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Appeared on: Friday, January 09, 2009
LITEON iHAS422 22x


1. Features- specifications

LiteON's latest internal DVD/CD ReWriter is the iHAS422 drive. Supporting all CD and DVD media formats currently available, and also able to burn DVD±R discs at the super fast speed of 22X, LiteOn engineers surely aim for the top with this one. Writing speeds for other types of media are set as follows: 8X for DVD±R DL, 8X for DVD+RW, 6X for DVD-RW, 12X for DVD-RAM, 48X for CD-R and 32X for CD-RW. The connection to the computer is made via a S-ATA interface, thus allowing Burst Transfer Rates of up to 1.5Gbps.

The drive's key features include SmartErase, a technology able to completely and permanently erase data from a disc leaving no chances of recovering it, SmartWrite, a technology that enables the drive to automatically detect and select the optimal writing strategy in DVD±R recordable media and provide best burning quality, Smart X, a technology for optimum CD-DA/VCD/DVD data extraction speed and LightScribe, for direct disc labeling.

- Drive Features & Specifications

DVD Family Write
DVD+R 22X maximum by CAV
DVD-R 22X maximum by CAV
DVD+R9 8X maximum by Zone CLV
DVD-R9 8X maximum by Zone CLV
DVD-RAM 12X maximum by PCAV
ReWrite
DVD+RW 8X by Z-CLV
DVD-RW 6X CLV
Read 16X maximum by CAV
Access time 160ms

CD Family Write
CD-R 48X by CAV
ReWrite
CD-RW 32X maximum by Z-CLV in UltraSpeed disc
Read 48X(7200KB/sec) maximum by CAV
Access time 140ms
PC Required Pentium 4 1.3GHz or higher CPU and 128MB or higher RAM are required.
HDD must have access time < 20ms; with a minimum of 650MB free
space.
9GB free space for creating a DVD image file (9GB for double layer; 5GB for single layer).
Compatibility Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP / Vista
MTBF (Life) 70000 POH
S/N Ration > 75dB
General Environment
Operating 5C° to 50C°; Relative Humidity: 15% to 80%
Non-Operating -40C° to 65C°; Relative Humidity: 15% to 95%
Dimension 145(W) x 41.3(H) x 170(D) mm
Weight < 0.7Kg
Voltage Requirements
+5V +/-5% and less than 100 mVp-p ripple voltage
+12V +/-10% and less than 200 mVp-p ripple voltage

-The Retail Box

The Package contains the following items:

 

-The Drive

Our test sample was manufactured on September 2008 in China.

The drive's electronics are based on the MediaTek MT1859LL chip.

- Installation

The drive was identified under Windows XP as "ATAPI iHAS422 8", firmware version 4L11.

Nero Info Tool 5

DVD Info Pro


2. CD/DVD reading tests

For our CD transfer rate tests, we used the Nero Disc Speed utility and a set of data and audio CD-R/RW/ROM. The drive can read CD media at a maximum speed of 48X.

For each CDSpeed graph, you can click on the image to see the complete screenshot, including full measurements. For comparison, we have also added the corresponding results of another 22x DVD burner, the Samsung SH-S223F.

-CD-ROM

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 36.94X
Samsung SH-S223F 37.15X

- US RW

The following CD Speed graph shows the reading performance with US-RW media. Reading reached a maximum of 40x, as per the specifications.

 

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 30.77X
Samsung SH-S223F 30.88X

- AudioCD

In the CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 33.13X with a quality score of 100.

A typical DAE task with an 80min non-protected Audio CD produced 32.2X average ripping speed.

AdvDAE Speed AdvDAE Score DAE Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 33.13X 100 32.2X
Samsung SH-S223F 27.82X 100 29.2X

 

- 90/99 mins Audio disc

90min Audio

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 36.94X
Samsung SH-S223F 31.06X

99min audio

The drive was not able to burn the 99min Audio disc.

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 was used. The drive is capable of reading at 16X maximum speed for single layer DVD ROM and at 12X for dual layer DVD ROM media.

DVD-ROM SL media -

 

 

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 6.16X
Samsung SH-S223F 12.13X

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.

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 9.15X
Samsung SH-S223F 9.09X

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.

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 9.15X
Samsung SH-S223F 9.08X

- DVD-R

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 12.16X
Samsung SH-S223F 11.87X

- DVD-RW

 

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 9.03X
Samsung SH-S223F 8.98X

- DVD+R

 

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 12.12X
Samsung SH-S223F 11.90X

- DVD+RW

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 9.05X
Samsung SH-S223F 9.02X

- DVD+R DL

 

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 9.03X
Samsung SH-S223F 9.33X

-DVD-R DL

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 9.02X
Samsung SH-S223F 9.30X

-DVD RAM (2-5x media)

 

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 5.00X
Samsung SH-S223F 4.99X

-DVD RAM (12x media)

data

small

 

Average Speed
LiteOn iHAS422 10.21X
Samsung SH-S223F 10.13X

- DVD Video Ripping

Ripping of a single layer DVD movie:

Average 11,911KB/s (8.6x)
Maximum 16,781KB/s (12.1x)

- Summary of reading tests

A very good performance from the LiteOn drive, showing high reading speed while maintaining integrity for the read-out data.


3. CD error correction tests

This series of tests checks the drive's ability to correct/conceal possible erroneous data after reading artificially scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

Specifically, a software compares two audio files using FFT analysis. The first audio file has been extracted by a normal audio disc. The second one is the result of the extraction of the another disc which hold the same audio track, but it also has specific defects on its surface. The similarity factor of the the two tracks unveils the error correction capabilities of the drive.

The differences between the two compared tracks are translated to a signal (noise) illustrated in the following graphs.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total Num : 1497544
Errors (Loudness) Num : 65702 Avg: -72.7 dB(A) Max :-21.3 dB(A)
Error Muting Num : 4669 Avg : 1.0 Samples Max : 9 Samples
Skips Num : 0 Avg : 0.0 Samples Max : 0 Samples
Total Test Result 76.1 points (of 100.0 maximum)

An average score for the LiteOn drive. There were no skipped samples and the error correction did not start earlier than it should, but the Error Loudness sometimes surpassed the -60 dB(A) border. Noise above that value can sometimes become audible, depending on the music that surrounds it. Thus, we can say that the drive's error hiding feature is mediocre, at least when it comes to reading heavily scrathceddiscs.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total Num : 0
Errors (Loudness) Num : 0 Avg : -174.0 dB(A) Max : -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Num : 0 Avg : 0.0 Samples Max : 0 Samples
Skips Num : 0 Avg : 0.0 Samples Max : 0 Samples
Total Test Result 100.0 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Pretty good performance here with the specific disc, which has artificial fingerprints and dots on it ssurface.

- 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
LiteOn iHAS422 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5 0/5

Playback of the last two tracks (4 and 5) produced audible noise and interruptions. The specific disc is has many severe scratches on its surface, even more than the TCD-721R test disc we used in the previous test. Not exactly a good behavior here.


4. DVD error correction tests

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.

Nice reading, without any read errors or speed fluctations.

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.

 

We can see some speed fluctuations as the drive was not comfortable reading the disc.

- 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.

 

 

A good read by the drive here, producing a smooth graph.

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.

 

Same as with the TDR-841, except that we can see here a few more (minor) speed fluctuations, as the drive was reading the 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 iHAS422 failed to read the 'defective' disc and the process stopped a few mm before changing layers.

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.

Flawless reading here, producing a smooth and symmetrical speed graph.

Summary

Overall, the DVD error correction mechanisms are generally good, with an exception the "scratched" dual-layer DVD Video disc. Failure on the TDV-541 is not something rare among DVD drives, as many other drives that we recently tested failed to read the disc.


5. CD/DVD testing platform - IQB Omni CD DVD Analyser by Quantized

All CD/DVD writing quality tests are done using the IQB Omni CD DVD Analyser by Quantized. The IQB Omni from Quantized Systems is a physical disc analyser, covering all CD and DVD formats, designed to meet the Quality Control demands of the duplication and replication sectors.

Omni's features allows you to identify media quality issues and highlight drive performance and recording problems.

The system is based on a Philips CD/DVD drive. It supports the majority of the optical disc formats, including CD-ROM, CD-R/RW, CD-A
DVD-R/-RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R/+RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-ROM 5 and DVD-ROM.

The platform can test the media for the following signals:

CD-R/CD-ROM/CD-A DVD+R/+RW DVD-R/-RW DVD-ROM
Reflectivity R-I14H R-I14H R-I14H
Jitter Modulation Modulation Modulation
I11/ITop Jitter Jitter Jitter
Asymmetry/Beta PI Sum 8 PI Sum 8 PI SUm 8
BLER PI Unc PI Unc PI Unc
E11 to E32 Error Statistics POF POF POF
Burst Errors Beta Beta Asymmetry
  ADER   EDC
  ADER Unc    

Test speeds for CD media are set at 16X and for DVD media at 4X.

The equipment is capable of providing mesasurments on the complete data area or at specific positions defined by the user (Quick Test mode). This zone testing procedure allows multiple areas of the disc to be tested in a single operation.

All numerical and graphical data are stored in a database. Data can be recalled with user defined criteria to create sets of related key results. Data can also be imported into most common software packages - MS Excel etc.

For more information on the Quantized IQB Omni Analyser, visit http://www.quantized.com.

In the following pages, we present the writing quality measurements of various CD and DVD recordable and rewritable media, burned with the LiteOn iHAS422 burner.


6. CD-R Writing - Taiyo Yuden 48x CD-R

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 Disc Speed software, and the disc was scanned for digital errors (C1 and C2).

-Disc Info

Taiyo Yuden 48x CD-R

- Writing strategy

Average Writing Speed: 36.63x
Writing time: 02:46min

- Reading speed

 

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The test reported no uncorrectable digital errors. Good writing quality with the Yuden disc. The he Jitter value was constantly over limit, but that didn't seem to affect the overall data integrity.


7. CD-R Writing- CMC Magnetics 48x CD-R

-Disc Info

CMC Magnetics 48x CD-R

- Writing strategy

 


Average Writing Speed: 35.24x
Writing time: 02:51min

- Reading

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

This time we had some probems with the specific disc. The drive did not manage to reach the maximum 48X speed and finished the burning at 40x. Uncorrectable errors were reported after the 42mm radius of the disc, which were also identified in the BLER graph.


8. CD-RW Writing - Verbatim 32x CD-RW

-Disc Info

Verbatim 32x CD-RW

- Writing strategy

 


Average Writing Speed: 24.10x
Writing time: 03:52min

- Reading speed


9. DVD+R Writing - CMC MAG M01 @ 16x

We start our DVD writing quality measurements with DVD+R media. A variety of different MIDs were selected and burned at the maximum allowed speed. In each of the following pages, you will find detailed information about each disc, the burning and reading procedure as well as the related signal measurements that construct the overall quality picture for each disc.

You can always navigate across to the different MIDs in this review, using the page navigation drop down menu.

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.97x average) in 05:35min

- Reading - 16X (11.90X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The drive's first burn wasn't as good as we expected, as the test reported many uncorrectable digital errors. A bad score for the iHAS422 here.


10. DVD+R Writing - DAXON AZ3 @ 16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.92x average) in 05:31min

 

 

- Reading - 16X (12.12x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

A pretty bad burn, with many uncorrectable errors and the PI8 error rate exceeding its limit. Also, the jitter value was over limit near the end of the disc.


11. DVD+R Writing - Verbatim MCC004 @ 16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.84x average) in 05:37min

- Reading - 16X (12.16X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Disappointingly, the LiteOn drive continues its bad performance. Although the discs are readable, the tests report many uncorrectable errors.


12. DVD+R Writing - PRODISC R05 @ 16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.96x average) in 05:34min

 

- Reading - 16X (12.16X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

This was a very nice burn with smooth writing and reading graphs and no uncorrectable errors reported. Good performance with the Prodisc R05 media.


13. DVD+R Writing - YUDEN T03 @ 22x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 22x (16.41x average) in 04:31min

 

- Reading - 16X (12.15X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Unfortunately, the drive fails again to make a nice burn. Although the correctable PISUm8 rate was within acceptable limits, a POF peak was reported for this burn at 22x.


14. DVD-R Writing - CMC MAG AM3 @16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.96x average) in 05:36min

 

- Reading - 16X (12.14X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 


15. DVD-R Writing - MCC03RG20 @16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.83x average) in 05:43min

- Reading - 16X (12.16X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

An excellent burn here, all values reported are within limits except jitter.


16. DVD-R Writing - PRODISC F02 @16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.96x average) in 05:43min

- Reading - 16X (12.15X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

This would be a good burn, if it wasn't for the POF error rate burst at the beginning of the disc.


17. DVD-R Writing - TTH02 @ 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.98x average) in 05:40min

- Reading - 16X (12.13X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI


18. DVD-R Writing - TYG03 @ 22x

- Media Info

- Writing - 22x (15.81x average) in 04:34min

 

.

- Reading - 16X (12.16X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI


19. DVD+R DL Writing - Verbatim MKM 003 @ 8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (6.99x average) in 16:33min

 

- Reading - 12X (9.03X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The drive burns our first DVD+R DL disc successfully and the test reported very good performance.


20. DVD-R DL Writing - Verbatim MKM 03RD30 @ 8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (7.03x average) in 16:38min

 

- Reading - 12X (9.02X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI


21. DVD+RW Writing - Verbatim MKMA03 @ 8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8X (7.72x average) in 7:51min

- Reading - 12X (9.05X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 


22. DVD-RW Writing - Verbatim MKM 01RW6X01 @ 6x

- Media Info

- Writing - 6x (6.03x average) in 10:08min

- Reading - 12X (9.03X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI


23. DVD-RAM Writing - MXL16 @ 5x

- Media Info

- Writing - 5x (4.93x average) in 11:23min

- Reading - 5X (4.00X average)

 


24. DVD-RAM Writing - MXL22 @ 12x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 12x (10.14x average) in 05:54min

- Reading - 12X (10.21X average)


25. DVD Writing quality summery, Overburning, Bitsetting

In the following table, we have gathered the findings of the DVD quality measurement tests. 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
MCC 03RG20 burned at 16x CMC MAG. AM3 burned at 16x
  ProdiscF02 burned at 16X
  TYG03 burned at 22X
  TTH02 burned at 16X.
DVD+R
PRODISC R05 001 burned at 16x Daxon AZ3 burned at 16x
  CMC MAG M01 burned at 16X
  Verbatim MCC 004 burned at 16x
  YUDEN000 T03 burned at 22x
DVD-R DL   Verbatim MKM 03RD30 burned at 8x
DVD+R DL Verbatim MKM 003 burned at 8x  
DVD+RW Verbatim MKM A03 burned at 8x  
DVD-RW   Verbatim MKM 01RW6X01 burned at 6x

- Booktype Settings

 

According to Nero Disc Speed, the drive supports the booktype feature.

- DVD Overburning

As we can see, the drive does not support overburning of DVD recordable media, according to Nero Disc Speed.


26. About LiteOn SmartErase feature

SmartErase is an advanced technology to erase data on a disc permanently and ensure it will withstand any recovery/ retrieval attempt. The LiteOn iHAS422 is a SmartErase-enabled drive giving you the oppportunity to safely erase your data from CD/DVD media and be confident that no one will be able to retrieve them.

SmartErase supports the DVD±R, DVD±R DL and CD-R media formats, and is included in the Nero 7 Essentials kit that you will find bundled with the drive.

Just insert your disc into the drive, and you are a few clicks away from erasing your data. Fire up Nero StartSmart Essentials, and go to Extras->SmartErase.

The main menu of the SmartErase application appears, as in the screenshot below:

Here we can see that we have the option to select from two erase modes. In the first one (Quick Erase) only the Lead In area of the disc is erased, leaving some (minimum) chances that you can recover your files later using some good recovering application. The second one, (Full Erase), the whole surface of the disc is erased, and no chances of recovering the data are left. The disc is then useless, and inserting it into the drive will just make your PC freeze until the drive realizes that you have inserted an invalid media type.

In our test, we clicked Full Erase, and the process started. A few minutes later, SmartErase had finished its job, giving us back a completely erased disc, which of course cannot be used in the future to further write data to, or read from.


27. Final Thoughts

The reading aspect of the drive, to begin with, turned out to be pretty good, with the drive reading all discs at speeds according to its specifications. Most reading processes were nice, producing smooth graphs. As far as reading defected CD and DVD media, we can say that the drive can handle the CDs adequately and the DVDs even better. Although not exceptional, it is as good as most of the DVD drives that you can find.

The SmartErase feature is available we liked it, although it is more like an extra feature that someone may play and experiment with it rather than a tool for destroying your discs. It is integrated through Nero Essentials software bundled with the drive, meaning that you should fire the software up in order to use it. How about adding a button on the drive that does the same job instead? :)

Moving on to the drive's writing speed, we have to say that we only found the Yuden discs able to be burned at 22X. Even the Verbatim MCC004 and MCC03RG20 can be burned at no more than 16X. That's a pretty low speed considering the competition. However, such small differences in the writing speed alone don't always matter, as it is also the writing quality that plays an important role in the whole burning process. To worsen things, the LiteOn drive did not manage to make enough acceptable burns. Our tests on most of them reported many uncorrectable digital errors, something that can affect a disc's data integrity when less powerful readers are used and also as time passes and natural deterioration happens.

All in all, we cannot say that the the iHAS422 satisfied us with its overall performance, and we would expect something better from the LiteOn engineers. When you are offering the extreme 22x recording speed with a single MID, you should be able to deliver a decent burning quality at least with it. But still, the drive did not performed much better even at lower DVD burning speeds, making us believe that some extra work should be done in the optimization of the writing strategies the drive uses. The drive retails for just $29 (online price).



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