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Appeared on: Friday, July 18, 2003
Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder


1. Introduction

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 1

 

Pioneer Electronics is topping its already outstanding DVD burner (A05) with the new Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD/CD writer. Being a "pioneer" in the area of DVD recording, this company decided to launch this multiformat drive in order to take the confusion out of choosing your next DVD writer. The new burner supports all major formats. It is remarkable, and thus a clear indication of the very advanced technology this company owns, the fact that it was again able to deliver to market drives supporting formats which their "inventors" thus so far proved unable to do so.

- Features

The DVRA06 offers wider compatibility over the previous Pioneer DVD writers since it supports high speed writing with various format media. DVD±R writing is achieved at 4x and DVD±RW at 2x and 2.4x. Moreover, Pioneer has developed a series of technologies towards the improvement of final recording performance.

DVR-A06?s development began by improving conventional algorithms and re-evaluating the record and overwrite characteristics of DVD-RW media to apply a sequence that optimizes recording conditions. The DVR-A06 achieves approximately ten times better overwrite performance than previous Pioneer recorders. It also uses an industry- first DRT-DM (Distributed Real Time Defect Management) offering a form of defect management that conforms to the DVD format without sacrificing write performance. The result is highly compatible writing even on discs that have been rewritten many times, without causing a degradation of actual disc quality.

Supposed that a DVD-RW disc is defected in some areas. Upon first encountering a problem area (e.g..fingerprint) the drive searches for the next rewritable area. In future instances when the media is used, drives/players will automatically skip the problem area. The defect management system is based on the UDF 2.00 file system.

The DVR-A06/106 has a small on-board memory IC named "DBI Chip". This stores the "Defective Block Information" that is returned from a disc with scratches, dust, fingerprints etc. Defective Block Information EDR (Enhanced Defect Reporting) reports the defective block and the level of the defect to the DBI memory.

The DBI memory enables the host to perform the defect management operation at a later time. Thus, no influence appears during the real time recording.

Software Defect Management

The DRT-DM is expected to be implemented into up-coming software applications (Ahead, Sonic, Pinnacle, Roxio, ArcSoft etc). The drive reports the location of any defective blocks. UDF File Driver performs the operation to ?spare the defective block?. The device driver (EDR) transports the necessary information between them.

The DRT-DM commands for implementation can be found in the "Mt Fuji Commands for Multimedia Devices SFF8090i Version 5, Revision 1.49".

The interesting thing about DRT-DM is that it can be used in "Real-Time" video streaming operations. Since the defected areas have been spotted beforehand, no loss of speed is expected when rewriting on DVD-RW media. Which is especially suited for ?seamless video recording?.

Pioneer's DRT-DM could be compared to Mt Rainier defect management in the following ways:

DRT-DM (Software Defect Management) Mt. Rainier ( Hardware Defect Management)
DVD Forum Standard for DVD-RW media
+RW Alliance Unique Local Standard for +RW media
Defect Management is controlled by the software. The Host PC can adopt flexibility accordingly to the defect level.
Defect Management by the Control Driver on the Hardware.
DRT-DM is not only for Data Recording but also a target for real-time Video Recording which Includes the DVD-Video Recording Format.
Mt.Rainier is only for Data Recording. No compatibility is expected for Video Recording.
DRT-DM adopts UDF2.0 File System. Host PC registers the address of the defective blocks in the UDF file table which enables any drives & players to read the disc / contents
The information of defective blocks are registered on the special reserve area which hinders general compatibility with drives & players to read.
DRT-DM uses UDF2.0 platform, most DVD-ROM Drives can read without any drivers installed.
DVD-ROM Drives are required to install the Address Conversion Driver to read.

 

Poorly balanced discs can cause vibrations that affect performance during high speed recording and playback. The DVR-A06 significantly reduces the effects of these vibrations with the implementation of Ultra DRA technology, allowing the high precision servo system to remain stable during both high speed recording and playback.

In the picture below you can see the Ultra DRA effect on the total vibrations of the drive. This feature reduces the vibrations by 65% at 9200rpm rotation speed.

Pioneer?s advanced laser driver uses a pickup that incorporates a write strategy control circuit, ensuring stable write performance at high speed recording.

Pioneer?s liquid crystal tilt mechanism provides accurate and reliable operation with discs having uneven curvature or thickness. This mechanism is used for both recording and playback.

- Specifications
Write support
DVD
DVD-R 4.7GB, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW
CD
CD-R 700 (type 80), 650MB (type 74), CD-RW, Highspeed CD-RW
Read support
DVD
DVD-ROM, DVD-VIDEO (Single & Dual layer), DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW
CD
CD-ROM(Mode1&2), CD-ROM XA, CD-DA(CD Audio), Video CD,
PhotoCD (single/multi-session), CD EXTRA(CD-Plus), CD-Text, CD-R, CD-RW
Interface
ATAPI(PIO Mode4)/Multi Word DMA Mode2) Ultra DMA33(Ultra DMA Mode2)
Audio Interface
Analog out
Write Speed
DVD-R
4x, 2x, 1x CLV (5.54MB/s)
DVD-RW
2x, 1x CLV (2.77MB/s)
DVD+R
4x, 2.4x CLV (5.54MB/s)
DVD+RW
2.4x CLV (3.32MB/s)
CD-R
16x, 12x, 8x, 4x CLV (2.4MB/s)
CD-RW
10x, 4x CLV (1.5MB/s)
Read Speed
DVD-ROM (Single)
Max 12x CAV (16.62MB/s)
DVD-ROM (Dual)
Max 8x CAV (11.08MB/s)
DVD-R, DVD-RW
Max 6x CAV ( 8.31MB/s)
DVD+R, DVD+RW
Max 6x CAV (8.31MB/s)
CD-ROM
Max 32x CAV (4.8MB/s)
CD-R,CD-RW
Max 32x CAV (4.8MB/s)
CD-DA(DAE)
Max 32x CAV (4.8MB/s)
CD-DA
Max 10x CAV (1.5MB/s)
Video-CD
4x CLV (0.6MB/s)
Access Time (Random Average)
DVD-ROM
140 msec
CD-ROM
130 msec

Seek Time (Random Average)

DVD-ROM
130 msec
CD-ROM
120 msec
Data Buffer (size)
2Mbytes

As you can see from the specifications of the drive, Pioneer supports writing of all DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and CD-R/RW media. DVD-R and DVD+R writing can be achieved at 4x CAV maximum. Rewriting is allowed at 2.4x CLV for DVD+RW and 2x CLV for DVD-RW. The maximum reading speed for DVD-ROM is 12x CAV.

As for the CD-R media Pioneer supports 4x, 8x,12x and 16x CLV for CD-R and 4x, 10x CLV writing for the CD-RW. The CD-R/RW reading speed is 32x CAV.

Buffer Underun protection is also applied for both DVD-R/RW and CD-R/RW media.

Pioneer DVR-A06 uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region 5 times in total. For our tests, we set the region code to 2 (Europe).

The drive supports reading of all the DVD recordable/rewritable discs except DVD-RAM. Video CD, CD+G and CD Text are also supported

RAW DAO 96 writing mode is included in the drive's capabilities. In addition, packet writing, SAO, TAO and RAW SAO 96 are supported as well.

- Unpacking

The retail package includes the Pioneer DVR-A06 IDE drive, one 4.7GB 4x DVD-R Ver. 2.0 disc for data/video by Maxell, one 4.7GB 1/2x DVD-RW disc by Maxell, a multilingual manual with basic operating instructions, an audio cable and the accompanied mounting screws.

The bundled software comes from Pinnacle, and includes the Pinnacle Instant CD/DVD v7.06 (OEM version), and Pinnacle Studio v. 8 SE.

Instant CD/DVD includes InstantDisc for CD/DVD creation, InstantWrite for "drag and drop" operations on CD/DVD, InstantCopy for one-to-one copies of CD's and DVD's, and InstantBackup for easy backup tasks. The software also offers a built-in DVD player for playback of DVD movies on the PC.

Pinnacle Studio v.8 SE is a video editing and authoring software with a user-friendly interface and advanced features like scene detection, title generation and scene transitions. The software also supports capturing from DV and Digital8 cameras through an IEEE1394 interface.

The front panel of the drive is white and the originate of the drive is easily identified by the Pioneer logo stamped on the right side of the disc tray.Two ventilation holes are placed on the front panel of the drive, right next to the Busy indicator.

On the disc loading tray you can see both DVD-R/RW and DVD+Rewritable logos, revealing the dual DVD format support of the unit. Two operation LED are placed on the front panel. The Busy LED lights when the drive is accessing/reading a disc, while the Write LED is active while recording.

On the rear panel you can see the analog output, the ATAPI interface connector and the power input.

The mainboard of the drive is available in the following picture. You can click on the picture to see it in a higher resolution, but in case your internet access is rather slow, please be patient while it is loading.

Click for High Resolution!

- Installation

The Pioneer DVR-A06 drive was connected to our test PC and was identified as "PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-106D" under WinXP. All tests were done with firmware revision v1.06. In the test graphs, we compare the new drive with two other dual DVD recorders, the Optorite DD0203 (Sanyo CRD-BPDV2) and the Sony DRX-500UL.


2. CD Reading Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 2

CD Reading Tests

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

Pioneer DVR-A06 supports 32x reading speed for CD-ROM/R media.The drive read the inner part of our test disc at 14.55x and gradually accelerated to finish the task at 33.91x CAV, resulting to an average speed of 25.48x. The Optorite DD0203 is faster in this test with 30.39x average reading (40X CAV), and the Sony drive is slower with 24.02X.

The specifications of the Pioneer DVR-A06 state that the drive needs around 130msec for random seeking. Our measurements agree with this statement, giving a 127msec result in this test. The drive is slower in the full seek mode (294msec). Sony DRX-500UL gave almost the same results as the Pioneer drive, while the Optorite DD0203 is the clear winner in the test with only 179msec for the full stroke.

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

With respect to CD-R media, the Pioneer drive performed well and read the disc at a 25.25x average speed.

With respect to the seek times on recordable discs, the Pioneer drive performed almost the same as in the previous tests with a pressed test-disc.

- HS-RW Media

Pioneer DVR-A06 supports 32x CAV reading when it comes to rewritable media. The results illustrated above are the reading tests using Verbatim 10x HS-RW media. The drive performed well and read the disc at an average speed of 24.89x. We also checked the behavior of the drive with 24x US-RW media (Mitsubishi Chemicals). The drive read the disc at full speed (25.76x average).


3. CD Error Correction Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 3

CD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when it comes to reading scratched / defected discs. As usual, the test discs we use are the ABEX Test Discs series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 890027
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 50620
Avg: -72.6 dB(A)
Max: -14.3 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 2938
Avg: 1.1 Samples
Max: 40 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 7
Avg: 6.9 Samples
Max: 12 Samples
Total Test Result
69.1 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Pioneer DVR-A06 performed quite well in the specific test, although the ABEX TCD-721R disc is always very hard for the testing drives to be read accurately. The average error level is -72.6dB(A), and according to EAC author, such level is acceptable and does not lead to audible problems in the output signal.

However, the amount of errors muted is not very low and this weighted negatively to the total score. Overall, the score is 69.1 points out of 100, which is a good score compared to other DVD and CD recorders / readers.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 221253
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 10116
Avg: -72.8 dB(A)
Max: -15.2 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 1223
Avg: 13.2 Samples
Max: 1095 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 11
Avg: 38.2 Samples
Max: 168 Samples
Total Test Result
64.7 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The ABEX TCD-726 test disc contains defects and artificial fingerprints. The drive behaved adequately concerning the reported level of errors, although again some samples were muted. The score is better than in the previous test, reaching 64.7 points out of 100 possible.

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
ABEX TCD-721R
Max
69.1
ABEX TCD-726
64.7
Average Score
66.9

Pioneer DVR-A06 gets a good score of 66.9 out of 100 at the error correction tests. The drive gave almost the same amount of errors with both scratched and defected discs, and the overall behavior with problematic media is obviously positive.

- CDSpeed Quality Test

Nero CDSpeed quality test applied on the ABEX TCD-721R also showed that the drive is able to read accurately defected discs. Although the reported C2 accuracy is low, the quality score is high.


4. DVD Reading Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 4

DVD reading tests

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

Pioneer DVR-A06 supports 12x CAV (5-12x) reading speed for single layer DVD-ROM media. The drive finished the test with an average reading speed of 9.52x. The performance is very good and the drive is faster than the Optorite DD0203. Sony DRX-500UL supports 7x CAV DVD-ROM reading, so it gave the lower performance in the same test.

The seek times of the Pioneer A06 is 132 msec (random seek). The drive is slower in the 1/3 full seek modes. Although the drive performed as it was expected according to its specifications, the Optorite DD0203 offered lower seek times.

- Dual Layer PTP DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

Pioneer DVR-A06 supports 8x CAV reading for the dual layer DVD-ROM. The specific DVD-ROM disc is PTP and the drive read it at 6.16x average.

As you can see from the above graph, Pioneer DVR-A06 is faster than Optorite DD0203, which supports only 4x reading and Sony DRX-500UL (2x CLV reading).

The seek times of dual layer DVD-ROM is slightly increased over those reported for the single layer discs. The performance is adequate, although the Optorite drive is faster. Sony DRX-500UL is slower in al the seek modes.

- Dual Layer OTP DVD-ROM

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as 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 toward the inner part of the disc.The performance is not different than in the previous test, since the drive gave a 6.12x average reading speed, very close indeed to the previous case.

The full seek result reported by CDSpeed is not accurate, and users should expect a performance around 330msec in this test.

- DVD Ripping Tests

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

Pioneer DVR-A06 is not a very fast ripper, following the "tradition" of the previous Pioneer DVD recorders. The average ripping speed is 2789KB/sec. The Optorite drive is faster at 5846KB/sec, and Sony DRX-500UL gave the same results as Pioneer.

- DVD Recordable/Rewritable Tests

The chart below shows the Nero CDSpeed results when using the following media

Pioneer DVR-A06 supports 6x CAV reading for all the DVD recordable/rewritable media. The drive is the faster one among the others that appear on the chart. The Optorite DD0203 is slower with a 4x average speed (ACV) and Sony DRX-500UL follows the other two at 2x CLV.


5. DVD Error Correction Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 5

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the Pioneer DVR-A06 using artificially scratched / defected DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media come from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media
ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a capacity of 4.7GB, in which there are scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from CDVD Benchmark v1.21.

The disc was read without any problems. The scratched area of the disc did not result to any read errors, although the drive unexpectedly lowered the reading speed just after corresponding end address of the scratch. The performance in the test is very good.

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 that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there not scratches on it but defected areas of dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There are also fingerprints sized between 65 to 75 micro meters.

Again the test was completed without any read errors. The reading speed was reduced from 10x to 5x in a specific defected area (fingerprint), but reading was normally resumed and the test was successfully finished.

- Dual Layer media
ABEX TDR-841

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

Both layers of the PTP DVD-ROM disc were accurately read and the reading speed throughout the whole disc was not infected by the scratched areas.

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 disc is that the first includes defected areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defected areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized between 65 to 75 micro meters.

As is the case in the corresponding test with the ABEX TDR-825 disc (defected single layer DVD-ROM), the drive had no problems to finish the task successfully. The reading speed was 8x CAV.

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB. The disc is based upon the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The discs check the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also include test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 disc checks also the error correction capabilities of the drive and includes scratches of dimensions 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The OTP dual layer disc was read without any problems. The average reading speed was 6.16x, and the random seek time was 143msec.

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 65 - 75 micro meter fingerprints.

Black dots and fingerprints were not a problem for the drive. The test was successful, running at a 6.17x average speed .


6. Data Protected Disc Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 6

Protected Disc Tests

- PSX Pressed Media

For this test we used the PSX game 'NBA Jam Extreme' and we ripped the image to the HD using Alcohol 120%. Pioneer DVR-A06 finished the task very fast in 1:06min. The Sony drive follows closely at 1:28min, and the Optorite DD0203 is the slowest reader in the test with 3:08min.

- SafeDisc v.2 Results

Pioneer DVR-A06 is not a very fast reader with SafeDisc v2 protected titles. The drive needed almost 1 hour in order to get the image on the HD, for both pressed and CD-R discs. The Optorite drive was also slow while the Sony DRX-500UL performed better.

- SecuROM Results

Pioneer DVR-A06 supports reading of Subchannel Data for both audio and data tracks. The drive is not the fastest reader you can find for SecuROM protected titles, although actually we are talking about a three-minute process, at least on this particular title. Sony DRX-500UL is slightly slower, and Optorite DD0203 follows with a 1084.44 sectors/sec reading rate.

- Protected Discs Writing Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 3 different game titles, each one utilizing a different SafeDisc 2 version, with the latest software patches installed. We used the drive as reader/writer at a maximum reading/recording speed. The software we used is Alcohol 120%, and we burned 2 discs/title with the Bypass EFM Error function enabled / disabled.

Backup Disc Players
Game Title
SD2 Build
Settings
Bypass EFM Error
No Bypass
Plextor Premium
Max Payne v1.05
v.2.50.020
OK
OK
Pioneer DVR-A06
OK
OK
Creative CD5233E
OK
NO
TEAC CD-540E
OK
NO
Plextor Premium
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
v.2.60.052
OK
NO
Pioneer DVR-A06
OK
Creative CD5233E
NO
TEAC CD-540E
NO
Plextor Premium
The Sims - Unleashed
v2.80.010
OK
NO
Pioneer DVR-A06
OK
Creative CD5233E
NO
TEAC CD-540E
NO

The produced backups with Alcohol 120% partially worked to the drives we tested. For all the Safedisc builds, the "Bypass EFM Error" feature determined the final result. Protections up to v2.60 worked without software support to Pioneer DVR-A06, Plextor Premium and all the LiteOn drives we tested. Older CD-ROM drives such as Creative CD5233E did not manage to play the disc. It is very interesting that the drive also produced working SafeDisc v2.80 backups through the software assistance of Alcohol 120%, but again, in Pioneer drive itself and other selected players.


7. DAE Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 7

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

Pioneer DVR-A06 supports 32x CAV DAE speed. The average ripping speed was 23.1x on the pressed audio disc and 21.2x on the CD-R. Optorite DD0203 was slightly faster with approximately 27x average ripping speed.

- Advanced DAE Quality

Pioneer DVR-A06 got a 100 score (perfect) under the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. The average reading speed is 23.70x. We can see that the drive supports reading of SubChannel data and CD Text.

- Ripping of 99mins AudioCDs

Tested drives
Ripping up to
Optorite DD0203
Unable to recognize the disc
Sony DRX-500UL
99min
PIONEER DVR-A06
99min

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCD's

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

* 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
PIONEER DVR-A06
Recognizes disc contents but cannot rip tracks
OK
Optorite DD0203
OK
Recognizes disc contents but cannot rip tracks
Sony DRX-500UL
Cannot recognize disc
Recognizes disc contents but cannot rip tracks

Pioneer DVR-A06 is not fully compatible with protected audio discs. Although the drive recognized the Key2Audio protected disc, the software locked and the extraction was not possible. The situation was the same when using the PlexTools software. On the other hand, the Cactus DataShield 200 protection was easily handled by the drive. It might be the case that a firmware upgrade can help users overcome similar situations and we thus urge them to apply to the manufacturer their requests.


8. CD Recording Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 8

CDR Tests

We used the latest version of Nero Burning Rom. Pioneer DVR-A06 supports all 16x, 12x, 8x, and 4x CLV writing speeds.

The following screenshot comes from a Nero CDSpeed writing simulation test using a blank 700MB CD-R disc. The drive starts writing at 16x and keeps this speed constant through out the whole writing process.

 

 

- Recording Times

We created a 80min data compilation under Nero Burning Rom and burned it to a 700MB disc. Pioneer DVR-A06 needs 329 seconds to finish the task. Optorite DD0203 gave almost the same recording time.The Sony DRX-500UL supports 24x (Z-CLV) maximum recording speed, and gave the lower writing time in this test.

The following picture comes from Nero after a successful burning at 16x speed:

Below you can see the best writing times of Pioneer DVR-A06 at 16x, 12x and 8x. The Sony drive is slower at 16x due to the implemented Z-CLV writing strategy.

- Other features

Overburning
Yes, with 80min CD-R only
CD text reading/writing
Yes


9. CD-R Writing Quality Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 9

Writing Quality Tests

We used 80min 48x CD-R media by Taiyo Yuden and burned the same AudioCD project at 4x, 8x, 12x and 16x. In the following page you can see the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs.

- 3T Pit results

In general, the drive did not introduce high values of 3T pit jitter in the specific media. The highest 3T pit jitter was reported on the discs recorded at 16x, but the values were very low.

The average 3T Jitter values for all recording speeds are illustrated in the following table.

- 3T Land results

The average 3T Land results are slightly increased over those in the previous measurements of the 3T Pit Jitter. However, the results are very good since the jitter was kept lower than 28msec for all the discs.

- Conclusion
Recording Speed
3T Pit Jitter (ns)
3T Land Jitter (ns)
> 35ns
Max value (ns)
4X
22.66
24.66
No
24 Pit, 26 Land
8X
23.15
25.44
No
24 Pit, 46 Land
12X
24.02
24.66
No
25 Pit, 29 Land
16X
24.90
24.90
No
26 Pit, 27 Land

The average 3T Pit and Land jitter values are below the 35nsec standard for all the recording speeds. The CLV writing strategy which is being followed in all the writing speeds, along with the (relatively) low supported speeds, help this drive maintain low jitter values and allow us to expect a high writing quality.

- C1 / C2 measurements

We used Plextor Premium and the latest version of PlexTools Professional software to measure C1 / C2 error rate on the the recorded discs of Pioneer DVR-A06.

16X
8X
C1
C2
CU
C1
C2
CU
Avg / Sec
0.8
0.2
0.0
0.6
0.0
0.0
Max / Sec
25.0
35.0
0.0
14.0
0.0
0.0
Total
3914.0
725.0
0.0
2700.0
0.0
0.0

The measurements reported no CU (uncorrectable) errors on any of the discs. The 16x recorded disc gave some C2 errors around the 55:00:00 address of the disc (blue peak), but the overall quality is still high.


10. Re-Writing Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 10

Re-Writing Tests

We used Nero Burning Rom for writing CD's in the maximum RW speed. Pioneer DVR-A06 supports 10x maximum rewriting speed.

The Optorite finished in 7:58 minutes, and needed 30 seconds to perform the "quick erase" task with Nero. Sony DRX-500UL was slower at 8:44 minutes.

- HS-RW Packet Writing Tests

We used InCD and Ricoh HS-RW media for all Packet Writing tests. The quick formatting of the media takes 30 seconds. The formatted disc had 530MB of free space. We copied a 403MB file (403.147Kb, actually) from a hard disk (on the same PC as the writer itself) to the formatted RW media through the Windows explorer (drag and drop) :

The Pioneer DVR-A06 gave an average writing speed of 8.4x and was slightly faster than the Sony drive, while the Optorite is ranked in the third place with just 7.8x. In the reading part, the Optorite drive is the fastest among the rest drives with 7.6x.

- DVD+RW Packet Writing Tests

The size of the file we used in this test was 412MB. The reading / writing speeds reported below were measured while the DVD+RW background formatting was in progress.

Average Writing
Average Reading
Pioneer DVR-A06
9:04min
3:45min

According to the duration of writing, the drive recorded the file to the disc at an average speed of 0.6x (x=1350KB/sec), and read it back to the hard disc at 1.35x.


11. DVD Recording Tests

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 11

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

Pioneer DVR-A06 supports both the dash (-) and plus (+) DVD R/RW formats. The maximum supported speeds are 4x for DVD-R/+R, 2x for DVD-RW and 2.4x for DVD+RW.

 

We burned 4315MB of DVD-Video at 4x DVD±R, 2.4x DVD+RW and 2x DVD-RW on media by Maxell, TDK, Verbatim, Philips, Pioneer and Ritek. The best recording times are illustrated in the following table. For comparison, we also include the writing times of Sony DRX-500UL and Optorite DD0203 in this case:

DVD Recording Tests (max speed)
Drives
DVD-R
DVD-RW
DVD+R
DVD+RW
Pioneer DVR-A06
14:22
28:20
14:23
23:51
Optorite DD0203
14:48
29:22
14:27
23:25
Sony DRX-500UL
15:48
29:04
14:54
21:46

The following pictures come from Nero, after successful burnings with Pioneer DVR-A06. The amount of data is the same for all the tests.

Pioneer DVR-A06 selects automatically the maximum allowed recording speed according to the inserted blank DVD discs. The drive was fast with all the 4x DVD recordable media we tested. In the following table you can see the maximum permitted writing speeds with various media, along with the corresponding writing times.

Disc Label
Disc Information
Writing Speed
Recording Time (min)
TDK 4x DVD+R
RICOHJPNR01
4x
13:33
TDK 4x DVD-R
TTG01
4x
14:22
Maxell 4x DVD+R
MAXELL 001
4x
14:23
Maxell 4x DVD-R
MXLRG02
4x
14:23
Verbatim 4x DVD+R
MCC 002
4x
13:33
Verbatim 2.4x DVD+RW
MCC01RG20
2.4x
23:51
Ritek 4x DVD-R
RITEKG04
4x
14:28
Maxell 2x DVD-RW
MCC01RW11n9
2x
28:20
Philips 2.4x DVD+R
RICOHJPNR00
2.4x
22:28
Pioneer 4x DVD-R
PVCR001002
4x
14:22
- Compatibility Tests

We recorded a 4315MB DVD video file on DVD±R media and inserted it to some stand alone DVD players / recorders of the market. The compatibility of the discs was almost 100%, at least with these players, in terms of disc recognition and unproblematic playback / disc navigation.

Player
TDK 4x DVD+R
TDK 4x DVD-R
Maxell 4x DVD+R
Maxell 4x DVD-R
Verbatim 4x DVD+R
Ritek 4x DVD-R
Philips 2.4x DVD+R
Pioneer 4x DVD-R
Pioneer DVR-7000
NO
OK
OK
OK
NO
OK
OK
OK
Philips DVR890
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
PHILIPS DVD 733
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
PANASONIC DVD-XV10
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
TOSHIBA SD-220E
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
SONY DVP-NS705V
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
PIONEER DV-550
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK
OK

Unfortunately, our DVD format compatibility tests had already been carried out before completing these tests, hence we were unable to include them on our review.


12. KProbe PI/PO measurements

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 12

KProbe PI/PO measurements

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PO scans for various 4x DVD-R/+R and DVD-RW/+RW media, recorded with Pioneer DVR-A06 at the maximum speed.

The software we used for the measurements is the KProbe, and the reader is LiteOn XJ-HD-165H. The specific methodology is very depended on the drive we use as a reader. The reliability of the PI/PO provided output is also not technically confirmed. As a result, we cannot safely come up with absolute results, but we are allowed to compare the behavior of the drive with various DVD recordable/rewritable media, since this seems currently our only feasible approach.

The recordable discs we used come from Hitachi-Maxell, Pioneer, Philips, TDK, Verbatim and Ritek. More information about each disc type is available at the bottom of the page.

 

Below you can see the actual codes of all the media we used for the graphs reported above.

Media
Code
Verbatim 4X DVD-R
MCC01RG20
Verbatim 4X DVD+R
MCC 002
Maxell 4X DVD+R
MAXELL 001
Maxell 4X DVD-R
MXLRG02
TDK 4X DVD-R
TTG01
TDK 4X DVD+R
RICOHJPNR01
Pioneer 4X DVD-R
PVCR001002
Philips 2.4X DVD+R
RICOHJPNR00
Ritek 4X DVD-R
RITEKG04
Pioneer 2X DVD-RW
PVCW00V00245
Philips 2.4X DVD+RW
CMC MAG W01

13. Conclusion

Pioneer DVR-A06 DVD±RW recorder - Page 13

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

  • Fast 4x DVD±R writing
  • 16/10/32 CD-RW
  • Adequate CD seek times
  • Fast CD-R/RW/DVD-ROM/DVD±R/RW reading
  • Accurate reading of defected / scratched CD-R/DVD-ROM media
  • 32X DAE
  • Supports Cactus Data Shield 200 audio protection
  • Low CD-R jitter
  • Good CD / DVD writing quality
  • High compatibility of recorded DVD media
  • Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
  • Supports 99min audio discs
  • Slow reader of protected data discs
  • Creates partially working SafeDisc v.2 backups
  • DVD Seek times could be lower
  • DVD ripping speed could be higher
  • Does not support Key2Audio audio protection

The supported 4x DVD±R writing speed allows recording of a 4.4GB file in approximately 15min. The drive burned the most popular media of the market (Pioneer, Verbatim, Ritek, TDK, Maxell) at the maximum speed. Quality measurements for these discs were done with the contribution of the LiteON KProbe software. The results indicate that the average PI/PO error rate on the recorded discs is low for both formats.

The important issue, however, is the compatibility of the produced discs with the DVD players of the market. For this reason we checked the recorded discs (DVD Video) in a number of stand alone players. The results were very good and the playback compatibility was almost 100% for both DVD formats on all players we tested.

Pioneer DVR-A06 supports the 12x CAV DVD-ROM reading speed, which is high enough for your reading tasks, although the seek times could be improved. The drive is also a fast reader (6x CAV) on dual-layer DVD-ROM and DVD±R discs.

The reading accuracy is high and this is confirmed by the performance when using the ABEX scratched / defected DVD-ROM media, which were accurately read with no read errors reported. On the weak characteristics of the drive we could attribute the relatively slow DVD ripping speed, behavior familiar to all of us from the previous Pioneer DVD burners.

Pioneer DVR-A06 is also a reliable 16/10/32 CD recorder, providing fast reading, low seek times, and 32x DAE speed. The implemented CLV writing strategy for all the supported burning speeds offer competitive recording times, good writing quality, while low jitter was introduced on all CD-R media we tested.

Audio protected discs are partially supported, as the drive is able to read the Cactus Data Shield 200 discs but seems weak when it comes to Key2Audio protection. On the plus side is the fact that the drive supports reading of 99min discs.

Pioneer DVR-A06 is not the faster drive available if you ask for fast image creation of data protected discs. Gamers will also not be satisfied by the lack of the drive's ability to create working backups of the latest SafeDisc v.2 protected titles, at least with no support from a dedicated software.

Pioneer DVR-A06 is possibly the most consistent and powerful dual burner currently in the market today. The drive delivered top performance in most of the benchmarks and strengtheners the company's position in the optical storage market. Pioneer continues its tradition of producing quality DVD burners. The retail package is available in the market at an estimated "e-street" price of $240-250.



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