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Appeared on: Tuesday, August 24, 2010
LiteOn iHBS112 review


1. Features, specifications

The iHBS112 is LiteOn's first 12x Blu-ray disc writer. This drive offers 12x recording for the select 6x BD-R media, which means that you will be able to burn 25GB of data in less than 12 minutes. Although 6x BD-R still expensive compared to DVDs, their availability at the market has been improved. TDK/Imation, Sony, Verbatim and Panasonic were the first companies to offer such discs, followed by Taiyo Yuden , Moser Baer India .

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 their production.

Basic features of the LiteOn iHBS112 drive include 12x burning for single layer BD-R, 8x for dual layer BD-R, while . BD-RE are burned at 2x for both DL and SL.

The drive also maintains compatibility with DVD and CD discs for both read and write. The iHBS112 writes Double Layer BD-R media at 8X, and reads BD-ROM discs at 8X as well. Single Layer DVD±R discs can be written at 16X, Double Layer DVD±R at 8X and rewritable discs at 8X (+RW) and 6X (-RW) respectively. The drive reads and writes CD-R at 48X and rewrites CD-RW at 24X.

The iHBS112 incorporates Serial ATA interface. It has been designed using a short-loader mechanism for better airflow and a lower noise level, and is well-suited for today’s mini desktop PCs.

Featured with the drive is Lite-On’s patented SmartWrite technology for setting the optimum speed of operation, enabling users to "burn and work" simultaneously. Also included are SmartX technologies, used to adjust data extraction speed, such as decreasing the reading speed when possible to reduce acoustic noise and anti-vibration, and provide smooth and quiet playback.

LiteOn is also offering a Lightscribe version of the drive, the iHAS212. This model is available in retail packed with software for CD/DVD and BD playback and burning. Our test model, the iHBS112 is a bulk version, meaning that it comes bare with out additional goodies in the package. It retails at an MSRP €149.

Below you can see the table of specifications:

 

.

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:

The drive's electronics is based on the MediaTEK MT1939MWDU chipset.

Here is some extra information about the drive once installed:


2. CD, DVD, BD reading

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. 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 of an 8x Blu-ray burner based on the Panasonic reference design, the Sony BWU-300S, as well as the Pioneer BDR-203 8x BD burner.

-CD-ROM

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 37.04x 36.36x 31.47x

The LiteOn drive was faster here since it reads CD-ROM/-R disc at 48x.

- US RW

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

 

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 30.62x 25.21x 18.87x

Again, the LiteOn iHBS112 was faster due to the 40x supported speed.

- AudioCD

In the CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was just 12.67x with a quality score of 100.

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 12.67x 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 LiteOn iHBS112 drive supports "caching ", "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 other utilities such as the CD DAE software. A typical ripping task finished at an average reading speed of 34.6X, using CD DAE:

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 34.6x 8.9x 26.8x

 

- 90/99 mins Audio disc

90min Audio disc

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed error 35.93x 25.20x

The drive returned an error as it was trying to read the data stored at the outer part of the disc.

It also gave a read error in the seek time test with the 99min CD-R.

- 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 iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 12.12x 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.

 

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 9.20x 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.

 

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 9.14x 9.20x 9.34x

DVD-R

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 12.01x 12.29x 11.95x

 

DVD-RW

 

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 9.14x 6.15x 9.36x

 

DVD+R

 

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 12.03x 12.31x 11.97x

 

DVD+RW

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 9.16x 6.16x 9.38x

 

DVD+R DL -

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 9.07x 6.17x 9.48x

DVD-R DL

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 9.06x 6.17x 9.07x

DVD-RAM 12x

DVD Ripping speed -

Ripping of a single layer DVD movie:

  LiteOn iHBS112 Pioneer BDR-203BK Sony BWU-300S
Average 12.145KB/s (8.8x) 11.798KB/s (8.5x) 6122KB/s (4.4x)
Maximum 16.748KB/s (12.1x) 17.220KB/s (12.4x) 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

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Full access time 280ms 485ms 360ms
Average Speed 5.98x 6.97x 5.91x

BD-ROM-DL

5x

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Full access time 420ms 531ms 425ms
Average Speed 6.10x 7.06x 5.99x

BD-R SL

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Full access time 274ms 482ms 358ms
Average Speed 6.04x 7.01 5.95x

BD-R SL LTH

The LiteOn drive is also capable of reading of BD-R Low-To-High (LTH) discs. However, as we will see later on, the drive cannot burn these discs, at least with the specific firmware revision installed.

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):

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Full access time 276ms 333ms 367ms
Average Speed 4.56x 2x 4.70x

BD-R DL-

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Full access time 285ms 476ms 379ms
Average Speed 6.10x 7.02x 4.70x

BD-RE SL-

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Full access time 270ms 344ms 365ms
Average Speed 6.03x 2x 5.92x

 

BD-RE DL

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Full access time 297ms 349ms 375ms
Average Speed 4.61xx 2x 4.69x

8cm BD-R SL

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Full access time 182ms 344ms 206ms
Average Speed 4.39x 2x 4.38x

8cm BD-RE SL

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Full access time 187ms 242ms 216ms
Average Speed 4.32x 2x 4.38x

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 damaged 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: 886487
Errors (Loudness) Num: 48986 Avg: -74.0 dB(A) Max: -36.3 dB(A)
Error Muting Num: 2940 Avg: 1,1 Samples Max: 18 Samples
Skips Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
LiteOn iHBS112 total result C2 Accuracy: 99.7 %
76.9 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Sony BWU-300S total result

76,6 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Pioneer BDR-203BK total result

75.4 points (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 that almost all the time exceeds that -60 db(A) level, especially around 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: 0 dB(A)
Error Muting Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Skips Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
LiteOn iHBS112 total result 100 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Sony BWU-300S total result

92.5 points(of 100.0 maximum)

Pioneer BDR-203BK total result

83.5 points (of 100.0 maximum)

This time the LiteOn drive did it pretty well with the ABEX 726 test disc. All the errors seems to have been corrected.

- 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 iHBS112
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
1/5
Sony BWU-300S
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
Pioneer BDR-203BK
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

 

A good performance for the LiteOn iHBS112 drive , as it successfully played the first 4 tracks and also managed to play the fifth track (heavily damaged area) just once.


4. Reading of damaged 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 CDVD Benchmark and Nero Disc Speed. 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.

 

LiteOn iHBS112
Sony BWU-300S
Pioneer BDR-203BK
Read errors
No, but speed slowdowns
No, but speed slowdown in the beginning
No

The graph shows us some speed fluctuations, meaning that the drive had some difficulties in the reading process. No read errors were reported.

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.

 

 

LiteOn iHBS112
Sony BWU-300S
Pioneer BDR-203BK
Read errors
No
No
No

A successful read here.

- 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.

LiteOn iHBS112
Sony BWU-300S
Pioneer BDR-203BK
Read errors
No, but speed slowdowns in layer 0
No
No

Same as before, successful reading with a few fluctuations at the first layer.

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.

 

LiteOn iHBS112
Sony BWU-300S
Pioneer BDR-203BK
Read errors
No
No
No

 

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.

LiteOn iHBS112
Sony BWU-300S
Pioneer BDR-203BK
Read errors
No
No
No

Flawless reading here.

Summary

Overall, the DVD error correction mechanisms are adequate, although they could be improved , especially when the drive reads heavily scratched DVDs.


5. CD/DVD testing platform - 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 iHBS112 Blu-ray disc burner.


6. CD-R burning - Verbatim CD-R 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).

As you will notice, the Opti Drive Control software cannot correctly read the MID of the CD-R and CD-RW discs we tested.

-Disc Info

Verbatim 48x CD-R

- Writing


Average Writing Speed: 24,88x
Writing time: 03:54min

Although we selected the 48x burning speed, the drive did not reach it and topped at 32x.

- Reading

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

A good result for the LiteOn drive with the taiyo Yuden CD-R at 32x, though Jitter Pit was slightly increased.


7. CD-R burning - Memorex (RITEK) CD-R 48x

- Disc Info

Memorex (RITEK) 48x CD-R

- Writing strategy

Average Writing Speed: 24.91x
Writing time: 03:53 min

Again, the drive did not reach the maximum supported 48x speed.

- Reading

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

Another good burn for the LiteOn iHBS112 drive with no uncorrectable errors (E32), with the Jitter Pit to be a little higher than the limits after the 49mm radius of the disc.


8. CD-RW burning - Verbatim 32x CD-RW (US-RW)

- Disc Info

Verbatim 32x CD-RW (US-RW)

- Writing @16x

Average Writing Speed: 16.04x
Writing time: 05:21 min
Although we set the writing speed at 24x, the drive burned the Verbatim CD-RW discs at 16x.

- Quality @16x

 

- Writing @24x

Average Writing Speed: 21.45x
Writing time: 04:00 min
After some attempts, the drive finally burned the CD-RW at 24x. However, the writing quality was very low, as Opti Drive Control reports:

- Quality@24x


9. DVD-R burning - CMC MAG AM3 DVD-R 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 @ 8x (7.63x average) in 08:22min

The drive did not manage to reach the selected 16X speed and burned the disc at 8X.

- Reading - 16X (12.01x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Although the disc was read successfully by the LiteOn drive, the ICQ Omni Analyzer could not read it. Testing stopped after reporting very high POF at the 40mm radius of the disc.


10. DVD-R burning - Verbatim MCC 03RG20 DVD-R 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (7.53x average) in 8: 26 min

 

Again, the drive refused to write the disc at 16x.

- Reading - 16X (12.03x average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The measurements for the Verbatim disc look pretty good with the PI8 to be very low.


11. DVD-R burning - RITEKF1 DVD-R 16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 8X (7.54X average) in 08:26 min

It seems that the LiteOn drive has not been optimized to burn the media we chose for this test. Again the drive locked the burning speed at 8x instead of the 16x we set.

- Reading - 16X (12.05X average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

A good burn here at 8x with almost all the parameters to be within the acceptable limits, except from the jitter.


12. DVD-R burning - TTH02 DVD-R 16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 8x (7.63x average) in 08:20 min

 

- Reading - 16X (11.70X average)

 

The drive had problems reading the disc as you can see in the sequential reading test above.

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

The PI8 graph is rising towards the outer area of the disc but it remained well below the 280 limit. No POF was reported. The measurement indicated a good burn, although reading was problematic in the corresponding test.


13. DVD-R burning - Taiyo Yuden TYG03 DVD-R 16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.80x average) in 05:46 min

This time the drive managed to reach the maximum supported 16x burning speed.

- Reading - 16X (12.03X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

Jitter exceeded the limits after the 40mm radius of the disc, with PISum8 to also rise sharply afterwards. However, PI8 stayed below the limits and no POF (uncorrectable errors) were reported.


14. DVD+R burning - Philips INFOME R30 DVD-R 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 16x (11.75x average) in 06:26 min

 

- Reading - 16X (12.10x average)

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

Another good burn here, with no uncorrectable errors.


15. DVD+R burning - Moser Baer India MBIRG101 R05 DVD-R 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (7.67x average) in 08:03min

For one more time, the LiteOn drive set the maximum writing speed to 8x.

- Reading - 16X (12.02X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

PISum8 was increased after the 50mm radius of the disc. Although no uncorrectable errors were reported, reading was slightly influenced as we saw in the in the Nero Disc Speed reading graph.


16. DVD+R burning - Verbatim MCC004 DVD-R 16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.78x average) in 05:39min

- Reading - 16X (11.95X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

A rather good burn here at 16x.


17. DVD+R burning - Ricoh RICOHJPN R03 DVD-R 16x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 16x (11.79x average) in 06:06min

- Reading - 16X - read error

The drive retuned a read error with the specific disc.

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

As it was expected, all the quality parameters here are well beyond the acceptable limits. The RICOHJPNR03 DVD+R is obviously not a great choice to use with the LiteOn drive, at least with the specific firmware revision installed.


18. DVD+R burning - Taiyo Yuden YUDEN000 T03 DVD-R 16x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (7.67x average) in 08:06 min

 

- Reading - 16X (12.02X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

We expected better results with the popular Taiyo Yuden DVD+R discs. The reported PI8 and jitter was very high. We remind you that the drive burned the disc at 8x and not the selected 16x.


19. DVD+R DL burning - Verbatim MKM003 DVD+R DL 8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (6.18x average) in 19:34 min

 

- Reading - 12X (9.07X average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The LiteOn iHBS112 drive burned the Verbatim DVD+R DL disc quite well. No POF and low PISum8 were reported.


20. DVD-R DL burning - Verbatim MKM03RD30 DVD-R DL 8x

- Media Info

- Writing - 8x (6.19x average) in 19:23 min

- Reading - 12X (9.06 average)

Switching between the layers of the disc was hard for the drive ,as you can see above.

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The PI8 was increased for the L0, while jitter was higher than expected for oth layers. However, no POF was reported.


21. DVD-RW burning - Verbatim MKM01RW6X01 DVD-RW 6x

- Media Info

- Writing - 4X (3.91x average) in 15:31min

For one more time, we saw the LiteOn drive not to reach its highest supported writing speed. The Verbatim DVD-RW disc was burned at 4x.

- Reading 12x (9.14x average)

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

The POF spike in the corresponding graph indicates an issue at around the 32mm radius of the disc.


22. DVD+RW burning - Verbatim MKMA03 DVD+RW 8x

- Media Info

 

- Writing - 8x (7.50x average) in 7:58 min

 

- Reading 12x (8.22x average)

Reading the DVD+RW disc was not very easy here. The drive slowed down to maintain track, indicating a possible problem with the data in the specific areas.

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

As it was expected, POF and PI8 was high after the 41mm radius of the disc.


23. DVD-RAM burning - Maxell MXL16 5x, MXL22 12x

- Media Info

Maxell DVD-RAM 5x

- Writing - 5x (4.92x average) in 11:32min

 

- Reading - 5X (5.02X average)

 

- Media Info

Maxell DVD-RAM 12x

 

- Writing - 12x (10.24xx average) in 5:46min

- Reading - 12X (10.31X average)

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.


24. Blu-ray burning - Verbatim (VERBATIMw) BD-R SL LTH 2x, (VERBATIMu) BD-R SL LTH 6x

From this page and for the following we start our Blu-ray disc tests with the Liteon iHBS112 drive. We remind you that the drive supports 12x BD-R SL and 8x BD-R 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)) as well as the brand new Verbatim BD-R 25GB LTH disc for 6x burning. The specific discs have 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.

- Media Info Verbatim BD-R SL 2x LTH

- Writing

It seems that the LiteOn iHBS112 does not support burning of LTH BD-R media. This is an unfortunate issue since these discs are cheaper than the rest BD-Rs and they are expected to be widely available by Verbatim and Taiyo Yuden . On the other hand, the drive managed to read a Verbatim LTH BD-R 2x disc, recorded with another burner. That's a firmware issue Liteon's engineers have to look at.

We also tried to burn the brand new Verbatim BD-R SL LTH for 6x recording with no luck:

- Media Info Verbatim BD-R SL 6x LTH

 

- Writing

The disc was burned in this strange way: In the beginning the drive looked like it would burn it at 6x P-CAV. However, the speed dropped at 4x and soon enough the burning process was terminated at the 4572MB position. We tried to read the disc but we got a read error:


25. Blu-ray burning - Panasonic MEI RA1 BD-R SL 6x

We continue our Blu-ray disc recording tests. We used some of the latest BD-R/RE SL and DL media for these tests. Each disc was burned at the highest allowed recording speeds as well as in lower speeds. The LiteOn iHBS112 drive supports 12x burning for specific BD-R SL and 8x burning for BD-R DL media. For 12x recoding, we used BD-R discs certified for 6x. And that because there is no physical specification for 12x speed recording for BD-R media. However, most Blu-ray writers support burning at 8x and 12x on 6x-certified media.

We also used Erik Deppe' s Opti Drive Control software for testing the writing quality of each recorded BD-R/RE disc. The software could give you an idea of the writing quality of each disc. For BDs, the following parameters are measured:

On a good disc, the average LDC should stay below 13 and BIS should stay below 15, according to the author of the software.

If you are interested in the data recovery methods of the Blu-ray discs, continue reading below. If not, skip the following text and proceed directly to the tests found later on this page :)

Blu-ray Data Recovery Methods: Partial Response - Maximum Likelihood (PRML)

For CD and DVD, the method for data detection was based on a zero crossing point method, using a conventional slicer. Basically, when the analogue signal (output from the optical pick-up) crosses a reference level, it indicates a binary transition. This method has its limitations, notably when the feature size (smallest pit/land) is less than the spot size, the modulation of the light is relatively small (the smaller the pit/spot size ratio the smaller the modulation). Thus, the conventional slicer can create data with non-exact mark/space lengths - otherwise known as jitter, and when this jitter becomes greater than 0.5 of a clock cycle, it becomes a bit error.

For BD, the minimum spot radius ratios are 0.88 and 0.85 of the ratio of DVD. This reduced resolution (low modulation of light by 2T pits) means that it is much more difficult to have effective data detection using a conventional slicer. Boosting the high frequency part of the signal has limited effect because this also increases the InterSymbol Interference (ISI), which is where adjacent pits and lands interfere with each other. This is mainly a problem with the shortest run lengths, particularly those that are smaller than the spot size.

Hence for BD, the Partial Response- Maximum likelihood (PRML) method is used for recovering the data from the signal.

Partial Response (PR) equalization is used to limit the effects of ISI, and then a sequence of bits is evaluated to define the most likely sequence of bits, based upon known allowed sequences. This is the Maximum Likelihood (ML) detection and uses a Viterbi algorithm to determine the ML sequence.

The Blu-Ray disc is more sensitive to burst errors compared to the DVD system. Therefore, the error correction system of Blu-Ray disc should be able to cope well with long burst errors, rather with single (random) errors.

The maximum number of errors that can be corrected depends on the number of parity symbols added. For each two parity symbols added, one error can be corrected. But Blu-Ray uses a more efficient approach to correct the burst errors. It uses a burst indicator mechanism that can detect bursts of errors before the correction starts. The advantage of this method is actually the prior knowledge of the error locations on the decoding process.

These burst indicator used in the Blu-Ray format is called picket code. The pickets are columns that are inserted in between columns of the main data at regular intervals. The main data is protected by a Reed Solomon code, while the pickets are protected by a second independent Reed Solomon code. When decoding (reading), first the picket columns are corrected. The correction information can be used to estimate the location of possible burst errors in the main data.

A BluRay Disc Error Correction Block (ECC Block) can store 64 Kilobytes of user data. This data is protected by the Long Distance Code (LDC) which has 304 code words with 216 information symbols and 32 parity symbols giving a code word of length 248. These code words are interleaved two by two in the vertical direction such that a block if 152 bytes x 469 bytes is formed as shown in the picture above.

A Blu-Ray Disc ECC block contains 4 equally spaced picket columns. The left most picket is formed by the sync pattern at the start of each row. If the sync pattern was not detected properly, that can be an indication for a burst error similar to the knowledge that a symbol of a picket column had to be corrected. The other three pickets are protected by the so-called Burst Indicator Subcode (BIS). The BIS code words are interleaved into three columns of 496 bytes each. Both LDC and BIS codes are decoded by the Reed Solomon decoder.

Reference: BD-ROM Physical Specifications

For the first test we used a Panasonic BD-R SL for 6x (MEI RA1) disc. We burned it at 6x and 12x. Here are the results:

- Media Info

- Writing @ 6x (5.95xx average) in 15:55 min

 

The drive burnt the disc at 6x using the P-CAV strategy in 15:55 minutes.

- Quality @6x

 

It looks like both the LDC and BIS remain below the 13 and 15 limits, respectively. As such, this could be consider as a good burn.

- Writing - 12x (8.96x average) in 11:39 min

We burned the same disc at teh maximum supported speed of 12x:

The drive burned the disc at 12x using the CAV strategy in just 11:39 minutes.

- Quality @12x

This time the average LDC was higher 13. Both the LDC and the BIC rise after the 17.5GB mark of the disc and towards the end of the data area, as the recording speed was also increasing to reach the maximum 12x.


26. Blu-ray burning - Moser Baer India MBI R06 RA1 BD-R SL 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.

Here we used the Moser Baer BD-R SL for 6x (MBI R06) discs. According to the software, the LiteOn iHBS112 will burn the disc at 6x:

- Writing - 6x (5.94x average) in 15:53 min

 

- Reading - 8X (5.95X average)

The disc was fully readable.

- Quality @6x

The reported average LDC and BIS are low. All jitter, LDC and BIS parameters gave a sudden spike right at the end of the data area, but as you can see from the graph this had no effect on the readability of the disc.


27. Blu-ray burning - Verbatim VERBATIMe BD-R SL 6x

- Media Info

This is Verbatim BD-R 25GB disc (VERBATIMe (000)) certified for 6x recording.

- Writing - 6x (5.58x average) in 17:30min

The specific disc was burned at 6x after many writing retries and burning failures. In the beginning, we got back many errors from the drive such as "power calibration error". Finally the disc was recorded at 6x but it was unreadable.


28. Blu-ray burning - Verbatim VERBATIMa 8cm BD-R SL 2x

- Media Info

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

 

- Writing - 2x (2.01x average) in 13:28 min

 

- Reading - 5X (4.329X average)

 

- Quality


29. Blu-ray burning - Verbatim VERBATIMf BD-R DL 6x

- Media Info

This is VERBATIM BD-R 50GB disc (VERBATIMf) certified for 6x recording.

- Writing - 4x (4x average) in 46:16min

 

The LiteOn drive was supposed to write BD-RE DL media at 8x max. Nero Disc Speed allowed us to choose the 6x burning speed before starting the test, but the drive finally burned the disc at 4x CLV.

- Reading - 8X (6.08X average)

- Quality

The Opti Drive Control software reported very low LDC and BIS for the specific disc.


30. Blu-ray burning - TDK TDKBLDRFB BD-R DL 4x

- Media Info

This is TDK BD-R DL 50GB disc (TDKBLDRFB (000)) certified for 4x recording.

 

- Writing - 4x (4x average) in 46:57 min

- Quality

The quality of the recording looks good, according to the software we used. The average LDC was lower than 4 and BIS was just 0.08.


31. Blu-ray burning - Verbatim VERBATIMb BD-R DL 2x

- Media Info

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

 

- Writing - 2x (2.01x average) in 90:56min

- Reading - 8X (6.08X average)

- Quality

The reported LDC was higher than the acceptable limit of 13.


32. Blu-ray burning - Panasonic MEI RB1 BD-R DL 6x

- 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 - 4x (4x average) in 47:13min

 

Although we expected a burn at 8x, the LiteOn drive kept the recording speed at 4x CLV.

- Quality @4x

The disc was read at 6x P-CAV. More information on the compatibility of this disc with other BD burners is available in the following pages.

- Writing - 8x (6.39x average) in 31:58 min

Finally we burned the disc at 8x Z-CLV. The LiteOn iHASB112 burner finished the recording of 50GB (actually 45.11GB) of data in just 31:58 minutes.

- Reading - 8X (4.70X average)

It seems that the high burning speed has a price here. The quality of the burn is low and we got an average LDC of 51.27. The disc was readable.


33. Blu-ray burning - Verbatim VERBATIM1 BD-RE DL 2x

- Media Info

This is a brand new Verbatim BD-RE DL 50GB disc (VERBATIM1) for 2x recording.

- Writing - 2x (2.01x average) in 89:57 min

 

- Quality

Again, both the LDC and BIS (average) values are low indicating a good burn.


34. Blu-ray burning - Verbatim VERBATIM0 BD-RE SL 2x

- Media Info

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

- Writing - 2x (2.00x average) in 45:00min

 

- Reading - 8X (6.01X average)

 

- Quality


35. Blu-ray burning - Verbatim VERBATIM0 8cm BD-RE SL 2x

- Media Info

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

 

- Writing - 2x (2.01x average) in 9:13 min

 

- Reading - 5X (4.32X average)

 

- Quality

The result is amazing. If these measurements are accurate, the specific disc should not be burned with the LiteOn drive. Both LDC and BIS skyrocketed after the 4.5GB mark. Surprisingly, the disc was readable, leaving us with many quastions about the reliability of the quality measurements using the specific software.


36. Blu-ray burning - TDK TDKBLDWfa BD-RE DL 2x

- Media Info

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

 

- Writing - 2x (2.01x average) in 89:54min

 

- Quality

The reported average LDC is close to its upper limit (13) but still, it remains at acceptable levels.


37. Summary of CD, DVD, BD burning tests, Bittsetting, Overburning

In the following table, we have gathered the findings of the DVD and CD 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
RITEKF1 burned at 8X. CMC MAG. AM3 burned at 8x (PISum8, POF, jitter)
MCC 03RG20 burned at 8x
TTH02 F02 burned at 8x
TYG03 burned at 16X (jitter)
DVD+R Verbatim MCC 004 burned at 16X. RICOHJPN R03 burned at 16x (PISum8, POF, jitter)

INFOME R30 burned at 16x

YUDEN000 T03 burned at 8X (Pisum8, jitter)
MBI PG101R05 burned at 8x (PISum8, jitter)
DVD+RW Verbatim MKM A03 burned at 8x  
DVD-R DL Verbatim MKM 003 burned at 8x  
DVD+R DL   Verbatim MKM03RD30 burned at 8x (jitter)
DVD-RW   Verbatim MKM 01RW6X01 burned at 4x (POF)
CD-R Verbatim 48x CD-R burned at 32x  
Memorex (RITEK) 48x CD-R burned at 32x
CD-RW Verbatim 32x CD-RW (US-RW) burned at 16x Verbatim 32x CD-RW (US-RW) burned at 24x (C2, jitter)

- BD Media Burning Comparison Chart

In the following chart, we compare the burning speed for BD media of the Liteon drive two 8x BD burners we have aleady tested, the Sony BWU-300S and the Pioneer BD-R 203. The green boxes indicate the faster performance.

LiteOn iHBS112 Sony BWU-300S v1.0d Pioneer BDR-203 v1.10
BD-R SL
Verbatim BD-R SL LTH 6x VERBATIMu Error N/A N/A
Verbatim BD-R SL LTH 2x VERBATIMw Error 2.00x average CLV (2x max) in 45:14 2.00x average (2x max) in 45:36
Verbatim BD-R 8cm 2x VERBATIMa 7GB 2.01x average CLV in 14:13 1.99x average CLV (2x max) in 14:16 1.99x average (2x max) in 14:29

Verbatim BD-R SL 6x VERBATIMe

5.58x P-CAV (6x max) in 17:30 * 5.48x average Z-CLV (6x max) in 17:19 6.81x average (8x max) in 14:44
Moser Baer India BD-R SL 6x MBI R06 5.94x average P-CAV (6x max) in 15:53 min 5.48x average Z-CLV (6x max) in 17:18 6.80x average (8x max) in 14:48
Panasonic BD-R SL 6x MEI RA1 8.96x average CAV (12x max) in 11:39 6.95x average P-CAV (8x max) in 13:47 6.81x average (8x max) in 14:48
BD-R DL
Verbatim BD-R DL 2x VERBATIMb 2.01x average CLV in 90:56 1.99x average CLV (2x max) in 90:31 1.99x average (2x max) in 91:16
VERBATIM BD-R DL 6x (VERBATIMf) 4x average CLV in 46:16min 5.51 x average Z-CLV (6x max) 6.74x average (8x max) in 29:49
TDK BD-R DL 4x (TDKBLDRFB (000)) 4x CLV in 46:57 min N/A N/A
Panasonic BD-R DL 6x MEI RB1 6.39x average Z-CLV (8x max) in 31:58 min 6.94x average P-CAV (8x max) in 27:24 6.75x average (8x max) in 29:37
BD-RE SL
Verbatim BD-RE SL 2x VERBATIM0 2x average CLV in 45:00 1.99x average CLV (2x max) in 45:14 2.00x average (2x max) in 45:34
Verbatim 8cm BD-RE 2x VERBATIM0 7.26GB) 2x average CLV in 9:13 1.99x average CLV (2x max)in 9:08 2.00x average (2x max) in 9:28
BD-RE DL
Verbatim BD-RE DL 2x VERBATIM1 2.01 average CLV in 89:57 N/A N/A
TDK BD-RE DL 2x TDKBLDWFA 2x average CLV in 89:54 1.99x average CLV (2x max) in 90:30 1.99x average (2x max) in 91:10

* The specific Verbatim BD-R SL 6x VERBATIMe disc was unreadable

- BD Media quality

In the following teble we have gathered the writing quality results we got with the BD-R/RE media of this test using the Opti Drive Control software. We remind you that for BDs, the following parameters are measured:

On a good disc, the average LDC should stay below 13 and BIS should stay below 15, according to the author of the software.

Media type
MID
average LDC (<13)
average BIS (<15)
BD-R SL
Verbatim BD-R SL LTH 6x VERBATIMu
not supported
Verbatim BD-R SL LTH 2x VERBATIMw
not supported
Verbatim BD-R 8cm 2x VERBATIMa 7GB burned at 2x
0.62
0.01
Verbatim BD-R SL 6x VERBATIMe
Unreadable
Moser Baer India BD-R SL 6x MBI R06 burned at 6x
6.45
0.12
Panasonic BD-R SL 6x MEI RA1 burned at 6x
5.19
0.10
Panasonic BD-R SL 6x MEI RA1 burned at 12x
17.07
0.34
BD-R DL
VERBATIM BD-R DL 6x (VERBATIMf) burned at 4x
1.97
0.04
Verbatim BD-R DL 2x VERBATIMb burned at 2x
16.85
0.28
Panasonic BD-R DL (MEI RB1) burned at 4x
19.65
0.39
Panasonic BD-R DL (MEI RB1) burned at 8x
51.27
1.12
TDK BD-R DL 4x (TDKBLDRFB (000)) burned at 4x
3.99
0.08
BD-RE SL
Verbatim 8cm BD-RE 2x VERBATIM0 7.26GB) burned at 2x
3006.98
236.97
Verbatim BD-RE SL 2x VERBATIM0 burned at 2x
3.41
0.05
BD-RE DL
Verbatim BD-RE DL 2x VERBATIM1 burned at 2x
2.83
0.07
TDK BD-RE DL 2x TDKBLDWFA burned at 2x
12.02
0.35

- Bit Setting

 

- Overburning


38. Final words

The LiteOn iHBS112 is among the fastest BD burners currently available. The supported 12x burning speed is fast enough to offer you a complete 25GB disc in less than 11 minutes - a record that would sound unrealistic if you asked us a couple of years ago when we tested the first 2x BD burners.

The drive is compatible with all the optical media formats - CD, DVD and BD. As a result, it could replace your current CD/ DVD burner and bring the Blu-ray disc experience to your desktop, in terms of both data storage and HD entertainment. Priced at €150, the iHBS112 could be addressed to a wider part of the market, which expands beyond the enthusiasts' segment.

Let's move on to our findings now. As a general comment, we think that the firmware installed in our sample drive is not mature enough to help the drive unveil its full potential. Specifically, the drive burned many CD-R at 32x instead of the 48x and some popular DVD recordables at 8x and not at the maximum supported 16x speed. The quality of these burns was a mixed bag: In some cases the quality of the recordings was high, while in some other cases we measured surprisingly low quality even from generally high-quality DVD media. For example, the drive had some bad burns with the Verbatim CD-RW disc at 24x and the Taiyo Yuden DVD+R burned at just 8x. We also saw some writing quality problems with the Verbatim DVD+R DL discs at 8x.

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. As far as error correction is concerned, we can say that the drive can handle defective CD and DVD media pretty well.

Moving to the Blu-ray performance, the impression remains the same: The drive will burn at the maximum 12x speed in very specific BD-R SL media. In most cases the BD-R SL media (6x-certified) we used were burned at 6x or slower. The same applies to BD-R DL media.

We also tried to measure the writing quality of the BD recordings using the Opti Drive Control utility. According to the results, the quality of the BD recordings was adequate as long as the recording speed remained at 6x or below. We do have some questions regarding the quality of the BD-R recordings at 12x, all the the BD-R DL we used as well as for the 8cm BD-RE discs.

We also expect from LiteOn to add support for the LTH BD-R discs with a firmware upgrade. The drive refused to burn the Verbatim BD-R LTH discs certified for 2x and 6x. On the other hand, an already recorded BD-R LTH disc was fully readable.

To sum up, the LiteOn iHBS112 could be a great tool 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. It's price is high but not as high as we might expect for a a 12x BD burner. On the other hand, we would like to see a wider compatibility with DVD and Blu-ray disc media as well as a more stable behavior when it comes to BD/DVD disc burning.



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