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Appeared on: Friday, November 22, 2002
TEAC DV-516E DVD-ROM


1. Installation/Package

Teac DV-516E IDE DVD-ROM - Page 1

- Introduction

decided to enter the DVD market for PC with a new DVD-ROM proposal, the Teac DV-516E. The multifunctional drive supports 16X DVD-ROM reading among with 48X for the CD-ROM/R media. Whether TEAC decided to enter the DVD recording market as well or not, testing this new product is definitely interesting for all the candidate buyers and the fans of the optical storage technology.

- Drive features

Teac DV-516E came with the firmware revision v2.01 installed. The supported reading speed for DVD-ROM is 16X CAV for single layer and 12X CAV for dual layer discs.

As for the CD-ROM/ CD-R media, the supported reading speed is 48X CAV and 20X for the HS-RW. The The DAE speed is set to 16X and 4-10X for audio playback (CD-DA). The applied cache buffer 512MB and is compliant to the RPCII regulations, allowing user to change the region code of the drive 5 times. The supported disc formats are: DVD (single layer/dual layer), DVD-R (General in case of writing), DVD-RW (Ver 1.0& 1.1), DVD+RW, CD-ROM Mode 1, CD-ROM XA Mode 2, Photo CD, CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD-R.

- The package

The retail kit contains the drive itself, the Intervideo WinDVD v.4 DVD playback software and the necessary IDE cables and leads. In the package you can also find a CD pen and a multilingual quick installation guide. The Teac DV-516E retail kit will be available from Teac Europe distributors and dealers, in the retail price of 59 Euro. Teac offers a 2-year warranty for the drive.

On the disc loading tray there are the "DVD-ROM" and the "Compact Disc " logos. The eject key is placed below the tray on the right side of the front panel, as usually. The busy indicator ( LED) indicates the drive status. Last, the head-phone jack or volume control knob are available, as you can see in the picture below.

On the black-colored rear panel there are the usual connectors, such as the power connector, the IDE interface, the device configuration jumper, and the analog audio output.

After removing the screws on the bottom we can see the drive's internal design.

- Installation

The Toshiba drive was identified as "TEAC DV-516E" under WinXP. The drive was installed to the secondary IDE channel of our test PC as a "Master" and worked in Ultra DMA Mode 2 transfer mode. The October 2002 model came with firmware version v2.01 installed. In the following tests we compare the Teac drive with three already tested 16X DVD-ROM drives, the LiteOn LTD163, the Asus E616 and the Toshiba SD-M1612.


2. CD Data Reading Tests

Teac DV-516E IDE DVD-ROM - Page 2

Data CD Tests

- Pressed CD results (Click to see the CD Speed Graphs)

Teac DV-516E supports 48X CAV CD-R reading speed. The drive almost reached that speed by the end of the reading process, and gave an average reading speed of 36.30X. In the same test, Asus E616 was slightly faster with 37.17X average.

Teac reports that the drive supports 85 msec medium access time for both CD and DVD-ROM. The seek time we measured is 83 msec for the random stroke, 94 msec for the 1/3 and 155 msec for the full stroke. The drive seems to have a precise and fast mechanism and is the faster in the test, with a small difference in the Full seek mode.

- CDR Media results (Click to see the CD Speed Graphs)

All the drives gave better results with the CDR media. Teac DV-516E gave a 36.39X average reading speed but speaking with numbers, the fastest drive comes again from Asus.

In the seek test, the results were not very different than in the pressed CD test.

- HS-RW media (Click to see the CD Speed Graphs)

For the RW tests we used Verbatim HS-RW media. The drive gave a 26.11X average speed. The fastest drive is the Toshiba SD-M1612 which supports 48X CAV reading speed for the HS-RW format..


3. CD Error Correction
Teac DV-516E IDE DVD-ROM - Page 3

Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examine the error correction capabilities of Teac DV-516E.

- Test Results (Max Reading)

Errors total
Num: 5058159
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 25069
Avg:-21.2 dB(A)
Max: -7.2 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 1038
Avg: 2925.4 Samples
Max: 3584 Samples
Skips Samples
Num:0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max:0 Samples
Total Test Result
71.9 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The errors within the black triangle defect, reached -7.2dB in specific areas. The average Loudness errors level is 21.2db(A). The score is 71.9 out of 100 (max), which is a medium performance.

- ABEX TCD-721R

- Test Results (Max speed)

Errors total
Num: 148445352
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num:702283
Avg: -25.4 dB(A)
Max: -4.8 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 58563
Avg: 1411.0 Samples
Max: 3584 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 5
Avg: 2371.8 Samples
Max: 2939 Samples
Total Test Result
46.3 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The score for Teac DV-516E is only 46.3 points, which is a less than average performance. The total errors are more than in the previous test, as it was expected, since the disc is heavily scratched. The average level of the Loudness errors is -25.4dB(A).

- ABEX TCD-726

- Test Results (Max Speed)

Errors total
Num: 84
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 4
Avg:-45.8 dB(A)
Max:-32.2 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 2
Avg: 18.0 Samples
Max: 18 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0.0 Samples
Total Test Result
91.2 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The total amount of errors only 84 with the TCD-726 disc. The scratches on the disc is not as heavy as in the TCD-721, and the rest defects and fingerprints produced only a few errors while reading. The Loudness errors were only 4 and the average level was -45.8dB(A), which is an acceptable level. The amount of error muting samples is 2 leading to a very good score of 91.2 points.

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
EAC CD-R
Max
71.9
ABEX TCD-721R
46.3
ABEX TCD-726
91.2
Average Score
69.8

Teac DV-516E gets an average 69.8 score out of 100 in the reading error correction tests.

- C2 Information accuracy

- Tests Results (Max Speed)

The drive was extremely slow since it slowed down the reading speed in order to read accurately. We had to stop the task after approximately 22 hours (!) as you can see from the elapsed time indication in the above picture. You can also see that the drive started to report unreadable sections (red spikes) from the 20 min of the test disc, where the scratch became larger. Assuming from the results until the moment we interrupted the process, the quality score is very low (many compare errors) and the C2 accuracy is also very low.

EAC software also gave the a very low accuracy (66.7%) in the corresponding test.

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score (%)
EAC CD-R
Max
50.1
ABEX TCD-721R
50
ABEX TCD-726
100.0
Average Score
66.7


4. DVD Data Reading Tests

Teac DV-516E IDE DVD-ROM - Page 4

DVD reading tests

- Test Method

We used Nero CD Speed to run DVD tests. All tests were performed at least 3 times with the same DVD title (we show the average results). The tests discs were one single sided, single layer DVD-ROM, one single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM, and DVD-R,-RW, +R and DVD+RW media.

- Single Layer DVD-ROM reading: (Click for CDSpeed results)

Teac DV-516E supports 16X CAV reading speed for the DVD-ROM format. The drive is the fastest among the competitors on the test with 15.82X average speed. LiteOn LTD163 follows closely with 11.36X.

The seek times of Teac DV-516E are low for the DVD-ROM format. The random seek test gave an 82 msec result, and the Full seek around 164 msec. The LiteOn drive is faster only in the Full seek mode, with a small however difference.

- Dual Layer DVD-ROM reading: (Click for CDSpeed results)

The drive supports 12X CAV reading speed for the dual layer DVD-ROM discs. It started reading at 8.92X and finished the task at 11.92X, with an average speed of 8.92X.

The seek times for the dual layer DVD-ROMs are the same as in the previous test.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD Ripping speed using the "Matrix" DVD Video title and DVD Decrypter v3.0 software.

The ripping speed of Teac DV-516E is high and reaches the 8302 kb/sec (6X). However, the Asus E616 is faster with 9110 kb/sec.

- DVD reading Tests

The charts below shows the Nero DVD Speed results with the following media.

Non of the drives on the test support reading of DVD+R media. Teac DV-516 seems to support almost 7X CAV reading speed for the supported DVD formats. The drive read the inserted discs in a similar average speed of approximately 5.1X. LiteOn LTD163 is the faster reader for all the formats, followed by the Teac drive, for the DVD+RW and DVD-RW formats.


5. DVD Error Correction Tests
Teac DV-516E IDE DVD-ROM - Page 5

DVD Error Correction tests

In the following tests we examine the DVD error correction capabilities of Teac DV-516E. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark v1.21 and Nero DVD 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, in which there are scratches with dimensions from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

Teac DV-516E seems to have no problem finishing the reading task with no errors. The graph is not interrupted, meaning that the drive read the disc smoothly and no errors were reported. The performance is high revealing increased error correction capabilities.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as the TDR-821, with the difference that there not scratches on it but defected areas with dimensions from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There also fingerprints sized from ø 65 to 75 micro meters.

The drive read the disc smoothly the "black band" and the "fingerprint" areas. The reading speed was not reduced and no errors were reported. The yellow dots correspond to the current speed in each area of the disc.

- Dual Layer media

ABEX TDR-841

This is a 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches with dimensions from 0.4 to 3.0mm, in both layers.

The result is very good, as it was expected, judging from the reading test with the single layer disc. If you compare the two yellow transfer lines with the one we had in the TDR-821 test, you will see that the drive showed a similar good reading behavior, in both layers.

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 defected areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defected areas are ranged from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from ø 65 to 75 micro meters.

Again the drive easily overcomes the defected areas and successfully finishes the reading test.

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with capacity of 8.5GB. The current TDV-541 checks the error correction capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The test showed that the reading speed by the end of the first layer reached the 12X. The average speed for both layers was 8.39X. The scratched areas in the second layer made the drive slow down in some areas but it seems that there were no reading problems. The average random seek time time 89 msec.

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 has also ø 65 - 75 micro meters fingerprints.

Black dots and fingerprints were not a problem for the drive. The test was successful, with an 8.88X average speed and 89 msec for the average random seek time.


6. CloneCD Reading Tests

Teac DV-516E IDE DVD-ROM - Page 6

CloneCD Reading Tests

- Procedure

We used CloneCD and 4 original CDs - Serious Sam 2 (SafeDisc 2), Desperados (LaserLock 2), V-Rally 2 Expert (SecuROM 2) and NBA Jam Extreme (PSX) - in order to test the reading time of the drives. We also tested the reading performance with backups of the original CDs, since the reading speed varies between original and backup media. The following pictures show the drive reading/writing capabilities as CloneCD reports:

- PSX Pressed Media

For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image to the HD with CloneCD. Teac DV-516E finished the task in just 55 seconds. The Asus drive was 7 seconds faster.

- SafeDisc v.2 Results

The Teac drive is not recommended for such tasks, since it is extremely slow reader for SafeDisc v.2 discs. The drive needed 1 hour and 10 minutes to finish the task. The Toshiba SD-M1612 is the leader in this test.

- LaserLock v.2 Results

With the LaserLock v.2 protected disc, the drive finished the pressed disc reading in 24 minutes. The performance is low but compatible for the category. The Asus drive is the fastest with the pressed disc, but the Toshiba SD-M1612 takes the leads in the backup CD test with 1819.28 sectors /sec reading speed.

- SecuROM Results

All the drives can read SubChannel data from Data/Audio tracks. Although Teac DV-516E gave a good performance, the LiteOn drive was faster and finished both tasks in approximately 2 min.


7. DAE Tests

Teac DV-516E IDE DVD-ROM - Page 7

DAE Tests

- DAE features

EAC v0.9 reports that Teac DV-516E supports caching of data, gives "Accurate Stream" and retrieves "C2" error info, with low accuracy, however, as we experienced in the previous tests.

- Pressed AudioCD results

In this test we examine the speed of the DAE of the drive. The drive ripped the audio files at 30X average. The drive gave the second best performance behind LiteOn LTR163, which was faster by 2X.

- CDR AudioCD results

With CD-R media, the ripping speed is again 30X. The LiteOn drive improved its performance to 33.4X, and takes the first place in the test.

- EAC Secure Extract Ripping mode

EAC's secure extract ripping mode results, which ensures maximum produced WAV quality. Note that for each drive we used the build-in detection function:

Tested Drives
Average DAE Speed (X)
Pressed
CDR
Teac DV-516E
9.4
9.3
Toshiba SD-M1612
12.3
12.5
Asus E616
20.9
20.8

- Advanced DAE Quality

Teac DV-516E got a 100 score (out of 100) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The average speed for the drive was 29.32X. The drive can also read data from SubChannel and CD Text.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
Teac DV-516E
5/5
5/5
5/5
4/5
0/5

The Teac drive showed average error correction / concealment abilities with the CD-Check audio test disc. The first three audio tracks were playbacked correctly without any error noises. The rest tracks produced audible errors.

- Bad CDR Media results

We used CD DAE software in order to rip the whole disc (756539616 sectors) to the hard disk. Unfortunately, the drive could not recognize the disc and the test could not be done.

- Ripping 90 and 99mins AudioCDs

Tested drives
Ripping up to
Teac DV-516E
The drive cannot playback/rip any track

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used 2 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with EAC) processes:

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony Key2Audio (Celine Dion - New Day Has Come)
* Pressed AudioCD with Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)

Key2Audio
CDS200
EAC
Teac DV-516E
Cannot recognize disc contents
Recognizes disc contents, cannot rip

The drive cannot handle the "Key2Audio" and "Cactus Data Shield 200" protected discs. The disc contents of the CD200 disc were recognized, but ripping was impossible.


8. Conclusion

Teac DV-516E IDE DVD-ROM - Page 08

Conclusion

Positive (+)

Negative (-)

- 16X DVD-ROM /48X CD-ROM drive
- Fast reader for CD-ROM/-R discs
- 30X DAE speed
- Good seek times for CD/DVD
- Can read DVD-R/RW, DVD+RW discs
- Fast DVD reader for the supported formats
- Good DVD ripping speed
- Good DVD error correction/reading quality
- Supports reading of SubChannel data
- Supports CD-Text

- Cannot recognize DVD+R media
- Low CD error correction capabilities
- Cannot "handle" any audio protected disc
- HS-RW reading speed lower than competition
- C2 error information is present with low accuracy according to the EAC test
- Very slow CloneCD reader
- Does not support 99 min discs

Teac DV-516E performed adequately in the most of the tests and the results were confirmed by the drive's specifications. The supported 16X DVD-ROM reading speed for the single layer discs and 12X for the dual layer DVD-ROMs turned out to be adequate and faster than the competition in the reading tests. Reading of DVD-R/RW and DVD+RW media is also not excluded but in a lower speed. However, the DVD+R format is not supported. As for the DVD ripping, the drive gave a good performance, slightly slower than the other DVD-ROM drives.

The drive did not have any difficulties to read the ABEX DVD-ROM test discs, and the corresponding error correction tests gave no read errors. In some cases the drive lowered the reading speed in order to maintain reading accuracy, with successful, however, results.

CloneCD users would better choose another reader for their tasks with protected discs, since the drive is extremely slow. The 48X reading speed for CD-R is high enough and the seek times are very low for a drive in this category. As for the CDDA format, the drive is fast and the DAE speed reaches the 30X. The HS-RW reading speed could also be set to 48X and not at approximately 34X, as our test results showed.

Staying in the reading part for the CD format, we could say that the error correction capabilities of the drive are average and the DAE quality should be also improved. As for the audio protections, the drive will disappoint users since it cannot handle the "Key2Audio" and "Cactus Data Shield 200" modes. The drive can retrieve C2 error information but the reliability is low.

The Teac DV-516E is generally a reliable DVD-ROM drive but also a fast one. The CD/DVD-ROM combination could be very handy for the candidate users among with the 2 year-warranty offered by Teac. The retail kit is priced at 59 Euro



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