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Appeared on: Monday, December 05, 2011
Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB (BDR-206 DBK)


1. Features

Today we will test Pioneer's 12x Blu-ray disc writer. The Pioneer BDR-S06XLB is the retail version of the bulk BDR-206 DBK 12X blu-ray disc writer, also available by the company. This internal BD/DVD/CD Writer will write up to 12x on BD-R (25Gbytes) and BD-R DL (50Gbytes) media, it can read BD-ROM and BD-ROM DL, read/write single and dual layer BD-R & BD-RE discs, read DVD-ROM, and read/write most DVD and CD recordable media formats.

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. Compared to Pioneer's previous series of 12x BD burners (BDR-205) the BDR-S06XLB is compatible with a wider range of BD-R SL and DL discs. As we will see later on in this article, the drive will burn the majority of BD-Rs for 4X and 6X at higher speeds.

Basic features of the BDR-S06XLB drive include 12x burning for single layer BD-R and select BD-R DL, BD-RE are burned at 2x for both DL and SL, 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 also writes CD-R at 40X and rewrites CD-RW at 24X.

Let's see some of the main features of the drive:

Newly designed mechanism for noise suppression
Most operational noise is generated from the air flow when the disc spins within the drive. The disc tray structure on the BDR-S06XLB has been redesigned to control the flow of air and smooth its circulation within the drive. Several tunnel-like air intakes and ducts are placed around the disc tray to realize smoother air flow. The inside of the drive is also smoother so the air flow isn?t hindered and noise isn?t created. Attention to these details allows for the drive?s operational noise to be reduced.
 
Even with the attention to these details, the disc spinning within the drive will still create some air flow noise. There are three areas from which air flow noise escapes from the front of the drive - above, below, and from underneath. The interlocking/overlapping design works like a sound barrier to trap the air flow noise. As a result, the drive is 3-5dB quieter than Pioneer's previous model and other drives.
Internal Tray Air flow Structure
Tray side-view
Sound Pressure comparison

 

Intelligent Operation

The drive also monitors how it is being used and will adjust its disc rotation speed automatically, meaning it will spin slowly/quietly for audio & movie playback, and quickly for data transfers.

 

Dust Protection

The sound barrier design that traps noise inside also works as a barrier to keep dust outside. With the newly developed mechanism, the drive has achieved approximately four times superior dust durability over Pioneer's previous model. This means drive failure due to dust is practically a non-issue.
(Pioneer test)

 

Lower vibration noise achieved by a more rigid panel design on the top and bottom of the drive chassis

Pioneer has also placed a channel on the front side of the drive to enhance the drive rigidity, which reduces drive vibration and noises. The same measure is placed on the bottom plate of the drive to increase the drive hardiness to prevent unnecessary noise.

 

Other parts used to protect the drive from noise and dust

A space created for disc clamping on the top of the drive has been reduced to achieve an air tight drive body, which further reduces the air flow noise and increases the anti-dust capability. The traverse mechanism (rails that move the drive pick-up back and forth) increases the drive?s rigidity. The coil spring structure inside the drive absorbs unnecessary vibrations that occur during disc removal. There is also a balancing weight and floating drive mechanism that are cushioned by newly developed materials to support the drive body from vibrations.

 

Disc Vibration Resonance Stabilizer dedicated for precision writing in a high speed environment

High speed disc rotation causes disc warping due to disc resonant vibration. This results in unstable writing quality, especially in the outer areas of a disc. With the newly designed top chassis, air flow caused by the high speed rotation will press the disc.
Without Disc Vibration Stabilizer
With Disc Vibration Stabilizer

 

PureRead functionality allows for reproduction of original audio by eliminating Error Data Compensation accompanied by conventional CD Audio play

When CD Audio is hit with an unreadable error, the error is filled by a calculation that is formed by data located before and after the error point. These errors are typically caused by finger prints or scratches on the disc. This calculation is made to create an artificial sound with the purpose to create seamless audio listening. PureRead is a unique function that minimizes the Error Data Compensation by judging the disc condition, readjusting the reading method, and then retrying to read the original sound data as much as possible. The function is used to minimize the chance to hear artificial audio. PureRead

 

* PureRead function can be set utilizing the Pioneer Drive Utility as well as with Cyberlink's Power2GO software.

 

Environmentally Friendly Drive Design

An elastic, hot plastic material injected on a cold drive metal body is the conventional production method typically used in the industry. This production method has a disadvantage when it comes to material recycling because plastics and metals are unified which makes the recycling process difficult. Pioneer has employed more environmentally friendly production methods by paying attention to materials that are easier to recycle. Lightweight and elaborate package design is reflected on the drive which has less impact on the environment.

Here are the drive's complete specifications:

Supporting media for burning BD BD-RE, BD-RE DL, BD-R, BD-R DL
DVD DVD-R (Version 2.0 for Gerenal), DVD-RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL,
HighSpeed DVD+RW ,DVD-RAM (DVD-RAM Version 2.0/2.1/2.2 without cartridge. RAM2 is not supported )
CD CD-R, UltraSpeed+CD-RW, UltraSpeed CD-RW, HighSpeed CD-RW, CD-RW
Supported media for reading BD BD-ROM, BD-RE, BD-RE DL, BD-R, BD-R DL
DVD DVD-ROM, DVD-ROM DL, DVD-Video, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-RAM (DVD-RAM Version 2.0/2.1/2.2 without cartridge. RAM2 is not supported )
CD CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD,Video CD, CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD-Text, CD-R, CD-RW
Interface Serial ATA Revision 2.6
Burning speeds BD -R 12X, 10X, 8X, 6X, 4X, 2X
-R DL 12X, 10X, 8X, 6X, 4X, 2X
-R (LTH) 6X, 4X, 2X
-RE 2X
-RE DL 2X
DVD -R 16X, 12X, 8X, 6X, 4X, 2X, 1X
-RW 6X, 4X, 2X, 1X
-R DL 8X, 6X, 4X, 2X
+R 16X, 12X, 8X, 6X, 4X, 2.4X
+RW 8X, 6X, 4X, 2.4X
+R DL 8X, 6X, 4X, 2.4X
-RAM 5X, 3X, 2X
CD -R 40X, 32X, 24X, 16X, 10X, 4X
-RW 24X, 16X, 10X, 4X
Reading speeds BD-ROM/R/RE
(Single layer)
Blu-ray movie: 2X
Data transfer rate: 8X Max
BD-ROM/R/RE
(Dual layer)

Blu-ray movie: 2X
Data transfer rate: 8X Max BD-ROM/R/RE SL , 6x BD-RE DL

DVD-ROM
(Single layer)
DVD-Video: 5X Max
Data transfer rate: 16X Max
DVD-ROM
(Dual layer)
DVD-Video: 5X Max
Data transfer rate: 12X Max
DVD-R 16X Max
DVD-R DL 12X Max
DVD-RW 12X Max
DVD-RAM 5X
DVD+R 16X Max
DVD+R DL 12X Max
DVD+RW 12X Max
CD-ROM AudioCD: 9.3X Max
Data transfer rate: 40X Max
Video CD 9.3X Max
CD-R 32X Max
CD-RW 24X Max
Average seek times BD 170 ms
DVD (-R/-RW) 170 ms
DVD (+R/+RW) 170 ms
CD 150ms
Random seek times BD 140 ms
DVD (-R/-RW) 140 ms
DVD (+R/+RW) 140 ms
CD 140 ms
Buffer size 4 MB
Installation Vertical / Horizontal
Max power consumption 22.84 W
Dimensions / weight 148 mmx42.3 mmx181 mm (WxHxD) / 0.75 kg

The retail package includes the ODD, Cyberlink's Media Suite 8 (PowerDVD 9 BD 2ch, Power2Go 7 LE, PowerBackup 2.5 and InstantBurn 5), a SATA cable and an operating instructions leaflet.

Pioneer has also added a black and well-polished front panel to the drive. The eject/close button is silver and a green operation LED is positioned next to it:

.

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 RENESAS R8J32720 FPV chipset, which is also met at the company's BDR-205BK model and LG's BH10 BD burner.


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

For our CD/DVD and Blu-ray transfer rate tests we used the Opti Drive Control and Nero Disc Speed utilities and a set of data and audio CD, DVD and BD recordable, rewritable and ROM discs. Here we test the maximum reading speed of the Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB drive with each type of disc. For comparison, we have included the corresponding reading results of the LiteOn iHBS112 12x Blu-ray burner.

CD Read

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 320ms 199ms
Average Speed 30.34X 37.06Xx

Pioneer typically does not push the reading speeds of its drives very high. The BDR-S06 XLB supports 40X CAV reading so it is slower than the 48X CAV performance of the LiteOn drive.

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 341ms 198ms
Average Speed 18.16X 30.62X

The BDR-S06 XLB's 24X CAV reading speed with CD-RW discs is low and again the Pioneer drive cannot compete with the LiteOn iHBS112 in terms of speed.

Advanced DAE Quality

Here is the Nero DiscSpeed - Advanced DAE Quality test. In the On-the-fly copying area, the test determines whether an audio CD can be copied without causing errors at various speeds between 1x and 16x, i.e. indicates if the optical drive is suitable for use on-the-fly in combination with a recorder for backing up audio discs. The results of two tests are displayed in the Test results area: the Sequential read test and the Random read test. The sequential read test simulates the digital extraction of audio files (DAE) under ideal conditions and then runs a harmonic read test.

There are two different types of error. A search for data errors returns audio samples that were not read correctly, based on a comparison of the read bytes with the known data from the test disc. Minor data errors can be corrected using the drive's error correction feature. Synchronization errors occur when, instead of reading the required audio sectors, an optical drive reads the adjacent sectors. Nero DiscSpeed uses special data on the test disc to check if the correct sectors are being read. Synchronization errors can result in samples being lost or repeated, and these errors can be audible:

The disc was extracted at 26.86X (average) and the quality score was 100. Notice that the drive cannot read data from the Lead-in and Lead-Out area, which means that it cannot always create perfect copies.

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Average Speed 28.68X 12.67X

 

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 Pioneer drive supports "caching ", "Accurate stream" and does not report "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.

With these settings applied to EAC software, we performed a DAE of an audio CD to our HDD. Notice that the specific test will result in a slower DAE speed than what you would get if you simply select to rip the contents of the disc with another application. That's because EAC used its "Secure" ripping mode after we applied the drive's features (Caching, accurate stream , C2 error info) to the software, in order to have a reliable ripping with the specific drive. In our case with the Pioneer drive, caching need to be defeated and no C2 information is reported by the drive. As a result, the secure ripping mode will be slow. When no read errors occur, it will usually something around a third to a fourth of the drive's maximum ripping speed (in case we had selected the default fast mode). The Pioneer drive ripped the audio tracks of the disc at an average speed of just 1.7X:

If you try to extract the same discs using the "burst" ripping mode, you'll get an average speed of 6.9X:

DVD Read

Now let's take a look at how the drive performs with DVD media. This time, a set of DVD SL and DL discs was used. The Pioneer drive is capable of reading at 16X maximum speed for single layer DVDs and at 12X for dual layer DVDs

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 340ms 297ms
Average Speed 11.30X 12.12X

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.

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 339ms 207ms
Average Speed 8.91X 9.20X

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.

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 339ms 214ms
Average Speed 8.88X 9.14X

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 357ms 223ms
Average Speed 11.32X 11.95X

 

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 362ms 242ms
Average Speed 8.85X 9.14X

The Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB reads DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs at 12X CAV.

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 363ms 242ms
Average Speed 11.31X 12.03X

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 363ms 230ms
Average Speed 8.87X 9.16X

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 368ms 241ms
Average Speed 8.94X 9.07X

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 357ms 250ms
Average Speed 8.94X 9.06X

 

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 393ms 214ms
Average Speed 4.87X 5.02X

Ripping of a single layer DVD movie:

  Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Average 8.101 KB/s (5.8x) 12.145 KB/s (8.8x)
Maximum 10.314 KB/s (7.4x) 16.748 KB/s (12.1x)

 

Blu-ray read

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

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 488ms 280ms
Average Speed 7.31X 5.98X

5x

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 897ms 420ms
Average Speed 5.67X 6.10X

Surprisingly, the transfer rate graph of the BD-ROM DL disc was not very smooth, meaning that the Pioneer drive had some difficulties reading some areas of the disc. Of course, the disc was readable and the drive completed the test.

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 378 ms 274ms
Average Speed 7.18X 6.04X

The 8X P-CAV reading strategy of the Pioneer drive results to higher average speeds than the Liteon drive, which reads the same disc at 8X CAV.

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 359ms 276ms
Average Speed 4.49X 4.56X

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 365 ms 285ms
Average Speed 5.66X 4.70X

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 368ms 270ms
Average Speed 7.17X 6.03X

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 361ms 297ms
Average Speed 4.49X 4.61X

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB LiteOn iHBS112
Full access time 199 ms 182 ms
Average Speed 5.97X 4.39X

 

Summary

The reading process of almost all media was completed without read errors and at speeds that match the specifications of the Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB drive.

Pioneer has kept the reading speeds with CD-R and CD-RW discs lower than the competition . The drive is also slow during DAE with EAC, mainly due the lack of of it does not report C2 pointer information and it supports caching.

With BD-R SL and BD-RE discs, the drive reaches the maximum 8X reading speed (P-CAV) faster than competitive drives and as such, it has an edge over an 8X CAV reader.


3. Reading scratched 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 TCD 721R and TCD -726 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: 1942433
Errors (Loudness) Num: 106557 Avg: - 75.8 dB(A) Max: -17.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Num: 5841 Avg: 1.3 Samples Max: 892 Samples
Skips Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB total result

75.1 points (of 100.0 maximum)
LiteOn iHBS112 total result 76.9 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Error correction is average here. The errors appear on the graph before the drive actually reach the defected areas. However, their level is lower than -60 db(A), meaning that they most probably won't cause any audible clicks or disctruptions if you playback this disc, at least before the 26 min mark of the disc. After that point, the errors seem to be more severe as the defects on the disc surface become bigger. The drive also muted many samples.

- ABEX TCD-726R

Errors total Num: 5866
Errors (Loudness) Num: 2725 Avg: - 86.4 dB(A) Max: -53.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Num: 29 Avg: 4.9 Samples Max: 65 Samples
Skips Num: 0 Avg: 0.0 Samples Max: 0 Samples

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB total result

82.7 points (of 100.0 maximum)
LiteOn iHBS112 total result 100 points (of 100.0 maximum)

We expected a better behavior from the Pioneer drive with the Abex tcd-726 test disc, provided that some other drives have managed to fully read/correct the errors during the test. Hopefully, the errors reported here were lower than -60 dB(A).

- Nero DiscSpeed - Advanced DAE Error Correction Test

Nero DiscSpeed's Error test determines the capability of a optical drive to prevent errors when creating a copy. The test is run in two steps: The 'Create Image' feature first creates an image file of a test disc and saves it on the hard drive. We extracted data from the A-BEX test discs in order to create an error-free image file on the hard drive. After this, the 'Run Test' feature reads the data on the ABEX TDC-721R and TCD -726 test discs in order to compare it with the image file.

All A-BEX discs contain the same audio data. The reading surface of the two test discs contains a series of intentional defects of varying severity.

The results are displayed in the C2 errors and Compare errors graphs. The top graph shows C2 errors found on the disc. The bottom graph compares the errors found when Nero DiscSpeed compares the data on the disc with the data from the image file. Compare errors occur when the audio data read out does not match the compare data from the image file.

  Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB total result LiteOn iHBS112 total result
C2 Accuracy 81.47% 83.75%
Quality score 79.2 90.4

The "Compare errors" graph looks very similar to what we previously saw at the EAC's test with the TCD-721R test disc. The amount of compare errors is high and resulted to an average score of 79.2 points for the Pioneer drive.

  Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB total result LiteOn iHBS112 total result
C2 Accuracy 76.60% 90%
Quality score 99.9 100

Again, the graphs looks familiar to us after the previous EAC test with the same disc. The TCD-726 disc was easier for the drive to read/correct so the score here is higher.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

CD players have built-in D/A converters that turn the digital data on a CD into analog signal - what we hear as music. Ideally, all the digital data should be converted to the analog format. In reality, many factors cause digital data to be lost and sound reproduction to detoriate.

CD players handle this data loss using a sophisticated error correction system that allows them to recover it. However, when the data loss is greater than a system's recovery ability, some of the signal is lost. It is then that the CD player uses compensation methods such as interpolation, data substitution or signal muting to make this loss as anaudible as possible. However, this results in altered and often distorted sound.

The level of sound distortion depends on the amount of data loss. Initially, music may sound brittle and there may be subtle problems with stereo imaging or dynamics. Over time, disc skipping, clicks, pops in the signal or audible signal muting may result. CD-CHECK contains a special signal (tone), designed for early detection of the most subtle forms of distortion. 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
Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5
LiteOn iHBS112
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
1/5

An average performance for the Pioneer drive, as it successfully played the first 3 tracks of the disc.


4. Reading scratched 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 the OptiDrive Control software. The reference test discs are made by 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.

 

Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB
LiteOn iHBS112
Read errors
No
No, but speed slowdowns

The graph looks smooth without any speed fluctuations, meaning that the Pioneer drive had no difficulties while reading the test disc. 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.

 

 

Pioneer BDR-S06XLB
LiteOn iHBS112
Read errors
No, but speed slowdowns at the end of the disc
No

This time the drive slowed down a bit in order to read the outer parts of the disc.

 

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.

 

Pioneer BDR-S06XLB
LiteOn iHBS112
Read errors
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.

Pioneer BDR-S06XLB
LiteOn iHBS112
Read errors
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. How we test

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 Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB v1.06 Blu-ray disc burner.


6. CD-R burning - Ritek 40X

For this test (and for all ensuing tests with CD-R media), the CD-R disc was burned at the maximum supported speed. Then, the same disc is read and we measured signals related to the writing quality.

- Disc Info

Media brand Maxell
Manufacturer RITEK
Name 48x JS Type80
Start time 97m:15s:17f, 79:59:70
Certified speed 48X
Capacity 700MB

- Burn @ 40X

 

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

E32 errors were reported at the 34.9mm radius of the disc, in which an ATIP sync error was also reported. This could be caused by the mastering quality of the disc.


7. CD-R burning - TDK 40X

- Disc Info

Media brand TDK
Manufacturer TDK
Name CD-R80
Start time 97m:25s:00f, 79:59:74
Certified speed 52X
Capacity 700MB

 

- Burn @ 40X

 

- Read

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

This is a good burn for the Pioneer drive with no uncorrectable errors (E32) and low jitter.


8. CD-RW burning - Verbatim 24X

- Disc Info

Media brand Verbatim
Manufacturer MCC
Name DataLifeplus 80/700
Start time 97m:34s:25f, 79:59:74
Certified speed 32X
Capacity 700MB

 

- Burn @ 24X

- Read


- Quality

The quality of this burn looks good, without significant digital errors.


9. DVD-R SL burning - Moser Bear India 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.

- Disc Info

- Burn @ 16X

- Read

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for larger screenshot!

All signals are well within the acceptable limits except from jitter, which was slightly higher than the 8ms limit after the 57mm radius of the disc. No worries here as this behavior is typical with most DVDs.


10. DVD-R SL burning - Verbatim 16X

- Disc Info

- Burn @ 16X

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The measurements for the Verbatim disc look pretty good with the PI8 to be low although jitter is slightly increased after the 50mm radius of the disc.


11. DVD-R SL burning - Ritek 16X

- Disc Info

- Burn @ 16X

 

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

A good burn here at 16x with almost all the parameters to be within the acceptable limits, except from jitter.


12. DVD-R SL burning - DataWrite (TTH02) 16X

- Disc Info

 

- Burn @ 16X

 

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

Another good burn here with the TTH02 disc. The reflectivity of the disc is a little bit low, which is related to the homogeneity of dye coating and / or reflective metal coating of the disc.


13. DVD-R SL burning - Taiyo Yuden 16X

- Disc Info

 

- Burn @ 16X

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

Jitter was increased after the 33mm radius of the disc but the PISum8 was low and . However, no POF (uncorrectable errors) were reported.


14. DVD+R SL burning - Philips (INFOMER30) 16X

- Disc Info

 

- Burn @ 16X

 

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

Another good burn here, with no uncorrectable errors.


15. DVD+R SL burning - Moser Bear India 16X

- Disc Info

- Burn @ 16X

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

The good burns continue here.


16. DVD+R SL burning - Verbatim 16X

- Disc Info

 

- Burn @ 16X

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

A very good burn here at 16x, with reflectivity (RI14) to be a little bit lower than the minimum acceptable limit, without affecting the read-out of the data.


17. DVD+R SL burning - Rrodisc R04 16X

- Disc Info

- Burn @ 16X

- Read

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

RI14 and jitter are slightly off the specs but that should not be an issue here. The PISum8 is low and the POF is zero.


18. DVD-R DL burning - Verbatim 8X

- Disc Info

- Burn @ 8X

 

As you see in the above graph the Pioneer drive did not manage to keep the burning speed at 8x and slowed down to 6x.

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The PISum8 was increased towards the end of L1, although no POFs were reported. Jitter was also high for both layers.


19. DVD+R DL burning - Verbatim 8X

- Disc Info

- Burn @ 8X

 

The drive refused to burn the disc at 8x and used the 4x CLV strategy.

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

The Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB drive burned the Verbatim DVD+R DL disc at 4x adequately. No POF and low PISum8 were reported.


20. DVD-RW burning - Verbatim 6X

- Disc Info

- Burn @ 6X

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

Click for large view

Although jitter was was a little higher than expected, PI8 was low and no POF was reported.


21. DVD+RW burning - Verbatim 8X

- Disc Info

- Burn @ 8X

- Read

 

- Writing Quality - iQB OMNI

 

Click for large view

The results look similar to what we saw with the DVD-RW disc, with low PI8, no POF and jitter to be marginally higher than specs.


22. DVD-RAM burning - Maxell 5X

- Disc Info

 

- Burn @ 5X

 

- Read

 

 

The Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB burner had not any reading/writing problems with both the Maxell DVD-RAM disc of this test.

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.


23. BD-R SL burning - Verbatim BD-R SL 6x LTH

From this page and for the following we start our Blu-ray disc tests with the Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB burner. We remind you that the drive supports 12x 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.

Contrary to other BD burners, the Pioneer drive offers a wide compatibility with many BD-R SL/DL discs for recording at high speeds. For example, you may see some 4x BD-R SL to be burned at 10X and even 12X. Have a look to the following table with the drive's supported BD media list for recording at 8x, 10x and 12x:

Pioneer BD-R S06 XLB v1.06
Max Write Speed
Disc Maker
Media speed
Manufacturer ID
BD-R SL
12X
Sony
4x
SONYNN2
CMC
6x
CMCMAGBA5
Panasonic MEI___RA1
Sony SONY__NN3
MKM VERBATIMe
10X
CMC Magnetics
4x
CMCMAGBA3
Panasonic MEIT02
PHILIPS PHILIPR04
RITEK RITEKBR2
MKM VERBATIMc
TDK TDKBLDRBB
PRODISC PRODISCR0
MBI
6x
MBI___R06
RITEK RITEK_BR3
TDK TDKBLDRBD
LGE LGEBRAS06
8X
Daxon
4x
Daxon_R4X
Infomedia INFOMER30
LGE LGEBRAS04
Umedisc UMEBDR014
Infosource ISMMBDR01
Infomedia
6x
INFOMER40
OPTODISC OTCBDR002
BD-R LtoH
6X
JVC
6x
JVC-AMS6L
MAXELL MAXELLRS2
RITEK RITEK_BO2
TAIYOYUDEN TYG-BDY05
Umedisc UMEBDR116
MKM VERBATIMu
BD-R DL
12X
Panasonic
6x
MEI___RB1
10X
Panasonic
4x
MEI___T02
8X
RITEK RITEK_DR2
MKM VERBATIMd
TDK TDKBLDRFB
RITEK
6x
RITEK_DR3
TDK TDKBLDRFD
MKM VERBATIMf

For our Blu-ray disc recording tests, we used used some of the latest BD-R/RE SL and DL media. Each disc was burned at the highest allowed recording speeds.

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

 

- Disc Info Verbatim BD-R SL 6x LTH

- Burn @ 6X

The disc was recorded at 6x Z-CLV in 16:37 minutes.

- Read

- Quality

The burn looks good as both the average LDC and BIS are low.


24. BD-R SL burning - Panasonic BD-R SL for 6X

- Disc Info Panasonic BD-R SL for 6X (MEI RA1)

- Burn @ 12X

The Pioneer drive burned the disc at 12x in 10:47 minutes.

- Read

The read-out of the data was not smooth at all (blue line at graph). The drive had problems reading the data after the 6GB mark and until the 9.5GB mark. No read errors occurred.

- Quality

LDC was increasing 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. The average LDC was way higher than 13 but BIS remained low.


25. BD-R SL burning - Sony BD-R for 6X

- Disc Info Sony BD-R for 6X recording (SONYNN3)

 

- Burn @ 12X

That was not a very smooth burn at 12x, with the drive struggling to reach the maximum recording speed in the end of the disc.

- Read

Although the disc was fully readable, the reading graph shows that the data could not be easily retrieved and the drive had to slow down reading.

- Quality

The reported LDC is high, especially in the end of the data area. Combined with the high jitter, it had an impact in the readability of the disc, although no read errors were reported.


26. BD-R SL burning - Verbatim BD-R for 6x

- Disc Info Verbatim BD-R 25GB (VERBATIMe (000)) for 6x

 

- Burn @ 12X

- Read

 

- Quality

The average LDC is higher than the limits (13), although BIS is very low.


27. BD-R SL burning - TDK BD-R for 4X

- Disc Info TDK BD-R SL for 4X (TDKBLDRBB)

This is another BD-R SL disc by TDK (TDKBLDRBB), certified for 4X recording. The Pioneer drive will burn the disc at 10X:

 

- Burn @ 10X

Although the burning process looks smooth until the 20Gb mark, in which the drive slowed down in order to complete the task.

- Read

Despite the problems reported below in the writing task, the transfer rate graph (reading) look smooth.

- Quality

The burning quality looks good, with both LDC and BIS parameters to remain low.


28. BD-R SL burning - Moser Baer India for 6x

- Disc Info Moser Baer India BD-R SL certified for 6x recording (MBIR06)

The specific BD-R SL disc by Moser Baer India is certified for 6X recording. The Pioneer drive will burn the disc at 10X:

- Burn @ 10X

- Read

 

Reading was not as smooth as expected and the drive slowed down in order to maintain accurate read-out of the data.

- Quality

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


29. BD-R DL burning - Panasonic certified for 6X

- Disc Info Panasonic BD-R DL 50GB (MEIRB1) certified for 6X

 

- Burn @ 12X

The disc was successfully burned at 12x CAV. Unfortunately, the Opti Drive Control software unexpectedly crashed after finishing the burning session and we do not have a screenshot of the software.

- Read

The data area of the disc is readable but the software returned an error during the access times test.

- Quality

 

From the graph above is obvious that there was something very wrong in the burning process, and so we cannot come up with a safe conclusion about this result. Unfortunately we have to wait for new Panasonic MEIRB1 DVD-R DL discs to arrive in our labs in order to burn some new discs and test them again.


30. BD-R DL burning - Panasonic BD-R DL for 4X

- Disc Info Panasonic BD-R DL (MEIT02) certified for 4X

 

- Burn @ 10X

 

- Read

- Quality

There is a huge increase at the LDC parameter here, mainly in the end of L0 and the beginning of L1.


31. BD-R DL burning - TDK for 4X

- Disc Info TDK BD-R DL (TDKBLDRFB) certified for 4X

- Burn @ 8X

 

- Read

- Quality

Again, the disc result is not good and it seems that further firmware optimization is needed when it comes to burning BD-R DL discs.


32. BD-R DL burning - Verbatim BD-R DL for 6X

- Disc Info Verbatim BD-R DL (VERBATIMf) for 6X

 

- Burn @ 8X

 

- Read

- Quality

 

This time the average LDC was not as high as we saw in the previous tests with other BD-R DL disc. However, it is still higher than we would like to see.


33. BD-RE SL burning - Moser Baer India for 2X

- Disc Info Moser Baer India BD-RE SL for 2X (PHILIPW02)

 

- Burn @ 2X

 

- Read

 

- Quality

The result is good for the specific BD-RE SL disc.


34. BD-RE DL burning - Sony (Panasonic) BD-RE DL for 2X

- Disc Info Sony (Panasonic) BD-RE DL (MEIT01) for 2X

 

- Burn @ 2X

- Read

The reading graphs was not so smooth although no read errors were reported.

- Quality

The reported average LDC is lowed that its upper limit (13) and despite some spikes in the corresponding graphs, it remains within acceptable levels.


35. BD-RE Dl burning - TDK for 2X

- Disc Info TDK BD-RE DL for 2X (TDKBLDWfa)

 

- Burn @ 2X

 

- Read

The drive read the disc at 5x CAV and not 6x as we expected. In addition, the graph is not very smooth.

- Quality

The LDC is again higher than 13 and jitter looks high for especially for the second layer.


36. Summary of CD, DVD and Blu-ray quality tests

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 "passed" our writing quality test, meaning that measurements did not show any uncorrectable digital errors. On the the right side there are the discs that passed the tests.

Media type Digital errors within limits POF or E32 digital errors
DVD-R
RITEKF1 burned at 16x  
MCC 03RG20 burned at 16x
TTH02 F02 burned at 16x
TYG03 burned at 16x
MBI01RG40 burned at 16X
DVD+R Verbatim MCC 004 burned at 16x.  
INFOME R30 burned at 16x
MBI PG101R05 burned at 16x
PRODISC R04 burned at 16x
DVD+RW Verbatim MKM A03 burned at 8x  
DVD-R DL Verbatim MKM 003 burned at 4x  
DVD+R DL Verbatim MKM03RD30 burned at 8x (High PISum8)  
DVD-RW Verbatim MKM 01RW6X01 burned at 6x  
CD-R TDK CDR-80 97m:25s:00f 52x burned at 40x Maxell (RITEK) 48x JS Type80 97m:15s:17f 48x CD-R burned at 40x
CD-RW Verbatim DataLifePlus 80/700 97m:34s:25f 32x burned at 24x  

- BD Media quality

In the following table we have summarized 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 burned at 6x
9.89
0.23
Sony BD-R 6X recording SONYNN3 burned at 12x
55.22
0.64
TDK BD-R SL for 4x TDKBLDRBB burned at 10x
3.50
0.07
Verbatim BD-R SL 6x VERBATIMe burned at 12x
17.23
0.40
Moser Baer India BD-R SL 6x MBI R06 burned at 10x
39.67
0.59
Panasonic BD-R SL 6x MEI RA1 burned at 12x
52.11
0.77
BD-R DL
VERBATIM BD-R DL 6x (VERBATIMf) burned at 8x
27.91
0.61
Panasonic BD-R DL MEI RB1 6x burned at 12x *
437.57
32.29
_Panasonic BD-R DL MEIT02for 4X burned at 10x
104.48
1.57
TDK BD-R DL 4x TDKBLDRFB burned at 8x
170.68
3.01
BD-RE SL
Moser Baer India BD-RE SL for 2X PHILIPW02 burned at 2x
7.50
0.15
BD-RE DL
Sony (Panasonic) BD-RE DL 2x MEIT01 burned at 2x
7.72
0.15
TDK BD-RE DL 2x TDKBLDWFa burned at 2x
18.97
0.37

* High LDC and BIS due to error during burning process - the result will be updated soon.


37. Pioneer PureRead tests

PureReadCD players handle data loss or unreadable errors on a disc due to finger prints or scratches on the surface of an audio CD by using a sophisticated error correction systems that allows them to recover it. However, when the data loss is greater than a system's recovery ability, some of the signal is lost. It is then that the CD player uses compensation methods such as interpolation, data substitution or signal muting to make this loss as inaudible as possible.

Data substitution means that when CD Audio is hit with an unreadable error, the error is filled by a calculation that is formed by data located before and after the error point. This calculation is made to create an artificial sound in order to create seamless audio listening.

According to Pioneer, PureRead has been designed to minimize the data substitution by judging the condition of the disc, readjusting the reading method, and then retrying to read the original sound data as much as possible. In short, PureRead is used to minimize the chance to hear artificial audio during the reproduction of a damaged Audio CD. The PureRead function can be enabled through Pioneer's Drive utility and CyberLink's Power2Go software. Currently, Pioneer has not yet released a version of the Drive utility compatible with the BDR-S06 XLB drive, although it has released one for the BDR-2206 BD burner and of course the company's DVD burners that support PureRead. So for this test we used the Power2Go software.

The settings for the PureRead are found under the software's "preferences" tab. Three modes are available: Standard Mode, Master Mode and Perfect Mode. Obviously, the Perfect Mode is the strongest one when it comes to dealing with defected / scratched audio CDs, while the Standard mode is the drive's default mode of handling errors on audio CDs.

Let's see now how PureRead handles three CD-ROM test discs. We playbacked the audio files of the ABEX TCD-721R, the ABEX TCD-726 and the CD-Check test discs with the PureRead function set to the three available modes. The goal was to examine the the impact the PureRead function when it comes to reproduction of discs with different kind of defects on their surface.

Before we start, let's see some information about the test discs we will use in this test. This would help us easily spot the "suspicious" areas on each disc, in which noise or clicks may sound during normal playback.

ABEX TCD-726
Type of defect Size of defect Audio Track number
Interruption        #1 (00:00 - 3:17 min)
0.5mm #2 (3:17 - 5:51)
0.7mm #3 (5:51 - 8:58 min)
0.8mm #4 (8:58 - 11:36 min)
0.9mm #5 (11:36 - 14:47 min)
1.0mm #6 (14: 47 - 18:01 min)
Black dots       0.4mm #7 (18:01 - 20: 29 min)
0.6mm #8 (20:29 - 23:00 min)
0.8mm #9 (23:00 - 25:52 min)
1.0mm #10 (25:53 - 27:57 min)
1.0mm #11 (27:57 - 31:37 min)
  #12 (31:37 - 34:54 min)
Fingerprints   65μm #13 (34:54 - 38: 04 min)
  #14 (38:04 - 41:00 min)
75μm #15 (41:00 - 43:03 min)
ABEX TCD-721R
Scratch               0.0mm #1 (00:00 - 3:17 min)
0.4mm #2 (3:17 - 5:51)
0.6mm #3 (5:51 - 8:58 min)
0.8mm #4 (8:58 - 11:36 min)
1.0mm #5 (11:36 - 14:47 min)
1.2mm #6 (14: 47 - 18:01 min)
1.4mm #7 (18:01 - 20: 29 min)
1.6mm #8 (20:29 - 23:00 min)
1.8mm #9 (23:00 - 25:52 min)
2.0 mm #10 (25:53 - 27:57 min)
2.2mm #11 (27:57 - 31:37 min)
2.4mm #12 (31:37 - 34:54 min)
2.6mm #13 (34:54 - 38: 04 min)
2.8mm #14 (38:04 - 41:00 min)
3.0mm #15 (41:00 - 43:03 min)
CD-Check
      Standard manufacturing errors #1 (1:06 - 1:26 min)
0.375mm #2 (16:29 - 16:49 min)
0.750mm #3 (31:51 - 32:11 min)
1.125mm #4 (47:13 - 47:23 min)
1.500mm # (62:35 - 62:55 min)

Abex TCD-726

Under the Standard Mode, all the 15 tracks of the Abex TCD-726 test disc were playbacked without any audible interruptions, clicks of mutings.

We also read the disc using the Opti Drive Control software. As you see in the below graph, the disc was fully readable although the graph was not very smooth:

Under the Master Mode, playback was problematic for the tracks #10 and #11 (25:00 ~ 31:00 min). The drive was keep stopping playback for some seconds to resume later on. These interruptions in the sound reproduction were not digital mutes, since the drive was actually stopping reading the disc during these brief periods.

In the following graphs you see how the Pioneer drive read the disc under the Master Mode. It is obvious that the drive slowed down reading right after reaching the first defect on the disc's surface:

Under the Perfect Mode, the drive reproduced the disc until the 16 min mark. Windows media player then skipped to the next track of the disc. We manually skipped the media player after the 16-17 min mark and the drive resumed playback without any audible errors. But soon, problems appeared again around the 25min mark, where the drive stopped the reproduction for a while and resumed later with many interruptions, until the 31 min mark. The remaining tracks sounded well, at least to our ears.

Compared to the Master Mode, the Perfect Mode made the Pioneer drive more sensitive to errors, forcing it to completely stop the playback at the same areas where it previously had just slowed down reading:

 

Abex TCD-721R

We continue our tests using the Abex TCD-721R test disc, which generally pushes the reading capabilities of the drives more than the TCD-726.

Surprisingly, under Standard Mode, the drive playback of all the audio tracks of the discs was successful, with just some minor clicks to reach our ears at the last track of the disc (#15). It is hard to believe that the drive did not find any error-free areas on the disc, so we can assume that compensation methods such as interpolation data substitution had kicked in here, making this loss inaudible. Don't forget that the tracks on the specific disc are music files and not a continuous tone, so it is easier for any small errors to be inaudible as they are "hidden" within other music.

The Pioneer drive also read the disc, although the graph you see below is not very smooth:

Under the Master Mode, only the first 3 audio tracks of the disc were reproduced without audible issues. In the middle of track 4 and around the 10 min of the disc, playback was full of interruptions of 2-3 seconds, with the drive to resume playback soon. These interruptions continued for the rest of the audio tracks.

Below you see how the Pioneer drive read the disc with the Master Mode enabled. It is obvious that by slowing down reading at around the 10 min mark, playback could not be continuous and smooth:

With the Perfect Mode enabled, the drive could not playback any track after the 10 min mark of the disc.

According to the reading graph below, the Pioneer drive returned read errors after the 11 min mark:

 

CD Check

Testing the drive with the CD Check disc will probably be more enlightening in order to examine the PureRead function. That's because the audio tracks of this disc are not music but a continuous tone. Any interruptions or mutings during playback of the disc due to the defects found on its surface will be easier to identify compared to the Abex discs.

Under the default standard mode, the drive successfully passed the first two check levels of the disc, unveiling an average sound reproduction/error correction (SR/EC.) At the check level-3, the tone was smooth but clicks were audible every now and then. Of course, the situation got worse at check level-3 , 4 and 5.

Below you see how the drive reads the specific disc with the Pure Read function set to standard (disabled.) The graphs is not very smooth but no read errors were reported:

The next step was to enable the Master Mode. We playbacked the five CD check levels (tracks) of the disc. This time, the drive managed to successfully pass (no clicks or interruptions) up to the CDcheck level-3 of the disc, an improvement over the Standard Mode that we previously tested.

In the beginning of the CD check level-4, playback was full of long interruptions. The drive was not muting the sound - it just kept stopping playback and resumed it after 3-4 seconds. In addition, the playback of the recorded tone on test disc was not smooth and some clicks were audible. After the defect on the check level-4 became bigger, the drive just stopped reading the disc, and no sound was reproduced.

Below you see how the drive reads the specific disc. We remind you that the CD check level-3 is a 20-sec audio tone, which starts at 31:51 until 32:11 min. Despite the difficulties in reading this area of the disc, the CDcheck level-3 was playbacked correctly. CD check level-4 (47:13 - 47:23 min) was readable almost until the 45 min and playback was full of interruptions. After that point, the drive could not read the disc at all and returned read errors (red line):

We set the PureRead to the Perfect Mode and followed the same playback procedure of the 5 CD check levels. Again, the drive managed to successfully pass (no clicks or interruptions) up to the CDcheck level-3 of the disc. The behavior with CD check level-4 was almost similar to what we experienced under the Master Mode of PureRead: Broken playback of the tone in the beginning of the track and up to the 43 min mark of the disc. After that point, the drive stopped reading the track.

The drive's behavior is illustrated in the following graph. This time the drive slowed down reading before the 14 min mark of the disc and returned a read error at around the 43 min mark:

Summary

Even after all this testing, we find it hard to evaluate the PureRead function. Pioneer's approach to reproduce the original sound data of a damaged Audio CD is not as sophisticated as we expected. With the function enabled, the drive was just stopping reading the disc as soon as it found it hard to read data on it, resulting to broken playback of the sound. Enabling the Perfect Mode could make things worse and the drive could not playback some tracks at all. These results were identified with the TCD-721R and the TCD-726 test discs, which include classical music audio tracks, meaning that any possible small errors could be inaudible as they were "hidden" within other music.

On the other hand, testing PureRead with the CD-Check test disc was more encouraging. The 5 audio tracks audio tracks of this disc do not include any music but a continuous tone, meaning that any playback issues could be identified easier. Under the default Standard Mode, the drive reproduced up to the Check level-3, although during the playback of the 3rd track clicks were audible every now and then. Enabling the Master Mode helped the drive playback the same Check level-3 track correctly.

The last test helped us realize that PureRead could be helpful in cases where the defects on the surface of your AudioCDs are not larger than approximately 0.750mm. After that point, enabling PureRead seems to have no sense as it could not allow you to playback your disc at all.

38. Final words

One of the greatest features of the Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB Blu-ray disc burner that it will burn a wide range of BD-R SL/DL discs faster than many competitive burners, as the drive will burn the discs at speeds higher than their nominal speed. For example, you may see some 4x BD-R SL to be burned at 10X and even 12X. That's very convenient as you may low burning times using more affordable and commonly met at the stores BD media. However, the obvious trade-off is the quality of some of these recordings. Although the read-out of these discs was possible, the transfer rate graphs during reading were not smooth and the drive had to adjust the reading speed to maintain accurate reading. This was furhter confirmed by the "writing quality" measurements we took with these discs, which indicated high rates of parity errors on both Long Distance Code ( LDC) and Burst Indication Subcode (BIS). We believe that Pioneer's engineers could furher optimize the writing strategy of the drive in order to produce higher-quality Blu-ray disc recordings.

Keeping up with Pioneer's tradition, the Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB is a great CD and DVD burner. The CD and DVD writing quality for both media types was very good, so you can be rest assured that your discs will be accurately burned even at the highest supported speeds of 40x and 16x, respectively. An exception could be the behavior of the drive with DVD+R DL discs, which returned some high PISum8 errors.

Regarding the reading capabilities of the drive, all CD/DVD/CD media reading tests were completed without any read errors. The drive was slow in the DAE test with EAC, as it does not report C2 pointer information and it supports caching. With BD-R SL and BD-RE discs, the drive reaches the maximum 8X reading speed (P-CAV) faster than competitive drives and as such, it has an edge over a typical 8X CAV reader. In addition, the drive easily passed our reading tests with defected DVDs and had an average performance in the corresponding test with defected CDs.

Last but not least, we tried to evaluate the drive's PureRead function, which has been designed to accurately reproduce the original sound data of a damaged Audio CD. Although we expected a more sophisticated approach from Pioneer rather than slowing down or stopping reading as soon as the drive finds it difficult to recover audio data from a defected area of a disc, furher testing with the CD-Check test disc showed that PureRead could be helpful in cases where the defects on the surface of your AudioCDs are not larger than approximately 0.750mm. After that point, enabling PureRead seems to have no sense as it could not allow you to playback your disc at all.

Compatible with a wide range of blank BD media and its fast burning speeds, the Pioneer BDR-S06 XLB hs the potential to become the No 1 BD burning solution for your PC. However, provided that you are buying a 12x BD burner in order to tale advantage of its fast 12x burning speed, the S06 XLB needs some additional firmware optimizations in order to reach the top.

Other than that, it is more stylish than Pioneer's bulk version (BDR-206 DBK), the supported PureRead function is definitely a plus and it is undoubtedly a reliable CD/DVD burner.



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