8x
TYG02 burned at 8x PRODISC S05 burned at 12x
  TTH02 burned at 8x
DVD+R
MCC 004 000 (00h) burned at 12x OPTODISC OR* 000 (00h) burned at 8x
PRODISC R04 004 (04h) burned at 12x RICOHJPN R01 002 (02h) burned at 4x
  YUDEN000 T02 000 (00h) burned at 8x
DVD-RW   MKM 01RW6X1 burned at 6x
DVD+RW MKM A03 000 (00h) burned at 6x  
DVD-R DL   MKM 03RD30 burned at 4x
DVD+R DL MKM 003 000 (00h) burned at 4x RITEK D01 001 (01h)

An fairly balanced share of failed and successful burnings for the ASUS BC1205PT drive.

- Booktype Settings

The drive does not support the booktype feature with DVD+R (screenshot above), DVD+R DL or DVD+RW media.

- DVD Overburning

As we can see, the drive does not support overburning of DVD recordable media, according to CDSpeed, producing the "NO ADDITIONAL SENSE INFORMATION" error message.


26. Conclusion

Concluding, the ASUS BC1205PT drive, despite the fact that it contains the same chipset as the Pioneer BDC-202 drive, produced much more encouraging results than its "competitor". Its price on e-shops is somewhere around US$290, which makes it one of the most approachable solutions for Blu Ray playback. Keeping in mind the fact that it performed much better in the writing sessions than the Pioneer drive, we consider this product as a must-have for all users that want good burnings and Blu-ray playback capabilities on the same drive.

Half of the writing sessions ended successfully (i.e. no errors) and this is what gives this drive a definite advantage.

DVD error correction is quite strong, although in the corresponding CD tests with CDs the drive could perform better.

As we saw in the corresponding pages of this review, the overburning and booktype features are not supported and the drive does not support burning of BD-R DL and 12X DVD-RAM media, as it is also incapable of reading both. During the reading session of the 12X DVD-RAM media, the drive read most of the disc, albeit at a slow speed, but could not finish.

Considering the fact that the maximum burning speed for the specific drive is 12X for DVD-/+R media, the quality scans could be better in some cases. But since they were in the main decent results, the ASUS drive passes our test of reliability and burning quality.

In addition, the Asus BC1205PT drive performed well as a Blu-Ray movie player, with both BD-ROM 25GB and 50GB discs. Considering the current market for Blu-Ray drives, this drive is a very good money for value purchase.



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