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Appeared on: Friday, February 12, 2010
LiteOn iHAS524


1. Features, specifications

The iHAS524 is LiteOn's latest drive supporting 24X burning of DVD±R media. Compared to the company's previous 24x internal DVD burner, the LiteOn iHAS324, the new drive offers the same read/write speeds but it also supports LabelTag disc labeling technology.

LabelTag allows you to print simple circular labels on the data side of your DVD±R discs . Using a simple software, you will be able to label your favorite discs easily using text or images. The label is burned simultaneously with your data.We will see this technology in action later in this article.

The iHAS524 supports burning of DVD±R media at 24X, DVD±R DL media at 12X, DVD+RW at 8X, DVD-RW at 6X and DVD-RAM at 12X.

Features:

  • Super AllWrite is the compatibility standard from Lite-On to offer the ability to read, write and re-write to any disc format on the market
  • SmartWrite can overspeed certain 16X DVD±R media to a maximum of 24X
  • SmartWrite optimizes the writing strategy for each particular session and automatically memorizes this for future sessions 
  • SmartErase: Erase your disc the "Smart way": cost effective and beyond recovery 
  • SMART-X function adjusts CD-DA / VCD / DVD data extraction to a fastest allowable speed
  • ABS system reduce vibration and noise during recording and reading
  • Seamless Link avoiding Buffer Under Run error, Automatically adjusting writing strategy & walking OPC to provide the best burning quality
  • LabelTag Technology: Print simple circular labels on the data side of your discs, Burn simultaneously with your data, LabelTag works with all standard DVD±R discs

Specifications:

The drive came in in a black retail box:

The package includes:

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 warranty.

You can click on each picture for a larger view:

Click for HD image

The drive is based on the MediaTek MT1879LE chipset.

The drive was connected to the PC via a typical SATA interface and was identified as "ATAPI IHAS524".

In the following pages we compare the LiteOn iHAS524 with its brother iHas324 and the Optiarc AD-7240S drives.


2. CD/DVD reading tests

For our CD/DVD transfer rate tests we used the Opti Drive Control Nero Disc utility and a set of data and audio CD/DVD R/RW/ROM media. Here we test the maximum reading speed of the LiteOn drive for each type of disc. For comparison, we have included the corresponding reading results two otther 24x DVD burners, the LiteOn IHAS324 and the the Optiarc AD-7240S.

-CD-ROM

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 35.14x 36.67x 37.05X
Random seek 98ms 149ms 100ms

- US-RW

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

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 29.06x 31.27x 30.59x
Random seek 96ms 151ms 97ms

- AudioCD

In the CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 33.83X with a quality score of 100.

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 33.83x 28.49x 33.11x
Quality score 100 99.1 100

- 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 LiteON IHAS-524 drive does not support "caching ", but it supports "Accurate stream" and reports "C2 error" pointer information.

Accurate stream and C2 error reporting is always welcome and contribute to reliable and fast audio extraction. Generally, if you select a drive for extraction better have a look that the drive does not cache audio data.

If you are sure about the physical condition of your audio CD and you need faster extractions, you may chose the default audio ripping settings of the EAC software. A typical ripping task finished at an average reading speed of 33.3X:

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 33.3x 28.7x 33.11x

- 90 mins Audio disc

90min Audio disc

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 28.71x 36.78x 36.98x
Random seek 127ms 115ms 103ms

- 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

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 11.46x 12.04x 12.12x
Random seek 103ms 130ms 98ms

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.

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 8.65x 8.85x 9.14x
Random seek 118ms 130ms 103ms

 

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.

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 8.62x 8.85x 9.13x
Random seek 119ms 131ms 102ms

 

DVD-R

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 11.47x 12.07x 12.14x
Random seek 128ms 126ms 129ms

DVD-RW

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 8.52x 9.77x 9.01
Random seek 110ms 128ms 117ms

DVD+R

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 11.47x 12.06x 12.14x
Random seek 128ms 129ms 131ms

 

DVD+RW

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 6.18x 9.79x 9.03x
Random seek 106ms 126ms 105ms

DVD+R DL

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 8.53x 9.01x 9.05x
Random seek 161ms 131ms 126ms

DVD-R DL

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 8.53x 9.01x 9.04
Random seek 168ms 131ms 130ms

DVD-RAM (12x)

 

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteON iHAS324
Average Speed 10.21xx 10.07x 10.22x
Random seek 150ms 299ms 145ms

DVD Ripping speed -

Ripping of a single layer DVD movie:

  LiteOn iHAS524 LiteOn iHAS324 Optiarc AD-7240S
Average 5.766KB/s KB/s (4.2x) 11.950 KB/s (8.6x) 11.761KB/s (8,5x)
Maximum 16.741 KB/s (12.1x) 16.807 KB/s (12.1x) 16.451KB/s (11.9x)

Summary

The reading process of almost all media was completed without read errors and at speeds that match the drive's specifications.


3. Reading of defected CDs

This series of tests checks the drive's ability to correct/conceal possible erroneous data after reading artificially scratched / defective audio discs.

Using a CD-R in best shape to do the DAE test is generally not a safe way to test the drive's error correction capabilities. If your drive would not read audio CDs error free from an error free disc, you would probably bring the drive back to the vendor. It is far more interesting to see how a drive is behaving under critical conditions (which will also tell something about the DAE quality on CDs that have manipulated C2 error information on purpose). For that a special test CD like the ABEX discs from ALMEDIO can be used, that can be used to do a comparison between different drives. The ABEX test disc is actually an AudioCD that has artificial scratches and other physical disc error patterns on its surface.

Using a special software, we compare two audio files using FFT analysis. The first audio file has been extracted by a normal audio disc without physical error patterns on it . The second one is the result of the extraction of the ABEX test discs which hold the same audio tracks, 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. Each graph tells a lot about the abilities of the drive. The quality of the optical system (and/or of the error correction capabilities of the firmware) is shown in at which time index the error start. The error hiding qualities are shown when the wedge gets bigger. The X position of a grid line is always a start of a new minute position on the CD (in play time, up to 74 min). The Y axis shows the dB(A) value of the error in the extracted file. The 0 dB(A) baseline at the top is marked slightly different. So the graph shows a range of 6 dB(A) down to -120.0 dB(A). Each line represents 6 dB(A) of volume (6 dB(A) louder means that the sound is double as loud).

- ABEX TCD-721R

 

Errors total Num : 941686
Errors (Loudness) Num : 48260 Avg : -73.6 dB(A) Max : -23.1 dB(A)
Error Muting Num : 3092 Avg : 1.0 Samples Max : 9 Samples
Skips Num : 0 Avg :0.0 Samples Max 0 Samples
Total Test Result LiteOn iHAS524 76.8 points (out of 100.0 maximum )
Total Test Result LiteOn iHAS324 76.8 points (out of 100.0 maximum )
Total Test Result Optiarc AD-7240S 76.9 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

The drive's performance on this disc can be commented using the graph above. Error correction is good here, starting at the point where the defect is starting to grow, but error hiding mechanisms are average. We can tell that by the noise exceeds that -60 db(A) level, especially after the 32min mark where the scratch on the surface of the disc becomes bigger.

- ABEX TCD-726R

Errors total Num : 0
Errors (Loudness) Num : 0 Avg : -174.0 dB(A) Max : -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Num : 0 Avg : 0 Samples Max :0 Samples
Skips Num :0 Avg :0,0 Samples Max 0 Samples

Total Test ResultLiteOn iHAS524

100 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
Total Test Result LiteOn iHAS324 100 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
Total Test Result Optiarc AD-7240S 100 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

Very good error correction mechanisms, providing a very good performance. No skips were performed, as well as no mutings.

- 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 iHAS524 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5 0/5
LiteOn iHAS324 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5 0/5
Optiarc AD-7240S 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5

An average good performance for the LiteOn iHAS524, as it successfully played only the first 3 tracks.


4. Reading of defected DVDs

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 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 reading process was completed successfully, although the drive slowed down in the beginning of the disc. We had experienced exactly the same behavior with the same disc when we tested the LiteOn iHAS324 DVD burner.

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteOn iHAS324
Read errors No No No

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.

 

 

No reading problems here.

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteOn iHAS324
Read errors No No No

- 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 without any speed fluctuations or read errors.

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteOn iHAS324
Read errors No No No

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 drive slowed down reading in the second layer of the disc at around the 7GB mark.

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteOn iHAS324
Read errors No Yes No

 

ABEX TDV-541

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteOn iHAS324
Read errors Yes No Yes

This time read errors were reported before and after the drive shift from layer 0 to layer 1 of the disc.

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.

LiteOn iHAS524 Optiarc AD-7240S LiteOn iHAS324
Read errors No No No

Summary

Overall, the DVD error correction mechanism is good although it could be even better..


5. About the IQB Omni CD DVD Analyzer by Quantized

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 LiteOn iHAS524 DVD burner.


6. CD-R burning - CMC Magnetics CD-R 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

CMC Magnetics CD-R 48x certified

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

Uncorrectable errors (E32) were reported here as well as increased values for the jitter land.


7. CD-R burning - Taiyo Yuden CD-R 48x @ 48x

-Disc Info

Taiyo Yuden CD-R 48x certified

- Writing strategy

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

This time we have a good burn with the Taiyo Yuden CD-R burnd at 16x.


8. CD-R burning - Memorex (Ritek) CD-R 48x @ 16x

-Disc Info

Memorex (Ritek) CD-R 48x certified

- Writing strategy

The drive did not write the disc at 48x CAV and slowed down to 16x.

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

 

Click for large view

Uncorrectable errors were reported with the Memorex 48X CD-R disc. These errors seems to be related with the slow-down of the writing speed at 16x.


9. CD-RW burning - Verbatim CD-RW 24x @ 24x, verbatim 32x CD-RW @ 32x

-Disc Info

Verbatim 24x CD-RW

- Writing strategy

 

- Reading speed

 

-Disc Info

Verbatim 32x CD-RW

- Writing strategy

 

- Reading speed

The drive successfully burned at read both the Verbatim 24x and 32x US-RW discs.


10. DVD-R burning - Philips DVD-R (CMCMAG AM3) 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

Philips DVD-R 16x certified

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The test reported acceptable PISum8 error rate but also uncorrectable errors (POF). Jitter was also increased after the 49mm radius of the disc and until the end of the data area.


11. DVD-R burning - Moser Baer India DVD-R (MBI 01RG40) 16x @ 16x

- Media Info

Moser Baer India DVD-R 48x certified

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large image

Good burning quality here with no uncorrectable errors.


12. DVD-R burning - Verbatim DVD-R (MCC 03RG20) 16x @ 16x

- Media Info

Verbatim DVD-R 16x certified

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The results unveil a great burn with only the Beta signal to be slightly lower than the accepted value for a small area of the disc.


13. DVD-R burning - Ridisc DVD-R (TTH02) 16x @ 16x

- Media Info

Ridisc DVD-R 16x certified

 

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

Another good burn for the LiteOn drive with no uncorrectable errors being reported. The PIsum8 rises towards the end of the data area of the disc without however reaching the upper acceptable limits.


14. DVD-R burning - Taiyo Yuden DVD-R (TYG03) 16x @ 24x

- Media Info

Taiyo Yuden DVD-R 16x certified

 

- Writing - 24x

 

This is the first DVD-R disc that was succesfully burned at 24x CAV.

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

The 24X speed resulted in uncorrectable errors as well as in increased PISum8 and jitter. Beta was also loer than accepted.


15. DVD+R burning - Philips DVD+R (INFOME R30) 16x @ 16x

- Media Info

Philips DVD+R 16x certified

 

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

This burn would be generally nice of the POF and jitter was absent. The problem was obviously in the very end of the data area where an EDC Failure was also reported there.


16. DVD+R burning - Prodisc DVD+R (PRODISC R05) 16x @ 16x

-Disc Info

Prodisc DVD+R 16x certified

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

A pretty bad burn here, raising many uncorrectable errors.


17. DVD+R burning - Moser Baer India DVD+R (MBIPG101 R05) 16x @ 16x

- Media Info

Moser Baer India DVD+R 16x certified

 

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The POF spike right in the end of the data area ruined the overall good quality of this burn. This spike also appeared when we burned the Philips (INFOME R30) DVD+R disc.


18. DVD+R burning - Verbatim DVD+R (MCC 004) 16x @ 16x

- Media Info

Verbatim DVD+R 16x certified

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

We have met this behavior again. The POF appears right before the end of the data aea, coupled with an ECF failure. The readability of the disc seems not to be affected by these issues but still, it remains a problem.


19. DVD+R burning - Taiyo Yuden DVD+R (YUDEN000 T03) 16x @ 24x

- Media Info

Taiyo Yuden DVD+R 16x certified

 

- Writing

This is the second disc burned at the maximum supported speed of 24x.

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

Jitter is marginally higher than the acceptable level, while the POF spike appears again in the end of the data area. Beta was also lower than acceptable in the beginning of the disc.


20. DVD+R DL burning - Verbatim DVD+R DL (MKM 003) 8x @ 8x

- Media Info

Verbatim DVD+R DL 8x certified

 

- Writing

- Reading

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The basic problem here is the high PISum8 error rate reported for both layers of the disc. Jitter was also high, while the normalized I14 signal, which is linked directly with the recording marks, is also low for some areas of the disc. Reflectivity is also low for both layers. Finally the ADER value is rising in the end of the disc, unveilling possible problems in the placement of the pits/lands.

 


21. DVD+R DL burning - Ritek DVD+R DL (Ritek S06) 16x

This page will be updated soon with the results of the LiteOn iHAS524 DVD burner and the Ritek S06 DVD+R DL for 16x.


22. DVD-R DL burning - Verbatim DVD-R DL (MKM 03RD30) 8x @ 8x

- Media Info

Verbatim DVD-R DL 8x certified

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The results indicate a generally good burn for a DVD+R DL disc. We have acceptable digital errors but a somehow high jitter, The reported reflectivity is also lower than we would like to see.


23. DVD-R DL burning - Verbatim DVD-R DL (MKM 04RD30) 12x @ 12x

- Media Info

Verbatim DVD-R DL 12x certified

- Writing -12x

 

The MKM04RD30 DVD-R DL disc was burned at 12x

- Reading

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

Unfortunately POF was reported again here. Jitter was also increased for both layers, and reflectivity was low. The I14I14H signal for the layer 1 was also low, unveiling possible issues with the recording marks.


24. DVD+RW burning - Verbatim DVD+RW (MKM A03) 8x @ 8x

- Media Info

Verbatim (MKM A03) DVD+RW 8x certified

- Writing

 

- Reading

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

An acceptable burn with the DVD+RW disc at 8x. Notice that jitter sharply raised at around the 1.1 GB mark as the drive accelerated to the 8x burning speed.


25. DVD-RW burning - Verbatim DVD-RW (MKM 01RW6X01) 6x @ 6x

- Media Info

Verbatim DVD-RW 6x certified

 

- Writing

 

- Reading

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

Uncorrectable errors were reported here and jitter was also higher than accepted.


26. DVD-RAM burning - Maxell DVD-RAM 5x (MXL16) 5x @ 5x, Maxell DVD-RAM 12x (MXL22) 12x @ 12x

-Disc Info

Maxell DVD-RAM 5x certified

- Writing strategy

 

- Reading

 

-Disc Info

Maxell DVD-RAM 12x certified

- Writing strategy

 

- Reading

The LiteOn iHAS524 DVD burner had not any reading/writing problems with both the Maxell DVD-RAM discs of this test (@5x and @12x)

DVD-RAM is a rewritable format supported by the DVD Forum. A DVD-RAM can be seen as a removable hard drive. However, as any other hard drive the DVD-RAM must be "prepared" (formatted) before the first use.A DVD-RAM disc must be formatted using the UDF (Universal Disk Format). Usually, a 4.7GB DVD-RAM should be formatted using the UDF 1.5 or the UDF 2.0 format.

Notice that in the above tests we showcase the maximum recording speeds supported by the drive with the specific DVD-RAM media. In case you are using your DVD-RAM discs as a removable hard drive through your Windows OS, you may experience slower burning. That because the DVD-RAM format features an automatic verification technology that results to safer but slower recordings.


27. Summary of CD/DVD writing quality tests, Booktype, overburning

In the following table, we have gathered the findings of the CD and DVD quality measurement tests. On the left side of the table (green tabs) you can find the discs that did not produce uncorrectable digital errors (POF), while on the right side (red tabs) there are all the discs that gave uncorrectable errors (E32 for CD or POF for DVD's) For detailed measurement data, visit the corresponding pages:

Media type Digital errors within limits Uncorrectable errors /Jitter
CD-R Taiyo Yuden CD-R 48x certified (97m24s01f) CMC Magnetics CD-R 48x certified (97m17s06f) --- E32 / Jitter land above limits
Memorex (Ritek) CD-R 48x certified (97m26s66f) --- E32 / Jitter Pit above limits
DVD-R
Moser Baer India DVD-R 16x certified (MBI 01RG40) burned at 16x / Jitter slightly increased Taiyo Yuden DVD-R 16x certified (TYG03) burned at 24X --- PiSum8, POF, jitter
Verbatim DVD-R 16x certified (MCC 03RG20) burned at 16x
Ridisc DVD-R 16x certified (TTH02) burned at 16x / Jitter slightly increased CMCMAG AM3 16x burned at 16x --- POF, jitter
DVD+R   Philips DVD+R 16x certified (INFOME R30) burned at 16x --- POF, jitter
  Moser Baer DVD+R 16x certified (MBIPG101 R05) burned at t 16x --- POF

 

Verbatim DVD+R 16x certified (MCC 004) burned at 16X --- POF
  Taiyo Yuden DVD+R 16x certified (YUDEN000 T03) burned at 24X --- POF, jitter
  Prodisc DVD+R 16x certified (R05) burned at 16x --- POF
DVD+RW Verbatim DVD+RW 8x certified (MKM A03) burned at 8x / Jitter increased  
DVD-R DL Verbatim DVD-R DL 8x certified (MKM03RD30) burned at 8x / Jitter increased for both layers Verbatim DVD-R DL 12x certified (MKM04RD30) burned at 12x --- POF, jitter increased for both layers
DVD+R DL   Verbatim DVD+R DL 8x certified (MKM 003) burned at 8x --- Pisum8 , jitter
DVD-RW   Verbatim DVD-RW 6x certified (MKM 01RW6X01) burned at 6x --- PIsum8, POF, jitter

- Bit Setting

 

The LiteOn iHAS524 DVD burner supports Bit Setting with DVD+RW/+R and +R DL media.

 

- Overburning

The drive able to overburn on CD-R media but not on DVD's.


28. SmartErase, LabelTag

- Smart Erase

SmartErase is a technology which can destroy recordable discs and data on recordable discs permanently. SmartErase will overwrite the data stored on recordable media with random characters and make the disc and data stored no longer can be accessed or restored.

To erase the data on your CDs and DVDs and destroy the disc with SmarErase, you need the following a SmartErase-capable drive like the LiteOn iHAS524, the SmartErase software (available through Nero Essentials 8 suite) and of course, a recordable CD or DVD.

SmartErase will destroy the disc and the data on the disc. Once the data is destroyed, it can not be restored. SmartErase supports all recordable media, but cannot erase or destroy rewritable media.


SmartErase provides two methods to destroy the disc and data: Quick Erase and Full Erase.

Quick Erase only destroys the information stored in Lead-In area and data stored on the first track of a disc. It takes less time to erase a disc but not all the data on the disc is destroyed.
Full Erase destroys all the information and data stored on a disc. It takes a longer time but all
the data on the disc is destroyed.

If you use Full Erase mode to SmartErase the disc, all the information and data stored on a disc is destroyed and the disc can no longer be restored again. If you erase a disc with Quick Erase mode, not all the information and data is destroyed. The information and data which is not destroyed may have the chance to be restored by specific devices and software.

How to use SmartErase

1 Launch SmartErase from the menu of the burning software bundled with your drive. In our case, we used Nero Express Essentials 8 which integrates the SmartErase application.


2 We select our LiteOn drive in the drop down menu.


3. The next step is to insert a DVD recordable disc. We used a DVD-R full with data.

4. You are ready to 'SmartErase' the disc. Click Quick Erase or Full Erase to erase the disc.

The 'quick erase' function for a DVD R SL will not take more than 30 seconds. The disc was not readable or even recognizable by any DVD burner we tried after a quick 'Smart Erase'.

The 'Full erase ' takes more than 7 minutes to complete. Again, the 'SmartErased' disc is completely unreadable.

 

- LabelTag

At CeBIT 2009 Lite-On announced the introduction of LabelTag , a new feature to label discs in a fast and convenient way. Now, with the introduction of the iHAS524 , Lite-On presents its first DVD writer with LabelTag.

Using LabelTag means a convenient and cost-effective way for labeling any DVD±R single layer or CD-R discs without using additional software. LabelTag is a patented new feature that allows you to create a circular label on the data discs. When creating the disc, you can add text and/or images printed on the same side of the disc where the data is stored. There is no need to use markers, stickers, or even the hassle of flipping the disc. There is no special media required and the disc remains compatible with other playback devices.

The LabelTag feature is implemented into the NERO 8 software, which is bundled with the drive. It works very easy. You can follow your usual steps for burning a CD-R or DVD recordable disc and just before you click the "burn" button, you can choose to add a label on your disc (see screen shot below).

Let's start with a typical data DVD creation procedure using Nero Express Essentials 8:

We typically add some data files on the DVD-R. Notice that we left some space free. This will be used by the software in order to burn the label we choose on the data area of the disc (LabelTag):

We click "Next" and the following window appears. Here you can choose whether you will create LabelTag on the disc:

After enabling the 'LabelTag' option, we clicked the "Burn" button and the software prompted us to remove some files from our DVD compilation in order to have enough space free to burn LabelTag. The minimum amount of free space required for LabelTag on DVD recordables is 546MB:

We left the required free space and the then the Label Design View software appeared, right before the burning process. Here is some useful information: LabelTag images cannot be copied from disc to disc. In addition, 'LabelTaged' ' discs are closed so no additional information can be burned after the labeling /burning process:

Let's take a look at the software. The layout is simple and straight-forward so there is no need to have any previous experience with disc labeling software packages in order to use it.

You can enter the text that will be labeled on the disc's surface on the top side of the software's main window.

The text can be easily formatted as desired using the available formatting buttons (Bold, Underlined, text size etc).

You can also choose the layout of your text. The text can be either wrapped around the complete reserved area for LabelTag, or left to the default layout.

Photos or graphics can be also added to the label. However, these will be automatically resized by the software in order to fit to the available space left for the LabelTag. So it would be better to burn less data and leave enough space for your labels if you want to LabelTag photos on the disc surface.

The height of the LabelTag area can be adjusted using the available "Zoom" sliders.

A preview of the the text or photos you have added on the disc is also available. You can also zoom on them using the 'Preview' slider.

Last but not least, a very useful window provides information about the capacity of the disc, the space used for data and the free space left for the LabelTag.

 

In the following pictures you can see how you can adjust the text you have added for LabelTag using the software's 'Layout 'and 'Zoom' options:

 

Once you have finished with the LabelTag text/pictures, you are ready to proceed with the burning of the disc. The software will burn the data on the disc first. In our example, we burned 3.22Gb of data on a DVD-R disc:

Immediately after the end of the data burning process, the LabelTag burning begins:

As you can see it took about 3 minutes to LabelTag our DVD-R. We remind you that the reserved area we had chosen for the LabelTag was around 1.16GB:

Below you can see a DVD-R disc with LabelTag:


29. Final words

The LiteOn iHAS524 is LiteOn's second 24X DVD burner after the release of the iHAS324 model last year. Although both drives have tare based on chipset from MediaTek, their performance is not exactly similar, with the latest drive to be improved in the way it burns DVDs and also to pack new features such as the LabelTag disc labeling technology.

The drive proved to be a good reader, performing all tasks with speeds according to specifications, and being able to complete them successfully. The iHAS524 drive is actually a universal reader/writer, offering compatibility with any disc format on the market including DVD-RAM.

As far as error correction is concerned, the tests showed us that the drive has average error correction mechanisms with CDs but it has been improved over its predecessor when it reads defected DVDs.

Next on, are the writing tests that we performed. DVD media were burned at speeds of up to 24X and the result was great. We were able to burn a DVD disc in 4 minutes with an average speed of approximately 17.5X. However, only very few discs are compatible with such high speeds. Until now, the drive can only burn at such speeds the YUDEN000T03 and TYG03 Taiyo Yuden DVD+R and DVD-R media respectively.

Writing quality tests were also performed with CD and DVD media. The results were a mixed bug, as it usually happens with these kind of tests. We saw CD-Rs burned at very high quality and a couple of other to obviously have issues, especially when uncorrectable (E32) errors were measured. The results with the DVD-R SL discs we used in the test were encouraging and most of the measurements returned no uncorrectable errors (POF). However, the situation was not so good with DVD+R SL discs, where the measurements showed high jitter and POFs in many discs. In addition, the drive may need some work when it comes to burning of DVD+R DL discs. The measurements showed POFs, high jitter and generally low reflectivity for these discs. Of course, none of the DVD media we tested was unreadable. In most cases, the signals that exceed the official specifications unveil that the specific discs may be more susceptible to early degradation in the future.

The drive also offers the SmartErase function. Although we are not sure whether you would spend some time running a software in order to permanently erase the data on a disc rather than physically destroying the disc yourself, you can try it out using the bundled software. It will completely erase your discs with just a few clicks.

Last but certainly not least, the iHAS524 supports LabelTag. The feature will "burn" circular text labels or images right on the data side of a regular single-layer DVD or CD. The feature works well and it is seamlessly integrated within the bundled disc burning application. LabelTag is fast and the results are great as soon as you are using the feature in order to add a simple text label on your disc, instead of adding a sticker on it. Don't expect to express your artistic character through LabelTag since the label is 'burned' on the data side of the disc, leaving a few options for burning images in high contrast and detail. LabelTag is a smart and easy way to personalize your DVDs and very useful if you need for example to label your backup discs.

The LiteOn iHAS524 retails for less than €25.

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