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Appeared on: Friday, April 03, 2009
Sony BWU-300S 8x Blu-ray burner


1. About the Sony BWU-300S BD burner

Sony's latest Blu-ray drive pushes the limits of the Blu-ray burning at its physical limits. The new Sony BWU-300S Blu-ray Disc burner offers 8x recording for the latest 6x BD-R media, which means that you will be able to burn 25GB of data in less than 30 minutes. Compared to the previous generation of BD burners, Sony's new drive is significantly faster and as such, it could be more attractive to consumers as Blu-ray tries to establish itself as a successor of the DVD.

Though the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has not yet released the specifications for BD-R recording at 8x, the drive is capable of burning at this speed with specific BD-Rs specified for 6x. However, even 6x BD-Rs (both single layer and dual layer) are currently very hard to find on the market today. TDK/Imation and Panasonic were the first companies to offer such discs, followed by Taiyo Yuden (available soon), Moser Baer India, ritek and Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (Verbatim brand, available in the summer).

Besides the limited availability of the 6x BDR discs, their price is also high for the end users. Let's hope that the situation will change in the following months as the media companies ramp up the production.

Let's now have a look at the Sony BWU-300S drive. Basic features include 8x burning for both single layer and dual layer discs (BD-R SL and DL), using the Partial CAV recording mode. BD-RE are burned at 2x for both DL and SL as well as the new BD-R LTH Type discs.

The drive can be also used as a Blu-ray movie playback device, as soon as your PC's specifications meet some requirements and of course you have the right BD playback software.

The drive also maintains compatibility with DVD and CD discs for both read and write.elow you can see the table of the specifications:

- Drive Features & Specification

The drive can be purchased online for approximately $300. The retail package is complete and includes a software package for Blu-ray lay back, as well as connection cables and user guides.

In the box you find the following:

The tray cover of the drive should look familiar to the owners of any of Sony's previous Blu-ray writers, the BWU-100A or the BWU-200S:

 

The rear panel is typical and has a power and SATA interfaces.

Let's take a look at the drive's internal board. It is recommended not to open the case of your drive since that would void the warrantee.

You can click on each picture for a larger view:

The drive is powered by the Panasonic MN103SG0KBA chipset, also met in the Panasonic SW-5584 and LF-PB371JD 8x BD burners, as well as the Panasonic's OEM BUFFALO BR-186FBS-BK model.

.

- Installation

The drive was connected to the PC via its SATA interface and was recognized as "Sony BDRW BWU-300S" The current firmware of the drive at the time of the tests being performed, is the "v1.0b".

In the following pages we test the reading and writing performance of the Sony drive, compared with another new 8X BD burner, the Pioneer BDR-203BK.


2. CD, DVD and Blu-ray disc reading tests

For our CD/DVD and Blu-ray transfer rate tests we used the Nero Disc Speed utility and a set of data and audio CD-R/RW/ROM as well as BD-R and BD-RE media.

-CD-ROM

 

Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 36.36x 31.47x

- US RW

The following CD Speed graph shows the reading performance with US-RW media.

 

Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 25.21x 18.87x

- AudioCD

In the CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 17.56X with a quality score of 100.

Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 17.56x 22.24x

- CD DAE

Digital Audio Extraction or DAE is important when we try to read the files stored on an audio CD and store them in our hard disk drive. The procedure is not always that simple and the fidelity of the extracted data depend on the way each drive handles these data.

The majority of the software that support this procedure, commonly known as "ripping", will just read the audio files and store them on your hard disk. However, this approach is not recommended for all drives, since it may result to read or sync errors if your drive does not support report of C2 error pointer information and also what the author of the EAC (Exact Audio Copy) software describes as "accurate stream" and " non-caching."

According to EAC, the Sony BWU-300S drive supports all of the "caching ", "Accurate stream" and "C2 error info" parameters. Accurate stream and C2 error reporting is always welcome and contribute to reliable and fast audio extraction. However, the "caching" feature makes audio extraction more complicated.

If you are sure about the physical condition of your audio CD and you need faster extractions, you may chose other utilities such as the CD DAE software. A typical ripping task finished at an average reading speed of 8.9X, using CD DAE:

- 90/99 mins Audio disc

90min Audio disc

Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 35.93x 25.20x

- 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 -

 

Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 12.26x 11.75x

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.

 

Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 9.20x 9.35x

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.

 

Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 9.20x 9.34x

 

DVD-R-

 

DVD-RW -

 

DVD+R -

 

DVD+RW

 

DVD+R DL

DVD-R DL

DVD Ripping speed -

Ripping of a single layer DVD movie:

Average 6122KB/s (4.4x)
Maximum 8497KB/s (6,1x)

- Blu-ray format

Continuing, let's see how the drive reads the various Blu-ray recordable and ROM discs.

BD-ROM-SL

BD-ROM-DL

5x

BD-R SL

Sony BWU-300S uses different reading modes for the various Blu-ray recordable discs (BD-R). For example, the maximum reading speed for a 4x BD-R disc - the "VERBATIMc" in our case - is 4x and the drive uses the CLV mode:

On the other hand, a 6x BD-R SL disc such as the brand new "VERBATIMe" was read at 6x Z-CLV. Notice that the specific disc was recorded at 6x, as you will see in the following pages:

The TDK BD-R SL 6x (TDKBLDRBD) was read st 8x PCAV. The 6x BD-R SL discs burned at 8x such as the Panasonic "MEI" is also read in a similar manner.

BD-R DL

The same behavior was reported with the various BD-R DL (50GB) discs. Below you can see a reading test with a Verbatim 2x BD-R DL (VERBATIMb):

The TDK BD-R DL 6x (TDKBLDRFD) disc was read at 6x ZCLV:

Finally, the Panasonic BD-R DL 6x (MEI RB1) was read faster, at 8x PCAV:

 

BD-R SL LTH

Sony BWU-300S is also capable of reading/writing from/on the new BD-R Low-To-High (LTH) discs. The discs are not compatible with 1st generation BD drives unless their firmware allows it. Currently, the availability of such media is limited, with only Verbatim and Taiyo Yuden to offer them in Japan. Below you can see a reading test with a Verbatim SL BD-R LTH disc (VERBATIMw):

BD-RE SL-

BD-RE DL

8cm BD-R SL

8cm BD-RE SL

Summary

The reading process of almost all media was completed without read errors and at speeds that match the drive's specifications. The drive could be faster in the CDDAE test and in the Blu-ray tests, it showed an unexpected behavior with the various BD-R discs. The maximum reading speed was not the same with all the different BD-Rs we tested. It seems that the BD-Rs that allowed for faster burning were also read faster. Hopefully all the Blu-ray discs were readable.


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 : 1019568
Errors (Loudness) Num : 50729 Avg : -73.6 dB(A) Max : -15.1 dB(A)
Error Muting Num : 3534 Avg : 1,1 Samples Max : 83 Samples
Skips Num : 0 Avg :0.0 Samples Max 0 Samples
Total Test Result 76,6 points(of 100.0 maximum

The drive's performance on this disc can be commented using the graph above. Error correction is average, starting at the point where the defect is starting to grow, but error hiding mechanisms are not so good. We can tell that by the noise that almost all the time exceeds that -60 db(A) level.

- ABEX TCD-726R

Errors total Num : 9201
Errors (Loudness) Num : 40 Avg : -23.6 dB(A) Max : -16.5 dB(A)
Error Muting Num : 2 Avg : 1.0 Samples Max :1 Samples
Skips Num :0 Avg :0,0 Samples Max 0 Samples
Total Test Result 92.5 points(of 100.0 maximum)

Good performance on this one, with no skips and very few mutings performed. However, the drive could have performed better, as the error loudness at the point of 3 min was very high, and most likely audible. Strangely, though, the defect of the disc does not cover the 3 min point of the audio track.

- 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
Sony BWU-300S 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5

A good performance for the BWU-300S drive here, as it successfully played the first 4 tracks.

Summary

Overall, good error correction mechanisms on CD media.


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.

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 Disc Speed. The reference test media comes from ALMEDIO.

The reading process was completed successfully. The drive, however, did not seem very comfortable reading the disc, as we can see some speed fluctuations in the graph.

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, the graph shows us some speed fluctuations, meaning that the drive had some difficulties in the reading process.

- 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.

Same as before, successful reading with a few fluctuations.

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 same applies here, too.

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.

Summary

Overall, the DVD error correction mechanisms are generally good.


5. About the IQB Omni CD DVD Analyzer

All CD/DVD writing quality tests are done using the IQB Omni CD DVD Analyzer by Quantized. The IQB Omni from Quantized Systems is a physical disc analyzer, 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 measurements 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 Analyzer, 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 Sony BWU-300S Blu-ray disc burner.


6. CD-R writing tests - Taiyo Yuden 48x @48x

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: 35.60x
Writing time: 02:42min

- Reading speed

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

This was a pretty good burn, and the test reported no uncorrectable errors. The Jitter value was marginally over limit, but that didn't seem to affect the overall test.


7. CD-R writing tests - CMC Magnetics 48x CD-R @24x

-Disc Info

CMC Magnetics 48x CD-R

- Writing strategy

Although the drive burn the specific disc at 24x and not the maximum 48x speed, we left it in the test in order to see the drive's performance at lower speeds.

Average Writing Speed: 23.76x
Writing time: 03:45min

- Reading

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Another good burn, with all error rates within limits.


8. CD-RW writing tests - Verbatim 32x @24x

-Disc Info

Verbatim 32x CD-RW

- Writing strategy

Average Writing Speed: 23.25x
Writing time: 03:37min

- Reading speed


9. DVD+R writing tests - CMC MAG M01 16x @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 (11.25x average) in 05:53min

- Reading - 12X (9.23X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Although the disc was read successfully by the drive, the test reported extremely huge uncorrectable error rates.


10. DVD+R writing tests - MCC 004 16x @16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.27x average) in 05:51min

- Reading - 16X (12.31x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The PI8 error rate exceeded its limit at the outer part of the disc surface. No POFs were reported here, so the performance is average.


11. DVD+R writing tests - PRODISC R04 004 16x @16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16X (11.22X average) in 05:56min

- Reading - 16X (12.30x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

A flawless burn for the Sony drive using Prodisc media. No uncorrectable errors at all.


12. DVD+R writing tests - RICOHJPN R03 004 16x @16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.31x average) in 05:49min

- Reading - 16X (12.32X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Another good burn for the drive, this time with RicohJPN media


13. DVD+R writing tests - YUDEN000 T03 16x @16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.31x average) in 05:50min

- Reading - 16X (12.29X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

The drive continues its good burn streak, now with the Taiyo Yuden media.


14. DVD-R writing tests - CMC MAG AM3 16x@16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.37x average) in 05:54min

- Reading - 16X (12.29X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The reported POF spikes in the corresponding graph unveil some problems here, although the disc was fully readable.


15. DVD-R writing tests - MCC 03RG20 16x @16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.31x average) in 05:55min

- Reading - 16X (12.30X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

As we show in the previous page, the POF that appear in some areas of the disc do not allow us to put the MCC03RG20 disc in the list with the reliable discs for the specific drive/firmware of course.


16. DVD-R writing tests - RITEKF1 16x @16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.39x average) in 05:54min

- Reading - 16X (12.32X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Another problematic burn here with many uncorrectable errors reported.


17. DVD-R writing tests - OPTODISCR016 16x @16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.28x average) in 05:58min

- Reading - 16X (12.29X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI


18. DVD-R writing tests - TYG03 16x @16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.35x average) in 05:54 min

- Reading - 16X (12.30X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI


19. DVD+R DL writing tests - MKM 003 000 8x @8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (6.69x average) in 17:03min

- Reading - 8X (6.17X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

It look like we have to do with a good burn here. Digital errors were within acceptable limits. The ADER (Address In Pre-Pit Error Rate), which is a parameter considered for the "+" formats only, does not have any limits defined in any format book. In practice, when all other features of the wobble such as wobble amplitude, wobble beat or wobble CNR are within their specifications, the information encoded code (ECC) implemented in the wobble encoded data helps to recover any missing signals. In our situation, EDC Fail is zero so the reported ADER should not cause any issues.


20. DVD-R DL writing tests - MKM03RD30 8x @8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (6.69x average) in 17:35min

- Reading - 8X (6.17X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

The Reflectivity (RI14) signal is low and unstable in the beginning of the disc and this may result in problems with the read-out of the data. In most cases, the cause of an actual value of RI14H should be looked for in the dye or recording material. In the same areas, the EDC Fail POF signals appeared in the corresponding graphs.


21. DVD+RW writing tests - MKM A03 000 8x @8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8X (6.78x average) in 9:26min

- Reading - 8X (6.16X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

A nice burn for the Sony drive, with only the Jitter value over limit.


22. DVD-RW writing tests - MKM01RW6X01 6x @6x

- Media Info

- Writing - 6x (5.83x average) in 10:31min

- Reading - 8X (6.15X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Performance with DVD-RW media was also as good.


23. DVD-RAM writing tests - MXL16 5x @5x

- Media Info

- Writing - 5x (4.92x average) in 11:15min

- Reading - 5X (4.99X average)


24. BD-R SL writing tests - Verbatim BD-R 25GB Low-To-High (LTH) VERBATIMw 2x @2x

From this page and for the following we start our Blu-ray disc tests with the Sony BWU-300S v1.0d drive. We remind you that the drive supports 8x BD-R SL and DL recording with specific media. The discs we used for this test were kindly provided by Mitsubishi Kangaku Media (MKM), the manufacturer of the popular Verbatim branded discs, Moser Baer India, Panasonic and Imation/TDK.

For the first test we used the Verbatim BD-R 25GB certified for 2x burning (VERBATIMw (000)).The specific disc has been manufactured using the "Low-To-High" (LTH) process. The LTH write-once BD-R media feature an organic dye recording layer, making them different that the currently available BD-R discs that use inorganic materials.

Notice that not all the Blu-Ray drives can read the LTH BD-R discs. That because the reproduced signal while reading the discs has a LTH (Low to High) polarity. However, latest hardware as well as firmware upgrades to existing players/recorders could add support for LTH recording.

The advantages of the LTH manufacturing technology is that it can be applied without requiring large-scale manufacturing plant investments, allowing for using modified CD-R and DVD-R manufacturing equipment.

The "Low to High" (LTH, in groove recording) specifications for recording at 2x/4x have been released by the Blu-ray Disc Association.

- Media Info

- Writing - 2x (2.00x average) in 45:14min

 

- Reading - 2X (2.00X average)


25. BD-R SL writing tests - Panasonic BD-R 25GB (MEI RA1) 6x @8x

- Media Info

Panasonic is one of the few manufacturers of recordable Blu-ray discs that are currently offering BD-R SL and DL discs certified for 6x recording. Currently there is no physical specification for 8x speed recording for BD-R media. However, some Blu-ray writers such as the Sony BWU-300S support burning at 8x on 6x-certified media. Notice that neither media manufacturers nor the Blu-ray disc Association (BDA) guarantee the compatibility of these media.

Here we used the Panasonic BD-R SL for 6x (MEI RA1) discs:

- Writing - 8x (6.95x average) in 13:47min

 

The P-CAV writing process at 8x resulted to an overall burning time of just 13:47 minutes, for a full 25GB data compilation.

- Reading - 8X (7.02X average)

The specific disc was fully readable. We also tested the compatibility of the disc with other BD burners found in our labs and it was also readable. More information on these compatibility tests are available in the "Summary of DVD and BD recording tests" page.


26. BD-R SL writing tests - Moser Baer BD-R 25GB (MBI R06) 6x @6x

- Media Info

Moser Baer India is also among one of the few manufacturers of recordable Blu-ray discs that are currently offering BD-R SL discs certified for 6x recording as well as BD-RE SL media.

Here we used the Moser Baer BD-R SL for 6x (MBI R06) discs:

- Writing - 6x (5.48x average) in 17:18min

 

The disc was burnt at 6x using the Z-CLV strategy in 17:18 minutes.

- Reading - 6X (5.54X average)

The specific disc was fully readable at 6x Z-CLV.


27. BD-R SL writing tests - Verbatim BD-R 25GB (VERBATIMc) 4x @4x

- Media Info

This is Verbatim BD-R 25GB disc (VERBATIMc (000)) certified for 4x recording.

- Writing - 4x (3.98x average) in 22:52min

 

CLV writing strategy for the 4x and a total duration of the burning process of 22:52 minutes.

- Reading - 4X (4.00X average)


28. BD-R SL writing tests - Verbatim BD-R 25GB (VERBATIMe) 6x @6x

- Media Info

We also used the brand new Verbatim BD-R SL media certified for 6x (VERBATIMe (000)).

- Writing - 6x (5.48x average) in 17:19min

 

The drive chose the Z-CLV strategy for the 6x speed as you can see in the screenshot above. The total writing time for a full 25GB data disc was 17:19 minutes.

- Reading - 6X (5.53X average)

Reading was also performed with a Z-CLV mode.


29. BD-R SL writing tests - Verbatim 8cm BD-R 7.5GB (VERBATIMa) 2x @2x

- Media Info

This is an 8cm BD-R SL disc by Verbatim (VERBATIMa (000)), certified for 2x recording.

- Writing - 2x (1.99x average) in 14:16min

 

- Reading - 2X (2.00X average)


30. BD-R DL writing tests - Panasonic BD-R 50GB (MEI RB1) 6x @8x

- Media Info

We proceed with another disc from Panasonic. This BD-R disc (MEI RB1) offers a nominal capacity of 50GB (DL) and it is certified for 6x recording.

- Writing - 8x (6.94x average) in 27:24min

 

The Sony BWU-300S burner finished the recording of 50GB (actually 45.11GB) of data in just 27:24 minutes.

- Reading - 8X (7.02X average)

The disc was read at 8x P-CAV. More information on the compatibility of this disc with other BD burners is available in the following pages.


31. BD-R DL writing tests - Verbatim BD-R 50GB (VERABTIMb) 2x @2x

- Media Info

The specific Verbatim BD-R disc (VERABTIMb (000)) offers a capacity of 50GB and it is certified for 2x recording.

- Writing - 2x (1.99x average) in 90:31min

 

- Reading - 2X (2.00X average)

 


32. BD-RE SL writing tests - Verbatim BD-R 25GB (VERBATIM0) 2x @2x

- Media Info

This is another Verbatim BD-RE SL disc (VERBATIM0 (000) for 2x recording.

- Writing - 2x (1.99x average) in 45:14min

 

- Reading - 2X (2.00X average)


33. BD-RE SL writing tests - Verbatim 8cm BD-RE 7.5GB (VERBATIM0) 2x @2x

- Media Info

This is a Verbatim 8cm BD-RE disc for 2x. The available capacity is 7.5GB.

- Writing - 2x (1.99x average) in 14:08min

 

- Reading - 2X (2.00X average)


34. BD-RE DL writing tests - TDK BD-RE 50GB (TDKBLDWfa) 2x @2x

- Media Info

This is another TDK BD-RE DL disc (TDKBLDWfa (000)) for 2x recording.

- Writing - 2x (1.99x average) in 45:17min

 

- Reading - 2X (2.00X average)


35. Summary of DVD, BD writing tests, BD compatibility, Overburning

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
  CMC MAG. AM3 burned at 16x
  MCC 03RG20 burned at 16x
  RITEKF1 burned at 16X.
  OPTODISCR016 burned at 16X
  TYG03 burned at 16X
DVD+R

ProdiscR04 burned at 16X.

Verbatim MCC 004 burned at 16X.
RicohJPN R03 004 burned at 16x CMC MAG M01 burned at 16X
YUDEN000 T03 burned at 16X.  
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  

- BD Media Burning Comparison Chart

In the following chart, we compare the burning speed for BD media of the Sony drive and another 8x BD burner that we will present you in detail in the following days, the Pioneer BDR-203 v1.10.

Sony BWU-300S v1.0d Pioneer BDR-203 v1.10
BD-R
Verbatim BD-R SL LTH 2x VERBATIMw 2.00x average CLV (2x max) in 45:14 2.00x average (2x max)
Verbatim BD-R 8cm 2x VERBATIMa 7GB 1.99x average CLV (2x max) in 14:16 1.99x average (2x max)
Verbatim BD-R SL 4x VERBATIMc 3.98x average CLV (4x max) in 22:52 6.79x average (8x max)
TDK BD-R SL 4x 3.99x average CLV (4x max) in 22:51 6.8x average (8x max)
TDK BD-R SL 6x TDKBLDRBD (000) 5.47x average Z-CLV (6x max) 6.82x average (8x max)

Verbatim BD-R SL 6x

VERBATIMe

5.48x average Z-CLV (6x max) in 17:19 6.81x average (8x max)
Moser Baer India BD-R SL 6x MBI R06 5.48x average Z-CLV (6x max) in 17:18 6.80x average (8x max)
Panasonic BD-R SL 6x MEI RA1 6.95x average P-CAV (8x max) in 13:47 6.81x average (8x max)
BD-R DL
Verbatim BD-R DL 2x VERBATIMb 1.99x average CLV (2x max) in 90:31 1.99x average (2x max)
TDK BD-R DL 6x TDKBLDWFA 5.51 x average Z-CLV (6x max) 6.74x average (8x max)
Panasonic BD-R DL 6x MEI RB1 6.94x average P-CAV (8x max) in 27:24 6.75x average (8x max)
BD-RE
Verbatim BD-RE SL 2x VERBATIM0 1.99x average CLV (2x max) in 45:14 2.00x average (2x max)
Verbatim 8cm BD-RE 2x VERBATIM0 7.26GB) 1.99x average CLV (2x max)in 14:08 2.00x average (2x max)
BD-RE DL
TDK BD-RE DL 2x TDKBLDWFA 1.99x average CLV (2x max) in 90:30 1.99x average (2x max)

BD Compatibility tests

We checked the compatibility of the discs recorded with the Sony BWU-300S v1.0d burner with some other BD players/burners we had in our labs. All the BD drives were flashed with the latest available firmware updates. We have also incuded some of the first and second generation of BD drives in this testin order to check the compatibility of these drives with the latest BD media, especially those recorded at 6x and 8x.

LiteOn DH-4B12 vCP56
Pioneer BDR-203BK v1.08
LG GGW-H10N v1.04
Philips SPD-7000 vBPPM
Asus BC-1205PT v1.03
LiteOn DH-401S v7P5B
Pioneer BDC-202 v
Verbatim BD-R SL LTH 2x VERBATIMw recorded @2x
cannot recognize
OK
cannot recognize
cannot recognize
cannot recognize
cannot recognize
OK
Verbatim BD-R 8cm 2x VERBATIMa 7GB recorded @2x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
Verbatim BD-R SL 4x VERBATIMc recorded @4x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
TDK BD-R SL 4x recorded @4x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
TDK BD-R SL 6x TDKBLDRBD (000) recorded @6x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK

Verbatim BD-R SL 6x

VERBATIMe recorded @6x

OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
Moser Baer India BD-R SL 6x (MBI R06) recorded @6x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
Panasonic BD-R SL 6x MEI RA1 recorded @8x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
Verbatim BD-R DL 2x VERBATIMb recorded @2x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
TDK BD-R DL 6x TDKBLDWFA recorded @6x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
Panasonic BD-R DL 6x MEI RB1 recorded @8x
cannot recognize
OK
OK
cannot recognize
OK
OK
OK
Verbatim BD-R DL 2x VERBATIMb recorded @2x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
TDK BD-R DL 6x TDKBLDWFA recorded @6x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
Verbatim 8cm BD-RE 2x VERBATIM0 7.26GB) recorded @2x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
TDK BD-RE DL 2x TDKBLDWFA recorded @2x
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK

It seems that the Panasonic BD-R DL 6x disc was the only disc that caused problems in some drives. In addition, as it was expected, the Verbatim BD-R LTH disc could not be recognixed by some BD burners. Since the sucesfull readings of all the BD discs of this test was flawless, we can say that the latest high-speed BD-R discs are compatible enough. Of course, all the compatibility issues found here are related to the firmware of each drive and can be easily fixed.

- DVD Overburning

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


36. Final words

The Sony BWU-300S is the fastest BD burner we have tested so far at CDRinfo. The supported 8x burning speed is fast enough to offer you a complete 25GB disc in less than 14 minutes - a record that would sound unrealistic if you asked us a couple of years ago when we tested the first 2x BD burners. What we also liked with the drive is the fact that the 8x burning option is available with BD-R DL discs and that it supports read/write of the new LTH BD-R discs.

On the other hand, we should mention that the drive will burn at 8x with very few media brands/types. In fact, the only disc on the list is Panasonic's latest BD-R SL and DL for 6x. Despite our initial optimism, the drive chose the 6x speed with other 6x-certified discs by Moser Baer, TDK/Imation and Verbatim. Provided that it is still really hard for the end user to find such 6x BD-R SL and DL discs on the market today, the majority of users will see the drive burning their BD-R discs at 2x or 4x.

We would like to see some work in the firmware of the Sony drive, which could possibly allow it to achieve higher burning speeds with the widely available 2x and 4x BD-R discs. We are not sure that the Panasonic chipset that powers the drive allows this feature but this would better position the Sony drive against the competitive 8X BD burners drives powered by Renases Technology chipsets.

Other than that and regarding the reading aspect of the drive, we have to say that it turned out to be pretty good and all the CD and DVD disc were read at speeds that agree with the drive's specifications. Most reading processes were nice producing smooth graphs. Furthermore, the drive turned out to be able to read BD media at their respective burning speeds. Thus, 6X BD media can be read at the stunningly high speed of 8X, and so on. This is a very good aspect of the drive, as fast and reliable reading of the stored data is always useful, especially when you are dealing with 25GB or 50GB media. As far as error correction is concerned, we can say that the drive can handle defective media DVD pretty well. Error correction on CD media was also as good.

Next on, are the writing tests that we performed. The burning speed was very good and it met the specifications. DVD media were burned at speeds of up to 16X and CD media at 48X . Writing quality tests were performed at CD and DVD media, and the drive turned out to be average at this point. DVD+R media produced good scores, while burnings of the DVD-R produced some digital errors. Quality on the rest of the media was good.

The Sony BWU-300S left us with a good overall good impression. The drive can be used for fast backups of data on Blu-ray discs, as well as for entertainment allowing you to watch your favorite BD movies on your PC or HD screen. We hope that the writing quality with some DVDs as well as compatibility with more BD media can be easily improved through firmware updates, making it a true competitor of the other 8x BD burners out there such as the Pioneer BDR-203. The Sony BWU-300S is listed at the SonyStyle.com web site for $399, which is still a rather high price.



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